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Writing Support

Sweetland offers three ways for undergraduates to get in-person writing assistance: our Peer Writing Centers, Online Writing Lab, and the Writing Workshop. These services allow you to meet one-to-one with an experienced peer or faculty consultant at any stage of writing, from getting started to final revisions. To get a sense of what to expect, read our guidelines before attending your first writing consultation.

Sweetland Writing Support Guidelines

Who We Serve & What Type of Writing You Can Bring In

Who Can Use Sweetland Writing Support Services

This page and services are intended only for currently enrolled undergraduate University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) students. Graduate students should visit the Writing Workshop for graduate students page.

Types of Writing You Can Bring In

Writing Workshop is funded only for materials related to courses and academic research. Writing Workshop consultants can help with any writing or multimodal project assigned for a course at the University of Michigan. Cover letters, resumes, personal statements, and other non-course-related materials can be taken to the Sweetland Peer Writing Centers and OWL. The Peer Writing Centers and OWL also help with course-related writing and multimodal projects.

Scheduling Your Appointment

Peer Writing Center/OWL Appointment and Scheduling Limits

Students may schedule one 45-minute appointment per day. Writers may not make a Peer Writing Center appointment in addition to an OWL appointment. Please schedule one or the other to allow for other students to receive help. Appointments can be scheduled up to seven calendar days in advance.

Writing Workshop Appointment and Scheduling Limits

Students may schedule one 30-minute appointment per week, with a limit of fifteen visits in a full term (seven in a half term), including walk-ins. Appointments can be scheduled up to four calendar days in advance.

You can also receive help on a walk-in basis at Writing Workshop or Peer Writing Centers if there are openings in the schedule and you have not reached your limit of visits. Appointments are recommended.

Scheduling Your Appointment

1. Visit Sweetland's Peer Writing Center/OWL scheduling website or Writing Workshop’s scheduling website. These are two separate systems.
2. For Peer Writing Centers and OWL: Select the schedule from the drop-down menu of the Peer Writing Center location you wish to make a reservation at or choose Online Writing Lab. For Writing Workshop: Select the schedule from the drop-down menu of the current Term and Year.
3. If you have already registered this academic year, please type in your email address and the password you created. Previously registered students will need to update their account information. If you have not registered, follow the instructions to register.
4. You will be brought to the schedule. Openings in the schedule will be identified by white blocks.
5. Locate the day, time, and consultant (if preferred) you would like an appointment with. Click on the appropriate white block of time; a “New appointment” window will appear.
6. Complete the form. For OWL appointments, make sure the box Meet Online? is set to Yes – Meet Online.
7. Click "Save" to make your appointment.
8. You will receive an email confirmation of your appointment.

Appointment Waitlist

If all available appointments are booked on the day you wish to visit, you may sign up for the waitlist. 

1. From the schedule page, click on the clock icon to the left of the date you wish to visit, and the waitlist window will appear.
2. Select your preferences then click the “add to waiting list” button. 

When there is a cancellation, you will be notified via email or text message. Then, you may schedule the appointment as usual. Other students on the waitlist will also receive an e-mail or text notification, and appointments will be scheduled on a first-come first-served basis.

Rescheduling or Canceling Your Appointment

If for any reason you need to modify or cancel an appointment, please do so at least 90 minutes prior to the appointment time. This allows Sweetland to assist as many writers as possible. Thank you for your courtesy to our consultants and your fellow writers!

Please schedule, modify, and cancel your own appointments online. You may contact the Sweetland information desk (9am-5pm M-F) at 734.764.0429 if you encounter technical difficulties with the scheduling system or have questions about your appointment.

How to Reschedule or Cancel Appointments

1. Visit the scheduling site you made your appointment on, either the Peer Writing Center/OWL or Writing Workshop schedule.
2. Select the schedule from the drop-down menu on which you made your initial reservation.
3. Navigate to the date on which your appointment was scheduled.
4. Click on the orange box which opens your reservation panel.
5. If you need to make a change, edit the panel as necessary. Click “Save Changes.” If you need to cancel the appointment, select the "cancel" box at the bottom of the page. Then click "Save Changes."
6. You will receive an email notification confirming the action.

