One-on-one appointment options
We are open! All of our teaching takes place online or over the phone. Please remember that appointments still start at 10 minutes after the hour, and please be patient: we may not be able to phone or connect with you until 15 minutes after.
Online appointments (synchronous) — These appointments involve live video conferencing (or you can turn the video off and just have an audio conversation), a shared document workspace where you can interact with the text and your instructor, and a chat window. These most closely approximate the kind of teaching we do in person. You can have a conversation with your instructor, write in session, receive written and oral feedback, and re-direct the session toward your questions as they arise. You’ll want to hold these appointments on your computer, not on your phone. If you are working on a desktop without a webcam and mic, no problem: leave us a note in the comments letting us know you’d like us to phone you instead. We recommend choosing a synchronous online appointment if at all possible.
Accessing your online appointment is very easy! Just click on your appointment and click on the red text that says “Join online consultation.” You may need to give the platform permission to use your camera and microphone. You can always turn these off later by clicking on the icons in the appointment window.
E-tutoring appointments (asynchronous) — Upload your document to your appointment. We’ll review your draft and make some notes on how you can improve it. We’ll upload the annotated draft to your appointment when we’re done and you can find it there any time. Make sure you select “All markup” under “Review” so that you can see our comments in Word. This kind of appointment is only for students who have a draft or partial draft of their essay finished.
Asynchronous appointments were added to accommodate students who have uncertain access to the internet and students who are unable to meet synchronously because of time-zone issues. Pedagogically, they are a little less effective, so we recommend choosing a “synchronous” appointment if at all possible. These appointments are less interactive and we will generally focus our teaching on only one or two issues in the draft, so please adjust your expectations. Expect your feedback by about 10 pm on the day that you booked your appointment. Please note that we do not edit your papers. If your main concern is grammar, your session will be more effective if you choose a synchronous, online appointment.
For all appointments: Please upload the relevant documents ahead of your appointment by clicking “Edit appointment” when you click on your appointment. Our preference is to receive drafts in MS Word with your name in the filename of the document. Please note that we need the assignment instructions in addition to your drafts in order for us to give you effective feedback.
To help make the most of the time, make sure you clearly indicate your key concerns or questions when you book the appointment. All of these appointments rely on having a good internet connection; please be patient if your instructor experiences any internet difficulties.
The following students are eligible to use our centre:
- Students registered at New College
- Students taking courses in a New College program, WGS or HMB. (These students must bring work from a course in a New College program.)
If you are not eligible to use the New College Writing Centre, find information about writing support in your home College or Faculty here.
How to make an appointment
Our booking system is easy to use. Just click on any available appointment time (in white) that you’d like to book. You may reserve one appointment per week. Out of fairness to all students, you may only have three appointments at a time scheduled.
You will be blocked from making appointments if you miss two appointments during the fall/winter or summer term. Please cancel at least twenty-four hours in advance to give students on the waiting list a chance to book.
If you have courses at other colleges and can’t find an appointment to meet your needs here, you may log out and then click on the link to any other centre in Quercus.
The login button on our home page will take you to a standard UTOR login page, which will require your UTORid and password. We are a busy site: book well in advance and leave lots of time before your paper is due to apply what you learn in your sessions. Every time you make or cancel an appointment, you will receive an email confirmation. If you are uncertain about your upcoming appointments, you can check them in the booking system.
Communicating with us
The reservation system communicates with you via e-mail or text. The system will send you an e-mail notification of each appointment you book or cancel. It will also send you reminder e-mails and waitlist notifications. You must use your utoronto email address to use our system.
If you wish to receive reminders and waiting list notifications by text rather than email, make sure to update your profile to include your mobile number and carrier. If you want to see us during the day as a drop-in, we’ll call you at your mobile phone # as long as you entered it when you registered. You may add it to your profile at any time.
Please note that you must cancel appointments at least a full twenty-four hours in advance. Timely cancellation makes appointments available to others who are waiting.
To cancel an appointment, login to your account on our homepage. Then click on “My appointments” in the Welcome tab to the left.
You may reserve and hold three appointments at a time, but only one per week. In the summer sessions, you may book two appointments per week (for a maximum of 10 over the summer).
