Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions



How do I schedule an appointment?

Use our online scheduling system or call us at 515-294-5411 to schedule a suitable time to meet with a consultant. During open hours, you can also do walk-in appointments by coming in to see if there is an available consultant at that time. During times of high demand like midterms or the end of the semester, however, we recommend scheduling an appointment early since we fill up quickly during those times.

You may have up to three appointments in a week, with no more than one per day. If you skip your scheduled appointments more than three times, without canceling or rescheduling them prior to the time of your appointment, your access to make appointments ahead of time may be temporarily blocked in the system.

Who can use the Writing and Media Center's services?

All students who are currently enrolled at Iowa State University can use our services. 

What does a session involve?

Communication Consultants respond to any question you have about your writing and communication as well as topics you may have not considered. Consultants discuss your assignments with you, including helping with clarifying assignment sheets, discussing issues from class, and evaluating how your writing meets expectations. Consultants work with you at any stage of your thinking process, such as brainstorming, researching, drafting, and revising. You may also discuss writing and communication topics with consultants in order to gain a clear understanding of purpose, such as focus, organization, structural issues, and formatting.

What should I expect at my first appointment?

When you arrive, tell the receptionist your name. They will ask you if you have printed out your document--if not, they may direct you to our computer bank to print. You might be asked to be seated in the waiting area until your consultant is available. Once available, your consultant will sit with you to discuss your work.

What should I bring to my session?

We recommend bringing the following items with you to help us most effectively serve you: your paper or project, the assignment sheet (if applicable), your current draft of the assignment, and any additional notes and research material you may have gathered.

What if I just have a quick question?

Call us at (515) 294-5411 or email us at

What won't the Writing and Media Center help me with?

Communication Consultants will not “fix” or proofread your project for you, but we will show you how to identify grammar patterns and suggest ways to revise errors. We work with you, so that you may use your strengths and improve upon the areas in which you may not be as strong. Working collaboratively with tutors means that you increase your confidence and ability to communicate clearly. We do not guarantee grades on assignments, but we do help you to understand and meet the teacher’s expectations.

English is not my first language. How can the Writing and Media Center assist me?

Peer communication consultants work with you to help you examine higher-order concerns such as content, organization, as well as error patterns that alter or obscure meaning. We discuss syntactic and semantic issues, but instead of proofreading or “fixing” your paper, we help you to learn ways to identify and effectively revise your work.

Will my professor (or anyone else) know I came to the Writing and Media Center?

The Writing and Media Center focuses on students and their learning and will not automatically notify instructors about your visit. If you would like to have a record of your session sent to your instructor, you can indicate this when you first sign up for an appointment. You can also tell your consultant you would like to have your notes sent to your instructor after your session has been completed.

How can I start working at the Writing and Media Center?

Each Spring, the WMC hires staff for the upcoming academic year. For additional details, visit our employment page or email to request additional information.

If I have an assignment due, when should I schedule an appointment?

Academic communication always takes time and thought to develop, so we strongly recommend that you come in as early as possible. You may work with a peer communication consultant at any stage of your composing process, from brainstorming topics to revising for correctness. During midterms and the end of the semester, the WMC is especially busy, so make an appointment well in advance if you would like a guaranteed appointment. 

How does the Writing Center and Media Center assist someone with a disability?

With your permission, we will work together with Student Services to offer appropriate assistance. The Office of Student Accessibility Services can also provide valuable support.