1:1 Appointments

Students may book appointments for help with learning and studying, writing, and English language support. All appointments are confidential and free for Queen’s University students. Please see the tabs below for information about how to prepare for your appointment, appointment limits, and our cancellation policies.

To book an appointment with a professional learning strategist, a professional writing consultant, the ESL Program Coordinator, or a peer writing assistant, please use our online booking system. (Click here for frequently asked questions about the system.)

Learning strategies advisingWriting consultationsOnline appointmentsPeer writing appointmentsEAL consultationsBooking a 1:1 appointmentFAQs about WCOnline

Learning strategies advising

For graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Want to stay on top of your academic game?
  • Behind in your readings?
  • Feeling disorganized or unmotivated?
  • Trouble writing exams?

two people sitting at a table for an appointment

Meeting with a learning strategies advisor can help you improve your performance and confidence. We welcome all Queen’s students, regardless of year, program, or academic standing. Our team of learning strategies advisors can help by coaching and encouraging you in different strategies, skills, and mindsets for learning.

Appointments are about 50 minutes long, and are free and confidential. No information will be shared unless the student gives specific permission to do so. Referrals are not required.

Before your first appointment, consider…

  • For you to feel more satisfied with your school performance or experience, what would need to change? Are there academic skills to improve? Personal habits to modify? Attitudes to re-evaluate?
  • What went well last term or year?
  • What academic (or personal) habits or skills held you back from being your best?
  • Have you run into these issues before? What helped?
  • Is there feedback from your profs that you need to address?

At your first appointment, you are encouraged to bring…

  • a completed Study Skills and Habits Questionnaire
  • relevant materials, e.g., a text for help with reading, or class timetable for help designing a weekly homework or research schedule, or notes to practice summarizing methods
  • an experimental frame of mind, as finding a better approach involves trying new ideas or methods

Wait time for a learning strategies advising appointment may be 1-3 weeks, or longer during midterm and final exams.

To maximize your opportunity to meet with a learning strategies advisor and allow you time to practice new strategies, students are welcome to book up to one appointment per week and two per month with the same advisor. In exceptional circumstances, the advisor may adjust this policy.

Writing consultations

A writing consultant and a student pour over an essay draft

Undergraduate and graduate students of all faculties, writing proficiencies, and levels of academic achievement at Queen’s University use the Writing Centre’s popular one-to-one consultation service. These free, confidential appointments are specific to individual student needs, but commonly include topics such as

  • understanding an assignment
  • brainstorming ideas
  • developing an argument or thesis statement
  • organizing main points
  • revising a draft
  • improving grammar and style
  • integrating research

Please use our online booking system to book a 25- or 50-minute appointment with a writing consultant (click here to book an online appointment).  If you have questions about the online booking system, please see our FAQ tab.

If possible, book early–our appointments are popular!

Please click here for important information about writing appointment policies.

The Writing Centre also offers online appointments to students who are studying at a distance from campus and students who have disabilities requiring accommodation (documentation required for accommodation). Requests from other students in special circumstances will be taken into consideration. Find out more about online appointments here.

Having trouble getting an appointment? If you are a first- or second-year student seeking help with an assignment, you can sign up for an evening appointment with a Peer Writing Assistant (see Peer writing appointment tab). 

Frequently asked questions about writing consultations

How far in advance should I book my appointment?

Book appointments early–if possible, well before your assignment is due. We recommend that you book an appointment as soon as you know your assignment’s deadline. Please note that you may only have one appointment per week; students who would like a second appointment in a given week can make that request and will be contacted about a second appointment only after those on the waiting list have been accommodated.

How do appointments work?

You will have a private appointment with one of our trained staff, who will ask you questions about your assignment and offer suggestions specific to your concerns. The session may involve working through an entire draft or only selected parts of it. Our consultants work with students at any stage of the writing process – understanding the assignment, brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and revising. Here are some suggestions for making the most of your appointment:

  • Consider in advance how you would like us to help you. Are there specific parts of a draft, or specific skills, you want to focus on? Be realistic about what you can accomplish.
  • Be prepared to collaborate. Rather than “fixing” your paper for you, our consultants help you develop your skills within the context of working through your assignment. Come prepared with questions, ideas, and your learning goals.

When should I book a 50-minute appointment? When should I book a 25-minute appointment?

Appointments of any length are subject to availability, but, generally speaking, 50-minute appointments are more suitable for longer papers and more complex issues (generating an argument, overall coherence, organizing the paper, etc.), while 25-minute appointments are more suitable for short questions, clarifying your purpose, grammar issues, short brainstorming sessions, and follow-up sessions. Note career document appointments (cover letters, personal statements, professional school applications, etc.) can only be booked for 25-minute sessions, no exceptions.

What kinds of writing can you help me with?