If you already have an appointment booked in a particular week, you may be able to drop-in for a second appointment to any time that remains unreserved. Priority for drop-in appointments is given to students who have not yet had an appointment that term or week.)
You may book appointments only for yourself. We will see only the student who has booked the appointment. We will consider the appointment “missed” if the student who booked it does not use it.
If you are more than 15 minutes late for an appointment, we may need to give the appointment to another student who is waiting. Penalties for missed appointments are erased at the beginning of the fall and the summer terms.
Please bring your student card to each appointment.
Please give at least a full 24 hours notice of cancellation. Students who cancel late or miss appointments risk losing their reservation privileges. Please note that if you lose reservation privileges in two or more academic sessions, we may ask you to visit the Writing Centre on a drop-in basis only.
You may reserve one appointment per academic term in our regular Writing Centre schedule to address graduate and professional schools application materials, such as personal statements. You may bring these documents to drop-in appointments and the Writing Room.
We do not look at job application materials (resumes and cover letters) at the Writing Centre. Take a look at the Career Centre for useful advice pages and workshops to help you with the job search.
Practice tests (e.g., MCAT and GRE)
You can reserve one appointment per academic term in our regular Writing Centre schedule to get help developing writing skills for admissions tests. You may also bring this work to drop-in appointments and the Writing Room.
If you are bringing a draft, a hard copy is required. Instructors are unable to read drafts from laptop screens or print materials from disks or memory keys. This policy does not apply to students with disabilities who require a computer to read and work with texts.
One or more members of a group may book an appointment to work on a group project. If you are not the author/s of some text that you bring, we will help you develop questions and editorial strategies that you can take back to the group. The person who books the appointment must attend the session and be eligible to book (a New College student or a student from another college working on a group assignment for a New College program course).
Last minute writing support
If you need help with your writing but didn’t manage to book an appointment ahead of time, try one of these options. Most days, some appointments do become available at the last minute.
Use the waiting list if you can’t get an appointment when you need one. Once you enter the booking system, WC Online, just click on the waiting list link for any day you’d like to see us. You have the option of selecting a time range or a specific instructor. The system will notify you by email or text if an appointment becomes available. You may easily delete yourself from any list if you no longer wish to remain on.
The reservation system notifies all students on the waitlist when an appointment comes available through cancellation. If you enter the booking system and find that there are no appointments on the specified date, this means that the appointment has already been booked by another student.
If you are looking for a last-minute drop-in appointment, put your name on the list here. The list is erased at the end of each day, so it is always for today only. When an appointment becomes available, we’ll phone you, often at the very last minute.
The Writing Room
Our drop-in writers’ space, The Writing Room, is open one to three afternoons a week. Come meet with a writing instructor or just hang out and write.
Frequently asked questions
I haven’t started writing yet. Can I still make a writing centre appointment?
Absolutely. We work with students at all stages of the writing process. Some students want help interpreting assignment questions and getting started. Some students find it useful to talk through their ideas before writing. And some students want advice about how to work in new genres of writing or to switch to more complex forms of writing. Consultations are geared to what you need.
I can’t get an appointment. Can I still get help on my assignment?
Put your name on our Waitlist. Also, you can bring your work to The Writing Room. Generally, we find that students who use the Waitlist are very successful in getting last minute appointments. Find out more here.
What should I bring to a writing centre appointment?
Please bring your assignment sheet and your student card. If you are bringing a draft, part-draft, outline, or drafted notes, bring them in hard copy. Depending on what you want to work on, you may also find it useful to bring your readings.
Can I bring job application materials (my resume and cover letter) to a Writing Centre appointment?
No. We only look at academic writing at the Writing Centre. Check out the Career Centre for useful advice pages and workshops to help you with the job search.
Can I bring in group assignments? Who should come to that appointment?
Certainly. One or more members of a group may book an appointment to work on a group project. We don’t work with text for which the author is not present, but we can help you develop questions and editorial strategies that you can take back to any members of the group unable to attend the appointment. The person who books the appointment must attend the session and be eligible to book (a New College student or a student working on a group assignment for a New College course).
I didn’t get a chance to print out my draft. What should I do?
If you don’t have a printed copy of your draft, you can visit the New College library to produce one and then return to your appointment.