About Individual Consultations

About Individual Consultations

When are consultations held?

During Semesters 1 and 2, The Learning Centre consultation hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday 10am - 6pm
  • Friday 10am - 1pm

Each consultation is 50 minutes long. Demand is high, so make your appointment well in advance.

Consultations can be arranged outside these hours on request. If you are a part-time student or can only attend appointments outside office hours, please email Learning Centre Director A/Prof Sue Starfield (s.starfield@unsw.edu.au).

What happens in an individual consultation?

You can seek help with any specific study-related issue. You will work with a Peer Writing Assistants (PWAs) to explore useful strategies that you can apply to your studies. In an initial consultation a PWA might read a sample of your written work, and then discuss ways to improve it with you. They may then either refer you to other Learning Centre programs, or suggest a further consultation.

Peer Writing Assistants can't necessarily read and comment on entire assignments, but they will try and cover as much as possible in a 50-minute time frame.

 

Who are Peer Writing Assistants and what do they do?

For more information about Peer Writing Assistants, visit The Learning Centre website.

 

How many consultations can I attend each semester?

  • Due to the high demand for consultations, all students will be limited to 1 appointment per week and 5 consultations per semester.
  • Students may book Learning Centre consultations for the current week and one week in advance. Further appointments are made after these consultations if the PWA recommends it.
  • Consultation bookings are NOT transferable. Appointments made under a particular student ID must be attended by that student ONLY.

Preparing for your consultation

What should you bring?

Because PWAs need to see your work, to get the most out of a consultation, try to be working on your first draft. Drafts are easier to revise than finished assignments, so bringing a draft means we can help you much more.

Bring:

  • a copy of the assignment question and (if possible) your course outline
  • a printed draft of your work—2 pages is enough to start. Leave a wide margin on the left-hand side of the page (for our comments and your own ideas). Double-space your work and number the pages.
  • your student ID card
  • whatever might help the PWA (and you) to better understand your task or problem.

Please Note: You must bring a printed copy of your assignment with you. We are unable to work on-screen, or to print out student assignments.

After a consultation, think about what you discussed:

  • What specific actions were suggested?
  • How can you incorporate these suggestions into your writing?
  • What three meaningful steps can you take to follow the advice your received?
  • What can you do to prepare for the next consultation (if needed)?

What we can and can't help with

At The Learning Centre, we:

    • offer constructive and helpful learning support.
    • work with you to improve your written work, presentations skills and academic communication.
    • encourage you to develop the skills to become an independent learner.
    • help you clarify the purpose and structure of an assignment.
    • discuss strengths and weaknesses in a draft.
    • assist you to organise and improve your work using a variety of strategies.
    • help you develop the skills to work independently.

We don't:

    • offer quick fixes. Instead we provide long-term strategies so that you can develop your skills and work independently.
    • correct or check grammar and spelling, or offer a proof-reading or editing service. It is not our role to 'proof-read' or correct errors in your assignment. It's important to develop your own editing strategies.
    • estimate your final grading. The grade your assignment receives depends on the judgement of your lecturer or tutor. We can only tell you where we think you can improve your draft in terms of academic writing.
    • offer subject tutoring.
    • write your paper for you or supply content for your assignment. We can't tell you what to say, we can only help you improve the way you say it. While we can sometimes act as 'sounding board's for your ideas, content problems require the specialised disciplinary knowledge of a lecturer or tutor.
    • 'fix up' assignments on the day they are due. Revising work takes time, and you won't have time to do this on the day your assignment is due. If you think you need help, then plan ahead.
    • help with job applications or résumés. The Learning Centre works with academic writing only. For assistance, please see Careers and Employment.
    • help with personal correspondence or applications. The Learning Centre works with academic writing only. Ask a helpful friend for some feedback and advice.
    • advise on IELTS tests (although there are books available from our resource library).
    • offer you individual sessions on take-home exams. They should be your work alone, so we can't offer assistance, as it wouldn't be fair to other students.
    • intimidate or embarrass you.