What if Sweetland needs to cancel my appointment? (e.g., consultant illness)

If the Sweetland Center for Writing needs to cancel your appointment due to consultant illness, you will be notified by email as soon as possible. We will make every effort to reschedule the appointment with another consultant at the same time before canceling an appointment.

Appointment Day - What to Bring, Late Arrivals, & What Happens

What to Bring

1. Reasonable expectations: What one or two issues would you like to discuss with the writing consultant? If you have a really long paper, on what part or parts would you like to focus?
2. Your assignment sheet, writing prompt, and any guidelines you’ve been given.
3. Ideas about or a draft of your writing project in electronic or hard copy. You can bring whatever you’d like: a paper for a course, a personal statement, a cover letter, a blog post, a PowerPoint, a website, a poem, etc.

Late Arrivals

Arriving on time ensures that you and the consultant will have ample time to discuss your writing. If you are 10 minutes late, you will lose your appointment.

Starting Your Consultation

• Peer Writing Centers: When you arrive, check in with staff and complete the online intake form.
• Writing Workshop: Sign in at the front desk. Your consultant will meet you in the lobby.
• Online Writing Lab (OWL):

1. Click on your appointment box at least five minutes prior to the start time.
2. In the Appointment Window, click the Start or Join Online Consultation link.
3. In the new popup window, click Connect then click Start Publishing.
4. In the bottom right corner click Start Video Chat.
5. An Adobe Flash Player dialog box will ask you for Camera and Microphone access. Choose Allow. Note: We recommend wearing headphones during the session to prevent audio feedback.
6. Should you have difficulty connecting via video you can use the Text Chat Box in the lower right hand corner to communicate with your Consultant.
7. The Consultant will guide you through uploading your paper. If you are early, you can read the information posted on the Whiteboard (main text area) about how the interface works.

What Happens at Your Consultation

1. Most sessions begin with a brief discussion of the assignment you're working on and the kind of help you're looking for.
2. Come prepared to participate in an active collaboration with your consultant -- for example, by asking and answering questions, reading through the paper aloud, generating ideas, making notes on your own draft, etc.
3. An effective session will often focus on "higher order" concerns (e.g., thesis, ideas, evidence, organization) before addressing sentence-level concerns such as grammar and punctuation. Prioritizing higher order concerns assures that you won’t spend time fixing sentences that might not even support your argument.
4. While consultants are happy to work with writers on their sentence-level concerns, we avoid proofreading or "correcting" papers. We can help writers identify patterns of error, proofread more effectively, and improve clarity and style. If you’re ready to address sentence-level concerns, expect to address one or two error types per consultation

Missed Appointments

Peer Writing Centers/OWL: If you miss an appointment, you will be unable to schedule another appointment for that day. Although you won’t be able to make an appointment, you are still welcome to use Sweetland’s walk-in services. If you miss multiple appointments, your ability to make reservations may be revoked; however, you may continue to use our services on a walk-in basis.

Writing Workshop: If you miss an appointment, you will be unable to schedule another appointment for one week. You will be notified via email when this occurs. Although you won’t be able to make an appointment, you are still welcome to use Sweetland’s walk-in services. If you miss two appointments, you will be unable to schedule an appointment for the remainder of the semester; however, you may continue to use our services on a walk-in basis.

Fall Term | September 4 - December 11

(closed Oct. 16-17, Nov. 21-25)

• Led by U-M Sweetland faculty
• Any writing assignment for a course
• 30-minute sessions

1310 North Quad
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

• Led by undergrad Peer Writing Consultants
• Any kind of writing (coursework or other)
• 45-minute sessions

Angell Hall G219
Sunday 7-10pm
Monday-Thursday 12-10pm (closed Wed 4-6pm)
Friday 12-3pm

Duderstadt Atrium, Lloyd Hall 1059,
& UgLi 1144 
Sunday-Wednesday 7-10pm

• Led by undergrad Peer Writing Consultants
• Any kind of writing (coursework or other)
• 45-minute sessions

Sunday-Thursday 7-10pm