Bierce Writing Commons FAQs

1.  Do I need to make an appointment?

Yes, you do. An appointment ensures that you can meet with a consultant on your schedule. You can make an appointment in two ways:

- Call Bierce Writing Commons at 330-972-6548 during our business hours.

- Stop by the Commons and make an appointment with the student assistant.

2.  Do you accept walk-ins?

You need an appointment to guarantee that a Bierce Writing Commons consultant will be available at a time that is convenient for you. This is especially critical during busy times of the semester. Sometimes a consultant will be available to work with a walk-in, but it is best to schedule an appointment to ensure that you can have a session when you want it.

3.  Who is allowed to use Bierce Writing Commons?

The services at Bierce Writing Commons are available to ALL students currently taking courses at The University of Akron.

4.  Do you help ESL students?

Yes, we do. Bierce Writing Commons works with non-native speakers at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels. Non-native speakers may have up to two one-hour appointments with a writing consultant each week.

5.  How many consulting sessions am I allowed?

Students are allowed two sessions per week with a consultant at Bierce Writing Commons. If you miss two appointments in one semester without canceling them, you could forfeit your appointment privileges for the semester. To cancel an appointment, call 330-972-6548, or stop by the Commons to let us know.

6.  How long is a typical session in Bierce Writing Commons?

A writing session is ½ hour for native speakers of English. Students who are not native English speakers may request 1-hour sessions.

7.  What should I expect when I come to my session at Bierce Writing Commons?

When you come to Bierce Writing Commons, you will meet one-on-one with one of our trained writing consultants and work together on your writing project. You can expect feedback, suggestions, and ideas to help you strengthen your writing skills.

8.  What should I bring with me to Bierce Writing Commons?

You should bring materials that are relevant to your current writing project. This includes, but is not limited to, the actual writing assignment (prompt), your notes, your drafts, and your instructor’s feedback. If you are working with a textbook or articles, you can bring those along as well.

9.  Do I need to have a draft written before I come to Bierce Writing Commons?

No. The staff in Bierce Writing Commons works with writers at all stages of the writing process, so it is not essential that you have a draft. The consultants can show you brainstorming techniques to help you get started. However, it is important that you bring your assignment and paper requirements. Those items will help you and your consultant to generate ideas and focus.

10.  Do you proofread?

We are all good proofreaders, but the goal at Bierce Writing Commons is to make you a better writer. Our consultants will work with you to help you learn how to be a better proofreader, but we will not do the work for you. We help you learn how to do it yourself.

11.  I have to use outside sources in my paper. Can I get help with my citations?

Yes. The consultants at Bierce Writing Commons will help you with your in-text citations and reference page. We work with a wide variety of citation styes, including MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style. The consultants will show you how to find the information you need to format your papers.

12.  What if I made an appointment and can’t come?

If you can't make your appointment, please call Bierce Writing Commons to cancel (330-972-6548).

13.  What happens if I miss an appointment?

If you miss your appointment with Bierce Writing Commons and haven't canceled, you will be recorded as a “no-show.” Bierce Writing Commons permits each student two no-shows per semester. If you miss two appointments, you will be in danger of losing your privileges to use Bierce Writing Commons for the rest of the semester.

14.  Will you let my instructor know if I come to the Commons?

If you want to let your instructor know about your visit to Bierce Writing Commons, just let your consultant know. We can give you a form to take to your instructor that will show the date of the visit, the name of your consultant, and what you worked on during your appointment.

15.  Can I get a writing session report form for my instructor without meeting with a consultant?

No. The writing session report forms are for completed sessions only. The consultants cannot report on something that did not happen.

16.  If I bring my paper to the Commons, will I get an A?

Our goal at Bierce Writing Commons is to help you become a better writer. We work with you to develop your own writing process and to help you meet the challenges of your assignments. We cannot guarantee any grade.

17.  I notice there are computers in Bierce Writing Commons.  Can I use them for homework?

The computers in Bierce Writing Commons are for students to use 1/2 hour before, during, and 1/2 hour after their scheduled session with a consultant. If you need to use a computer for homework, e-mail, or searching on the web, you can use one of the desktop computers on the first floor of Bierce Library or check out a laptop at the Bierce MediaTech desk.

18.  I have to print my paper for class.  Can I do that in the Commons?

Students who are working with a consultant may print up to 5 pages for use during an appointment.