Online Writing Consultations
The CSUSB Writing Centers offer online consultations via email or Zoom. As always, we can work with you on any writing project at any stage of your writing process.
First year students should meet with a consultant in-person before scheduling a writing consultation via email.
We suggest that all undergraduate students meet with a consultant in person before scheduling a writing consultation via email. While we understand that this is not an option for everyone, in-person consultations model the kind of feedback that you will receive in writing consultations via email.
How to Arrange and Prepare for a Writing Consultation via Email
Step 1: Register for a Writing Center account
In order to work with you via email, you first need to register for an account in our online appointment scheduling application at: csusb.mywconline.com. We use this system for scheduling Zoom consultations, consultations via email, and in-person consultations. If you need help navigating the registration process, stop by or reach out to us using the contact info at right.
Step 2: Prepare for and schedule an appointment
- Before setting up your appointment, reflect on where you are in your writing process and what kind of feedback would be most useful at that stage. Because via email we can’t fluidly discuss how we can best work together on your writing project as we would in an in-person appointment, the more guidance and context you can provide us when setting up your appointment, the more successfully we can provide feedback of the kind that would be most useful for you.
- You can access our “Writing Consultations via Email and Zoom” schedule by choosing it before logging in to your Writing Center account at csusb.mywconline.com. You can also choose the “Writing Consultations via Email and Zoom” schedule from the dropdown menu at the top of the schedule page after logging in at csusb.mywconline.com.
- Click on an open (white box) consultation. An appointment form should open in a separate pop-up window. Fill out the appointment form by selecting from each dropdown on the form. In the final open response field that asks, “What would you like to work on? What are your goals for this consultation?” give us some context and guidance for how best we can provide you feedback for your email consultation as described in step one (1) above. Consider including: If you’re working on an assignment for a class, when is it due? Are you working within a particular writing style, e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, AP? Are there particular aspects of your writing or assignment that you’re wanting feedback on or concerned about?
- Attach your writing project to your appointment at the bottom of the appointment form by clicking “Choose file”. Our scheduling app allows attachments that are less than 1MB and in one of the following formats: .doc, .docx, .numbers, .odt, .pages, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .wpd, .wps, .xls, or .xlsx. If you have a larger file or different file type you’re working with, please reach out to us using the contact info at right and we’ll figure out how to best work with you via email.
- Also consider attaching contextualizing documents that could be helpful, e.g., an assignment sheet or prompt, or the question or prompt you’re responding to for a scholarship or personal statement.
Step 3: Getting Feedback
- Within two business days of your appointment time, you will receive an email saying that your Writing Center appointment has been modified. Your feedback should be attached.
- In addition to receiving your feedback via email, you can download your feedback by navigating back to the “Writing Consultation via Email and Zoom” schedule and opening your appointment window.
How to Arrange a Zoom Writing Consultation with the Writing Centers
Step 1: Register for a Writing Center account
In order to work with you via Zoom, you first need to register for an account in our online appointment scheduling application at: csusb.mywconline.com. We use this system for scheduling Zoom Consultations, Email Consultations, and In-person Consultations (or we will again once we're back on campus). If you need help navigating the registration process, stop by or reach out to us using the contact info at the right side of the page.
Step 2: Computer Hardware & Software
Hardware: In order to have an online appointment via Zoom, you’ll need a device with high-speed internet access, a microphone, and speakers. A webcam is great, but isn’t necessary. Zoom will work on your phone or tablet, but in order for you to work effectively with us on your writing via Zoom, you’ll probably want the device you’re using to be the same one that you’re using to type and format your work in an application like Word or Google Docs.
Software: Zoom works on most devices and is compatible with iOS, Mac, Android, and PCs. Set up your device to use Zoom by logging in to MyCoyote, navigating to “Collaborate” and then selecting “Zoom.” Depending on your device, Zoom will download, install, and set up when you start or join your first Zoom meeting, but don’t wait until your session to get it set up.
Step 3: How to Prepare Your Work Space
Eliminate as many distractions or potential interruptions as possible. For example, try to avoid public places in which you might be interrupted, such as a hair salon or airport. Cafés, such as Starbucks, are doable, but you should have headphones with a microphone to make the audio clear for you and for us.
Often a neutral background is best. Avoid distractions and bright lights or windows.
Avoid excessive background noise. For example, music or movies playing or conversations taking place could potentially disrupt the session.
Step 4: Schedule an appointment
- At the top of the appointments page, use the “Limit by appt. type or topic” drop-down to narrow your view to only Zoom Consultations.
- Click on an open (white box) Zoom consultation on a day and at a time that works for you. The appointment form should pop up in another window. Choose “Zoom Consultation” and fill out the rest of the form.
Step 5: Join Your Zoom Appointment
- To access your Zoom appointment, click on your appointment (gold colored box) to find the Zoom meeting information at the bottom of your appointment form. This will include both a link and a code for the meeting session.
- Have your project open on your computer prior to logging in to Zoom along with any other supporting or contextualizing information that might be helpful, e.g., your prompt, sources, notes, a rubric.
- Option A: To follow the link, copy and paste it into your browser in another tab or window, or
- Option B: Log in to MyCoyote, click “Collaborate” and then click “Zoom.” From the Zoom page on MyCoyote, click “Join a Meeting” and enter the “Meeting ID” provided on your appointment form.
- After joining the Zoom appointment, you will be admitted to the waiting room and your tutor will bring you into the Zoom session to begin your consultation. Once you are in the Zoom session, you’ll be able to share your screen.
Policies and Best Practices to Keep in mind
- Writing Center consultants will not edit or "fix” your writing for you. We’ll collaborate with you online just as we would do in person.
- We encourage you to schedule your first Zoom writing consultation for a one-hour session. Please allow for about 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the session to get set up and about 10 minutes at the end of the session for concluding questions.
- We will work with you in your Zoom writing consultation to build your confidence working collaboratively through Zoom and the various applications we might use simultaneously, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Google Docs, or a PDF reader. You don't have to feel like you're a tech wiz to work successfully with us online!
- You don't have to share your video via Zoom, and if you’re concerned about getting lost dealing with tech issues, feedback via email is also an option, but lacks the dynamic interaction you'll experience via Zoom.
- If tutors reasonably believe that the tutoring environment is unsafe for themselves or for you, they will alert you and promptly end the session. Problematic or unsafe environments include attempting to work with us while driving. While we do our best to work flexibly and extend access at every opportunity, we cannot participate in tutoring environments that are unsafe.
- The sharing of potentially disturbing content without appropriate academic contextualization, including images, video, or audio, can be problematic and lead to a tutor ending the session, particularly when the content is unrelated to your writing project or arises suddenly or without context. Examples of potentially disturbing content include images, video, or audio that are sexually explicit, depict acts of violence, or contain abusive language. If you have a writing project that includes working with potentially disturbing content, we request that you provide contextualizing information in the appropriate space provided when booking your appointment. This context is helpful so that if a tutor suspects they might find that content triggering, we can make arrangements to address those issues in advance.
- This policy, like all our tutoring practices, is under development and is subject to change. Our intention is not to censor or limit the kinds of academic work with which we engage or that students create, but to ensure the safety and well-being of our tutors.