We work with all kinds of academic writing – labs, essays, dissertations, reports, and more. You are also entitled to one session per academic year to work on a cover letter, personal statement, or other application document. Please note that consultants will not work with take-home exams, including graduate comprehensive exams, no exceptions.

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • The assignment instructions. A course syllabus can also be helpful.
  • A double-spaced, printed hard copy of your draft, if you have one (it’s okay if you do not yet have a draft). Our consultants do not work on laptops.
  • Questions you would like to ask the consultant or issues you would like addressed during the session.

Will you proofread my essay?

We cannot proofread for you. That would make us better editors, but it would not help you become a better writer. We can, however, help you become a better proofreader of your own writing.

How many appointments can I have?

Anyone registered at Queen’s is entitled to 6 appointments per academic year (please note that there is a limit of one appointment per week, per student). Appointments may be 25- or 50-minutes long, depending on the particular writing issue, subject to availability.  First-year students may also use the 25-minute drop-in sessions offered by our Peer Writing Assistants (these appointments will not count towards your 6 appointment limit). Appeals for additional sessions can be addressed to the Director, Susan Korba (korbas@queensu.ca).

What if I need to cancel an appointment?

We require at least 6 hours’ notice of cancellation; many students are on our wait list and we can fill your place if we have enough time. Students who do not give us at least 6 hours’ notice of a cancellation may not be entitled to further sessions and will have a $25 charge placed on their Queen’s account. See our Writing Centre Policies page for more information.

When are appointments available?

During the Fall and Winter terms, appointments are available throughout the day, some evenings, and some Saturday mornings (please note that fewer appointments are offered during the first few weeks of the Fall term, during Study Weeks and Reading Week, and throughout the Spring and Summer terms). Evening appointments are also available with Peer Writing Assistants most evenings during the week.

Do only “struggling” writers use the consultation service?

No. Even accomplished writers find writing difficult at times. At the Writing Centre, we see writers of every level of proficiency. Everyone can benefit from having someone read through a draft and offer suggestions for improvement. As Ernest Hemingway said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

For more important information, please review the Writing Centre Policies page.

How to book an online consultation

Please use our online booking system to book an online appointment with a writing consultant or learning strategist. If you have questions about the online booking system, please see our FAQ tab.

When you book an appointment, please indicate whether you would like to meet in person or online by selecting a choice from the drop-down menu on the booking form.

If possible, book early–our appointments are popular!

How to prepare for an online consultation

To begin your online session, click on your appointment slot and enter the link “Start or Join Online Consultation.” When you click on that link, you will be redirected to the virtual space that includes a shared whiteboard, a text chat box, and video chat windows. You have access to the virtual space as soon as you make the appointment.

We encourage you to go in before your appointment time to ensure that the connections and functions are all working properly for you. Online consultations are best facilitated through a Chrome browser.

If you have any technical problem, please let us know via email.

Peer writing appointments

If you are a first- or second-year student and would like some writing assistance, you might like an appointment with a Peer Writing Assistant.

What is a Peer Writing Assistant?

SASs’s Peer Writing Assistants (PWAs) are upper-year and graduate student volunteers who are committed to helping other students develop their writing skills and confidence.

What do PWAs do?

PWAs are trained to work on-on-one with students taking first- and second-year courses; they help with clarifying the terms of the assignment, brainstorming, pre-writing and structuring, providing feedback, and directing students to the resources they need to produce good papers. For many students, this service makes a significant difference in their academic performance and confidence.

Sessions are 25 minutes long and are based on a collaboration between the PWA and the student seeking assistance–i.e., PWAs do not proofread or make writing decisions for the students they help. Instead, they help students develop their own skills in writing, editing, and critical thinking, in the context of working on a particular assignment.

When are PWA appointments available?

PWA sessions take place Monday-Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. from mid-September to the end of November and from mid-January to the end of March. Please book early; these appointments are popular.

If you are booking with a PWA, please note:

  • students may sign up for only one appointment per evening and a maximum of two appointments per week
  • these appointments are for first- and second-year course assignments only
  • please bring your work in hard copy; our PWAs do not work on laptops
  • PWAs will not help with take-home exams

EAL consultations

ESL Poster on Door

At SASS, we want English as an Additional Language (EAL) and international students to be able to communicate fluently and confidently while studying at Queen’s University. Our EAL programs feature one-to-one personalized consultations focusing on writing, speaking, listening, and reading skills. For example, multilingual students can book one of the popular P&P consultations (Pronunciation and Presentation Skills) to get feedback on pronunciation issues and/or practice for an upcoming oral presentation. We also offer workshops, EAL resources, and access to computer softwareInspiration and Kurzweil 3000—through the Academic Skills Lab so that students can work independently on writing and reading skills, which can improve overall fluency.

Book an introductory consultation

Multilingual students who would like language skills support should first book an introductory consultation with the EAL Program Coordinator.

