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About Us

University Writing Commons

At the RIT Writing Commons and Online Writing Lab, students, faculty and staff work with professional and peer writing consultants on their development as writers. The RIT Writing Commons is a free service to the RIT community, and the OWL offers support for online users through digital reference materials and networked consultation.

Our Mission

  • Assist students in becoming confident, inventive and dynamic writers.
  • Foster productive, goal-oriented conversations about writing projects at any stage of the composing process, from invention to final draft, and the rhetorical moves of academic and professional writing.
  • Create an intellectual space for students and faculty to explore university literacy practices with peer and professional writing consultants.
  • Cultivate an approach to writing that sees language difference as an opportunity for making and presenting meaning, not as an obstacle to understanding.
  • Collaborate with any faculty member, staff, or student to design and conduct writing-related research.

Our People

The Writing Commons is a vibrant community of professional and peer writing consultants.

Our Activities

1-on-1 Consultations with Peer and Professional Writing Consultants

We offer Walk-in, One-time, & Weekly Appointments for students in any class.

Classroom-Based Support

Writing Fellows work with faculty teaching Writing Intensive courses to design relevant writing support for students.

Group Sessions

The Writing Commons has been designed to provide a space for small group, interactive Writing Workshops & Peer Mentoring meetings. Large group Faculty Development Meetings and a Writing Consultation Class also meet in the Writing Commons.

Online Writing Commons

RIT’s OWL provides writing consultation for students enrolled in online courses. In the future we hope to offer such consultations to students at our global locations. OWL users can also collaborate on writing projects using digital technologies offering synchronous or asynchronous capabilities.

Our Location & Hours

The Writing Commons is located on the first floor of the Wallace Center. Click here for hour full schedule. 

Our Policies

The policies below are designed so that all RIT students have opportunities to work with a writing consultant.

  • Please schedule your appointment in advance with WCOnline. Appointments are available for 30 or 60-minute blocks.
  • You are limited to 120 minutes (two hours) per week; no more than 60 minutes (1 hour) on a particular day.
  • Walk-in visits are allowed but scheduled appointments are first priority.
  • Walk-in visitors may need to wait or schedule an appointment for a later time.
  • Please, don’t be late! If you are more than 10 minutes late, your appointment will be given to someone else.
  • If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so in advance through WCOnline. (Directions here.) Failure to cancel will result in a warning (1st time) and/or loss of writing commons privileges (3rd time).

For a more detailed description of our policies, see below.

Walk-in Policy: Students are welcome to visit the Commons during open hours to schedule an appointment or meet with an available consultant. Please note that most days, the Commons is fully booked with scheduled appointments; therefore, students are encouraged to schedule in advance. If a consultant is not working with a student with a scheduled appointment, walk-ins will be on a first come, first served basis.

Appointments per week: Appointments are offered in 30 and 60-minute blocks. To accommodate demand, students are allowed up to 60 minutes, or a 1-hour appointment per day, and 120 minutes, or two 1-hour appointments per week. This includes scheduled or walk-in appointments. To make the most of your experience, reserve appointments several days in advance as the schedules fills with appointments quickly.

Late policy: When you make an appointment, that block of time is yours for work with a consultation. Out of courtesy for our consultants and other students, please arrive on time for any appointment you make. If you are more than 10 minutes late to your appointment, that meeting time will be reassigned to a student waiting for a walk-in session.

Cancellations: We ask that you respect the high demand for appointments and cancel any reserved appointments you’re not able to attend 24 hours in advance. To cancel your appointment online, log in to WCOnline, select your appointment, and click “Cancel This Appointment.”

Missed appointments: Students who miss three appointments in a semester without advance notice will no longer be able to make an appointment online for the rest of that term. Three “missed” appointments on an account within a semester will prompt our online scheduling system to disable your account. Students blocked from the online scheduling system are still welcome to come to the Commons on a walk-in basis only. 

Students that fail to adhere to the policies listed below will receive an initial warning from the Writing Commons staff. Repeated violations will result in the suspension of privileges and access to the Writing Common’s services for the remainder of the semester.