What are writing consultations?
The Writing and Communication Center (WCC) at MIT offers free one-on-one professional advice from communication experts.
- The WCC helps you strategize about different types of academic and professional communication.
- The WCC helps you think your way more deeply into your topic and helps you see new implications in your data, research, and ideas.
- If you experience problems at any stage of the writing process, the WCC can address strategies to boost your productivity.
- The WCC is happy to work with multilingual or English as Second Language writers and communicators on topics ranging from writing and grammar to pronunciation and conversation practice.
Disclaimer: The WCC is not a copy-editing service. WCC lecturers should not be expected to make any edits to your drafts or go through your draft to correct mistakes.
Who can use consultations?
The WCC works with all currently registered or affiliated MIT community members, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral and visiting scholars, faculty, and staff from all MIT departments and disciplines. The WCC does not provide support to MIT scholars’ or students’ partners or children. The WCC does not provide support to MIT alumni/ae.
Who are the writing consultants?
The WCC is staffed completely by MIT lecturers, who are communication experts with advanced degrees and years of experience working with students, researchers, faculty, and staff. They all are instructors of communication, published scholars and writers, and skilled coaches. To learn more about WCC lecturers, please check the WCC team page.
How do I make an appointment?
You may consult the WCC before you have drafted anything to discuss the genre or your ideas, in the midst of creating your first draft, after the first draft is finished or at any later stage.
To make an appointment, go to the Link on this paper or go to https://mit.mywconline.com. NOTE: For the first visit, click on Register for an account and follow the directions.
Every scheduled session is 50 minutes long. You can schedule two 50-minute appointments per week so that the WCC could provide advice to as many clients as possible.
- If you are working on a document, please upload it to your appointment and bring to your session the information about your project (the assignment description, the fellowship/grant requirements, or the job description).
- To help us access your project easily during the session, please provide the link to your project in Google Drive (outline, draft, slides, etc) when you schedule your appointment and/or bring a printed document to the in-person session.
What types of work can we help you with?
You may consult the WCC’s lecturers about all types of written and oral communication, including but not limited to:
- assignments for any MIT course, including CI (Communication Intensive) or CI-M (Communication Intensive in Major) course
- research papers and articles for publication
- undergraduate and graduate theses
- proposals for grants, books, and dissertations.
- fellowships and grant applications
- personal essays
- essays for graduate school applications
- scientific and technical writing
- business and professional letters
- resumes and CVs
- conference papers
- oral presentation practice
- interview practice
- slide or poster design
- pronunciation and conversation practice
- fiction and poetry
You can also consult on the writing process or writer’s blocks that hinder your progress, including the following:
- reading or note-taking strategies
- pre-writing and outlining techniques
- organizing and drafting your ideas
- avoiding procrastination
- dealing with writing fear
- understanding the effects of perfectionism
- preventing demoralization
- conquering imposter stress
You may consult the WCC during any stage of the thinking or writing process: prewriting (generating and exploring ideas), writing the first draft, revising a draft, or editing. You may consult the WCC before submitting your draft or after receiving feedback on the project that you would like to revise.
Does the WCC provide support with oral presentations?
At the WCC, you can receive advice on:
- how to prepare and write a speech or conference talk
- how to use visual aids
- how to design effective slides
- how to present information to different audiences
You may practice any type of oral presentation and receive feedback on:
- presentations for classes (e.g., Communication Intensive classes)
- presentations of your research
- job and conference talks
WCC lecturers will offer feedback and suggestions about:
- the performance aspects (e.g., eye contact, gestures, rate of speech, articulation, voice projection)
- the organization of the presentation’s content
- the effectiveness of the visuals
We will help at any stage of the oral presentation process–e.g., developing ideas, writing the speech or oral presentation, and developing useful visuals.
Where do consultations take place?
During IAP 2022, all consultations will be conducted remotely. However, depending on the COVID situation, the WCC may continue providing in-person and remote consultations during Spring 2022. For in-person consultations, you can find us at E18-233, 50 Ames Street.
For complete instructions about remote consultations, see mit.mywconline.com.
Do we offer remote consultations?
Yes, the WCC offers remote consultations via Zoom. When you schedule an appointment, please choose the option of meeting online.
Can I get an appointment if there are no available consultations in the schedule?
If you open the schedule and there is no time slot available (everything is booked) and you wish to make an appointment, please use the waitlist function:
- On the scheduler, click Waiting List in the lower right-hand corner of the day you wish to be added to the Waiting List.
- Add your name to the Waiting List for either any open appointment or for a specific time or WCC lecturer.
- The online scheduler will notify you via email or text the moment there is a cancellation and a time slot becomes available.
- Go immediately to the scheduler to book the appointment.
Please note that you can schedule an appointment up to the time of the appointment (even 1 minute before the appointment starts).
What is the cancellation, late, or no-show policy?
Cancellations: To cancel an appointment, please go to the online scheduler and cancel your appointment as soon as you can, but no later than 120 minutes before your appointment (so that someone has a chance to use that appointment slot). Please do not email or call the WCC and say you want to cancel; you must cancel your appointment on the online scheduler.
If you want to cancel less than 120 minutes before your appointment, then this will count as a no-show
Late Policy: If you do not connect or show up to your appointment within the first 10 minutes, we count this appointment as a “no-show,” and your appointment-making privileges are restricted (see below).
No Shows: If you miss an appointment without canceling in advance or cancel it less than 120 minutes before your session, your appointment-making privileges will be automatically rescinded for one week. Also, any pre-existing appointments you have for one week will be canceled automatically.
If you are a no-show a second time, you will not be allowed to make another appointment for a month and any pre-existing appointments will be canceled. If you are a no-show a third time, you will not be able to make an appointment for the rest of the semester and any pre-existing appointments will be canceled. This policy exists to prevent appointment slots from going to waste when other clients need them.