Request an introductory appointment

Please note: EAL students who want help with writing assignments can book writing consultations in our core writing program.

For more information, please visit the EAL Support Page.

How do I book an appointment?

Students can book an appointment at any time using our online booking system. You must register before you can make an appointment. Once in WCOnline

  • Select a date, timeslot, and a consultant. Available appointment timeslots are WHITE. (RED indicates a timeslot is already taken, and BLACK indicates that appointments are not available during that time. A GREY timeslot indicates an appointment that has already occurred.)
  • All appointments begin on the hour or on the half-hour. For example, if you want to sign up for a 25-minute appointment at 10 a.m., reserve the time between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Click on an open (white) appointment time to open the Reservation Window.
  • When the Reservation Window opens, you must complete the required information in order to continue. We ask this information to ensure you receive the best possible consultation. This information is considered private and is accessible only to relevant SASS staff.
  • After completing the form in the Reservation Window, click “Save” to finish. Your appointment will now appear on the schedule in red, and you will receive a reminder email with the date and time.

We look forward to seeing you here! If you have any questions, you can email academic.success@queensu.ca, call 613-533-6315 or visit the Student Academic Success Services reception desk on the main floor of Stauffer Library between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (note that our front desk is usually closed for lunch from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m).

Frequently asked questions about WCOnline

How do I cancel an appointment?

If you must cancel your appointment, here’s what you should do
  • Ensure that you are cancelling 6 hours in advance of the appointment, in accordance with our cancellation policy (this policy does not apply to peer writing appointments).
  • Log into the SASS appointment booking system.
  • Locate your appointment on the schedule.
  • Select your appointment to open the reservation window.
  • In the reservation window, scroll to the bottom and locate the checkbox labelled “Cancel this Appointment.”
  • Click the “modify” button. Your appointment is now cancelled. You may also call the front desk 6 hours in advance to cancel an appointment (leave a Voicemail message if your call is not answered; phone messages are date and time-stamped, so you will not be charged if you have called 6 hours in advance of the appointment). Failing to provide 6 hours’ notice when cancelling appointments will result in a $25 fine levied against your Queen’s account (this policy does not apply to peer writing appointments). Note that students who “no-show” (fail to cancel appointments with 6 hours’ notice and do not show up for the appointment) are not entitled to further appointments until the fine has been paid.

I want to make my first appointment but I can’t log in.

If you are making an appointment for the first time, you have to register with the system before it allows you to make an actual appointment. Please register using the link to the SASS appointment booking system. After completing the registration form, you will be ready to make appointments. You will not need to register again.

How do I navigate in WCOnline?

The main page of WCOnline is the Main Schedule, and you will automatically be brought to it when you log in. If you navigate away from the Main Schedule, you can select “View Schedule” from the main menu drop-down (hover over your name in the upper left-hand corner). When using WCOnline, it is important to use the menu and pop-up windows. Using the “back” option in your browser does not always help. It can sometimes cause the browser to require a manual refresh (the browser will prompt you to do so if this occurs). WCOnline uses pop-up windows. If your computer uses a pop-up blocker, please allowWCOnline to use pop-ups. You will not be able to make appointments without them. Sometimes the pop-up windows can “hide” behind the main window, so if a pop-up window is not showing and you have not disabled pop-ups, try minimizing the main window—the pop-up is probably behind it.
My account won’t let me reserve appointments.
If you have missed an appointment that you did not cancel with sufficient notice, and you have not yet paid the fine, your account has been disabled and you will not be able to make online appointments. OR you have already met the appointment limit for the day, week or academic year. Please contact the front desk at 613-533-6315 if you want to speak to the Director about securing additional appointments.

The reservation window isn’t appearing.

The reservation window is a pop-up. Be sure you have pop-up windows enabled for WCOnline. On a rare occasion, it may open behind your current window. In that case, simply minimize the browser and it should be open behind it.

I want to change my password.

You can change your password through the main menu. On a laptop or computer, hover over “Welcome” with the cursor on the upper left portion of the screen, and a drop-down menu will appear. On a smartphone or tablet, you will need to tap or touch the “Welcome” message. Select “Update Profile and Password” and follow the instructions on that page. Please note that changing your password is only possible if you have filled out all the required information! WCOnline will not save your password if you do not have all required responses (fields marked with * are required).

I forgot my password.

If you don’t remember your password, all you have to do is reset it from the login page. Simply click the prompt towards the bottom of the page and a new password will be emailed to your account. The new password will be case sensitive, so it’s best to copy and paste the new password into the system rather than trying to retype it. Once you are back in the system, follow the steps above for “I want to change my password.”

I need a text-only version.

You can access a text-only version of our online scheduling service from the login page. Below the login information and password reset link, there is a link to the text-only scheduler. Simply click that link, and continue into the WCOnline scheduler.