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Center for Student Success

Writers' Studio

What is the Writers’ Studio?

SUNY New Paltz students from any major can sign up for a free, 30 minute, one-on-one session with a peer writing consultant.  Peer writing consultants are fellow SUNY NP students who are trained to help you identify your strengths and work toward goals for your academic writing assignments.  Regular sessions at the Writers’ Studio can go a long way toward helping you develop the confidence and skills necessary to be an effective communicator in college and beyond.

What can I work on in a Writers’ Studio session?

Any academic writing assignment, at any stage of the writing process.  Peer writing consultants help you work toward one or two goals for your assignment while developing writing strategies you will be able to repeat on your own.  Make a Writers’ Studio appointment to build skills in:  

The Writers’ Studio is not:

  • A drop-off or editing service: We collaborate with you to help you become a better writer.  We do not proofread, correct grammar, or “quickly look over” papers.
  • A place for emergencies: We focus on building writing skills over time… and appointments fill up quickly!  To get the most out of your sessions, be proactive and come in well before the day your paper is due.
  • Qualified to provide assistance with job/internship cover letters, or scholarship/ graduate school essays.  Please visit the Career Resource Center for this service.


Who are the peer writing consultants?

Our friendly, peer writing consultants are SUNY New Paltz students from a variety of backgrounds and majors.  They participate in mandatory, on-going training and reflection. Click here to meet the peer writing consultants!


How do I sign up for a session?

Schedule a session with a peer writing consultant through the Center for Student Success link on my.newpaltz.edu.

How often can I schedule sessions?

You can make one 30 minute appointment per day, up to three days per week.  


How should I prepare for a Writers’ Studio session?

  1. Get your materials ready:  Print and bring the assignment prompt and any outlines, drafts, or notes you are working on.  Depending on the assignment, you may also want to bring relevant readings or handouts.  You will need your student ID card to check in.

  2. Decide what to focus on:  To make the most of your 30 minute session, come in with an idea of what you want to work on.  The peer writing consultant will ask questions to help you determine a realistic goal for the session.  However, you should spend some time beforehand thinking about your assignment and any feedback you’ve received from professors. This practice helps you develop as a writer and makes a session more productive.

  3. Plan ahead:  Writing is a process, and a Writers’ Studio session can move you a bit further along in that process.  Expect to continue working independently on your paper after your session or to make a follow up session at a later date. Leave enough time between your session and the paper’s due date so that you can implement the new strategies you’ll learn.

 

What should I expect in a session?

  1. Check in: Come to the Center in Old Main B 106.  Check in with the program assistant sitting at the front desk and make sure to swipe your ID card.  The program assistant will show you to your peer writing consultant.

  2. Set a goal: The peer writing consultant will introduce themselves and ask you about your assignment and where in the writing process you are.  You will not go through your entire paper in a session. Instead, you and the peer writing consultant will decide on one or two goals to guide your work.  

  3. Questions: Depending on the goal, the writing consultant may ask if you are comfortable reading sections of your paper aloud.  As you read, they will ask questions to help you articulate and develop your ideas.  They will help you identify the strengths of your paper, as well as areas for improvement that you can work on.  Peer writing consultants will not write on your paper, make corrections to your grammar, or tell you what to write.   They will ask you questions to help you develop as a writer and suggest helpful resources you can consult during and/or after your session. 

  4. Next steps:   When the session is coming to a close, the peer writing consultant will remind you of the time.  Together, you will recap the session and the steps you have taken toward the initial goal.  They will ask you how you are feeling about the assignment, and they will leave you with an idea of next steps to continue working independently.