Writing Consultations

Graduate Writing Consultants support student writers at UBC Vancouver, at all levels of English language proficiency, across a broad spectrum of writing situations: academic, creative, professional, and technical. Writing consultations are voluntary, anonymous, independent, and offered at no cost to students.

Find out about the benefits of a writing consultation, what to expect from feedback, and how to book, via our most frequently asked questions below.

What is a writing consultation?

A writing consultation is an opportunity for UBC students to receive formative peer feedback on their writing at any stage in the writing process, from first drafts to final revisions. Graduate Writing Consultants ask non-judgemental and non-evaluative questions, and offer observations using a pedagogically sound approach based on research in the field of writing studies. The formative feedback aims to provide students with strategies for revision.

Who are writing consultations for?

Writing consultations are for all UBC Vancouver students, writing in any discipline or profession, at any level of expertise. We serve students new to university writing, masters students in professional and academic programs, and doctoral students completing course work or writing the dissertation.

What can I get feedback on?

Graduate Writing Consultants provide feedback (aimed at revision) on any and all documents: assignments set during a first-year writing course, thesis and dissertation chapters, and research articles for publication. Other examples include scientific abstracts, grant and scholarship applications, and all forms of creative writing.

Why should I book a writing consultation?

Writing consultations are beneficial for a number of reasons. They support students at no cost, providing feedback additional to that of instructors, teaching assistants, and peers. Writing consultations motivate students to reflect on the particular writing situation. For example, Graduate Writing Consultants might ask about the purpose of the document, the intended audience, the overall organization or structure, and the in-text citation practices.

Writing consultations aim to introduce students to a broader perspective about the typical kinds of writing practices that take place at a research institution like UBC. Students can book multiple appointments (one a day, two per week), and choose to consult the same or a different Graduate Writing Consultant, from within their own discipline (as available) or outside of their discipline.

This video further explains the benefits of a writing consultation.

What types of feedback can I get?

There are two types of feedback available: a thirty-minute in-person dialogue via an In-Person Writing Consultation; a thirty-minute Written Feedback Writing Consultation, which takes place in real time, but not face-to-face. At the end of a Written Feedback Writing Consultation, the Graduate Writing Consultant re-uploads the document with written commentary for the student to download.

How many writing consultations can I have?

Writing consultations are available once a day, twice a week. They can be booked up to fourteen days in advance and can be cancelled at any time in advance of an appointment.

Why are writing consultations only thirty minutes?

Writing consultations are limited to thirty minutes for accessibility and pedagogical reasons. First, there are many students at UBC Vancouver and they all deserve equal opportunity to book a consultation. Second, sessions of longer than thirty minutes risk providing a greater amount of feedback than can be incorporated in a revised draft. The same is true of more than one session a day, or more than two a week. Our goal is to make your time with us as impactful as possible, while serving as many UBC Vancouver students as possible.

How do I book a writing consultation?

Visit WCOnline. Using the “Schedules” tab at the top of the page, select either the written feedback schedule, or one of the in-person locations. Click on an available appointment slot and complete the appointment form to secure your booking. Prior to your appointment, select “Attach File” and upload your .doc or .docx document for review during the consultation. If relevant, upload the assignment description and/or rubric as well.

If you have booked an in-person appointment, arrive at the location of your booking no earlier than 5-minutes prior to your appointment time. Details of the location, including a map, will be emailed to you with your booking confirmation.

If you have booked for written feedback, the Graduate Writing Consultant will provide feedback via the comment function in Word and re-upload your document. You will receive an email when this has happened.

Watch this video demonstration for further information.

Who gives the writing consultations?

Writing consultations are given by a team of Graduate Writing Consultants representing a broad spectrum of UBC disciplines, from Biomedical Engineering to Education, from Neuroscience to Forestry, and from Public Health to Creative Writing! All Graduate Writing Consultants are trained in providing the same pedagogically-informed feedback derived from detailed research in the field of writing studies. You can meet with the same Graduate Writing Consultant over a succession of appointments, or you can select different consultants to get different perspectives on your writing.

How do I prepare a writing consultation?

Upload the document you want feedback on prior to your appointment time using the “Attach File” option in WCOnline. If you also have the assignment description or rubric, upload those as well. Complete the appointment form specifying what you would like feedback on.

If your appointment is for written feedback, that is all you need to do. You will be able to download your feedback from WCOnline at the end of the appointment time. If your appointment is in person, arrive at the location of your appointment no more than five minutes before your appointment time. You will receive a map specifying the location when you receive the email confirming your appointment.

Can I get feedback on a co-authored paper or assignment?

You may submit co-authored articles for publication and co-authored research papers for a course assignment for a written feedback writing consultation (but not group assignments, and not an in-person consultation). After the writing consultation, the written feedback must be shared with all co-authors.

I’m a faculty member, can I get a writing consultation?

Yes! Faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical researchers who would like a writing consultation should contact the CWSC Program Manager Dr. Patty Kelly.

I have additional questions, who should I contact?

Email the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication: cwsc.info [at] ubc.ca


January 8 – April 12, 2024

In-Person Writing Consultation

IKB: Mon 10-4, Tue 10-4, Wed 10-1, Thu 12-3, Fri 10-1
Woodward Library: Tue 10-1, Wed 10-1
Research Commons: Tue 10-1, Thu 1-4

Written Feedback Writing Consultation

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10-4
Thu 12-4