Online Writing Consultations

The Pace University Writing Center provides online consultations for writers who are unable to come in person to the Writing Center. These synchronous consultations are conducted by Writing Center Consultants, via Skype and Google Docs, during regular Writing Center hours, and are only available in 60-minute blocks. Please be advised that online sessions are designed to give writers the greatest possible benefit by following the purpose and model of the Writing Center’s traditional live sessions.

An important note: In order to schedule an online consultation, you must consent to use Skype. Any student who fails to consent will not be afforded an online consultation and will be asked to come in for an in-person appointment. If you do not already own a Skype account and would like to create one, please visit www.Skype.com, download, and install the appropriate software.

To schedule an online writing consultation:

 

1.

 

Go to our online scheduling system to create an appointment. You will need to schedule a one-hour block. Scheduling must occur at least four hours in advance, and the Writing Center cannot ensure that there will be staff available for online consulting during particularly busy periods.

2.

 

After your session is scheduled, send a copy of the material on which you wish to work, along with your Skype username, to pacewritingcenter@gmail.com--all materials must be sent to us one hour prior to your session, and as ".doc" files.  If you wish to brainstorm or discuss an assignment you haven't begun to write yet, please send any available instructions or a short summary of the assignment insteadYou should receive an automated response, within five minutes of sending, indicating that your email has arrived successfully. 

3.

 

A few minutes prior to your appointment, log into Skype.  Once signed in, wait until your scheduled time to send a message to "pacewritingcenter."  Upon receipt of your correspondence, the consultant will initiate the conference via audio and visual interaction.  If the consultant does not receive an initial message from you, they will try to initiate contact with you.

4.

  Once a consultant establishes communication with you, and the audio/visual component to the session has been initiated, you will be provided with the Google Docs link.  Click the link provided in the message to open your document in Google Docs.  (You do not need to have a Google account to do this.)  This will confirm that you are able to access the document.  Please note:  While Google Docs has a "comments" section for chatting, we will only rely on it to synchronously view the document.  Skype will serve as the primary platform for communication between writer and consultant.

5.

 

If you are having difficulty with these instructions, you may call 914-773-3942 for assistance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Writing Consultations

Why can’t I just mail in my paper and then get it back, edited?
The Pace Writing Center Online Writing Consultation program is designed to best help students become successful writers, and in a real-time session with a writing consultant, you can learn a lot.

Why can’t I get help on my paper at 3:30 in the morning?
We do not have funds to pay writing consultants to work around the clock.

Why can't I get a session during the time I want?
The Writing Center has a limited number of writing consultants available. Sometimes, they may already be scheduled to work with another writer.

I have never used Google Docs/Skype. How does this process work?
View the Online Writing Consultation page above. The first step is to e-mail the writing center your essay.   When it is time for your session to begin, the writing consultant will establish contact with you, and will start by introducing him or herself.  After the introduction, s/he will also send you a link, via Skype, that will take you directly to Google Docs.  You need no prior experience using the program.  Once you confirm that you have accessed your document on Google Docs, the writing consultant will begin the consultation by asking you a few questions to get started.  After that, they consultant will proceed as if in an in-person session.  During this process, if you or the consultant wishes to identify specific areas in your essay during your discussion, you may highlight sections of the document.  You and the consultant will see anything that the other types or highlights on the essay in real time.  This serves as an excellent supplement to the audio/visual component via Skype.

Why do I have to sign up for an hour-long session to get an online writing consultation?
Working online takes more time than in person.  Because of this, we find that an hour-long session works best in the online format.