Any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at UT Austin can schedule an appointment at the UWC. Students can use the UWC for one semester (including summer sessions) after graduation. Graduate students in Option 3 programs must have their program set up a payment agreement with us in order to use the UWC for consultations. We also provide workshops to faculty and graduate students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts. In addition, we offer advice and materials, both in print and online, forfaculty teaching undergraduate courses and for college-level writers
Degree of Help
Since our goal is to help writers mature, we do not edit, proofread, or rewrite their papers. We do, however, discuss all aspects of the writing process from brainstorming through drafting, revising, and final editing. To discourage over-dependence, we recommend that students have no more than three sessions on each writing project that is 10 pages long or less. We impose appointment limits (by day, week, or month) when we are fully booked in order to ensure that we can provide access to all writers who want to use our service. We work on any kind of writing undergraduate or graduate students bring us, including employment and graduate school applications and personal and public writing not assigned for class. We can work with writers on take-home exams if their instructors have not prohibited them from visiting the UWC, as long as we maintain our non-directive approach. We do not work with writers whose work is due fewer than two hours from the time the consultation begins.
The Writer’s Ownership of the Text
Although the consultant acts as the expert in a writing consultation, the writer should always be the one in control. In order to successfully collaborate with a writer without colluding, we must work to preserve the writer’s ownership of the text. Likewise, a writer who always stays in control of the work will have an easier time practicing independently the strategies learned during a consultation. Thus, only the writer should generate the prose and the arguments. While we can offer opinions and suggestions about what might work best, ultimately the writer must decide how to construct the paper. Refer to “The Chronology of a Consultation” starting on page 21 for some ways to help ensure the writer maintains ownership of the text.
Consultation records are confidential; they will not be released without writers’ permission. We do, however, encourage writers to let us communicate with their instructors through notes describing work conducted in sessions. Our notes are correspondence with the student, and we only copy the note to the instructor if the student requests that we do so. These notes should be our only communication with the instructors about our consultations. If you have concerns that you would like to communicate to the instructor(such as suspicions of plagiarism), please communicate these concerns to the writer instead. Lastly, UWC consultants and staff are mandatory reporters under Title IX. For more information about what type content from a consultation a consultant would needto report to UT’s Title IX office, see Chapter Three, section “Engage with the Paper and Consult”, subsection “Pointing Out Potentially Offensive Material.”
UWC’s location in the Learning Commons makes it much more public. Fifty thousand students are able to log into our computers whenever PCL is open. All logins to floor computers will be done with your EID. For this reason, it will be veryimportant that consultants log out after each consultation. We cannot guarantee the security ofcomputer activities that might be done while your EID remains logged in.
We will follow guidance from the University regarding closure for weather, health reasons, etc. If the university cancels classes, we will be closed for consultations. Core staff, graduate administrators, consultants, and front-desk workers will not be expected to work their scheduled hours during closures.
At the UWC, we wish to support the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees. If you need to miss work for health reasons, we want you to feel comfortable making an absence request. We also understand that emergencies happen and that many of you will have interviews or conferences that may conflict with your regular work schedule. That said, the University Writing Center is a professional work environment. If you are scheduled for a shift, it is important that you make your best effort to attend. Generally, you are allowed up to 6 absences per semester. If possible, no more than 3 of these absences should be unanticipated absences (scheduled less than 3 business days in advance). All absences should be requested with as much notice as possible to ease the rescheduling burden placed on the front desk. If you believe you may need to exceed 6 absences in a semester, please discuss options with Alice. Unanticipated absences should be used for unexpected health issues (physical or mental) or personal/family emergencies. If you are making a same-day absence request, always text or chat the desk through the website chat (even if you already filled out the absence form) to make sure they are aware of your absence. If you are unable to fill out the absence form yourself, let the front desk know in the chat conversation, so they can fill it out for you. If you have not received the automated confirmation email that your absence is approved by the day of the shift you will be missing, chat online with the front desk to make sure that they received your request and blocked you off. If you find that you need to schedule an extended absence, please reach out to Alice. The chat text number is 512-488-1457.
If you are currently in a COVID quarantine and would like to do remote consultations during your quarantine, please reach out to Michele or Laura to set up your shifts for remote consultations until you are cleared by the University to be back on campus.
We want you to take care of yourself and be mindful of your fellow consultants’ health. To help UT with contact tracing, we encourage you to use the Protect Texas Together app before coming to campus each day. If you feel unwell, please do not come to the UWC. If you feel well enough to work from home, please reach out to Michele or Laura, and they will set you up for remote-only consultations.
If you have symptoms of COVID or get tested for COVID, please contact OHP (the Occupational Health Program) at 512-471-4647 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact them even if you test negative. They will make recommendations about when you should return to work, and they will notify the UWC of their decision.