We offer different types of appointments depending on what you are looking for. All appointments are free for Queen’s University students. Information about how to prepare for your appointment, appointment limits, and our cancellation policies can be found in the tabs below.
To book an appointment with a Professional Learning Strategist, a Professional Writing Consultant, or a Peer Writing Assistant, please go to use our online booking system. FAQ about this online system can be found in the FAQ tab.
To book an appointment with the ESL Coordinator, please email Donna Katinas (email@example.com). Information about ESL appointments can be found in the tab below or on the International/ESL Student page.
What is professional learning strategies advising?
Want to stay on top of your academic game?
Behind in your reading?
Trouble writing exams?
Want better marks?
Meeting with a Learning Strategies Advisor can help you get on track, or improve your performance and confidence. We welcome any student, regardless of your year, program, standing or nature of academic challenge. Our team of Learning Strategies Advisors can help by:
- Coaching you in different study skills and techniques for learning
- Encouraging you as you experiment with new approaches
- Guiding you through the University regulations
- Connecting you with other learning resources
Appointments are about 50 minutes long. All advising appointments are confidential, and no information will be shared unless the student gives specific permission to do so. Referrals are not required.
To book an appointment
For free individual Professional Advising, students can book an appointment at any time using our online booking system.
If you have questions about the online booking system, please see our frequently asked questions (under the FAQ tab). You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.) Appointments are available Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm.
Wait time for an advising appointment may be 1-3 weeks, or longer during mid-term and final exams.
In order 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.
How to prepare for an advising appointment
Time is most effectively used if the student identifies a problem area to discuss. Faculty, staff or TAs may help to clarify the concern.
Here are two ways you can prepare for an advising appointment:
- complete the Study Skills Habits Questionnaire
- ask yourself this series of questions to prepare for your first advising appointment
Professional Writing Consultations
Students of all faculties, writing proficiencies, and levels of academic achievement 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
- working with an outline or preliminary draft
- refining a thesis statement
- improving grammar and style
- handling writer’s block
We encourage you to use our online booking system to book an appointment with a Writing Consultant (please note that we do not allow students to book telephone appointments via the online system – see below for more information). If you have questions about the online booking system, please see the questions and responses in the FAQ tab. You may also email email@example.com, 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).
If possible, book early!
- either 25- or 50-minutes long, depending on your writing issue and subject to availability.
- available to anyone enrolled in a program of study at Queen’s.
Please click here for additional information about writing appointments.
The Writing Centre also offers telephone 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 telephone 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, resumes, 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, printedhard 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 50- or 25-minutes long, depending on the particular writing issue, subject to availability. First year students may also use the 20-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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
We require at least 12 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 12 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 Learning 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.
What is a Peer Writing Assistant?
The Writing Centre’s Peer Writing Assistants (PWAs) are upper-year and graduate student volunteers who are committed to helping other students become better writers. They provide a vital component of our program, extending the service the Centre offers to students in developing 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. and Saturday mornings from 11:00-1:00, from mid-September to the end of November and from mid-January to the end of March.
How do I book an appointment?
To book your appointment: Click on an open (WHITE) appointment time to open the Reservation window. Select a date, timeslot, and consultant. NOTE: 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.
- 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
We look forward to seeing you here!
Here’s how to arrange a one-to-one consultation with the ESL Program Coordinator:
At SASS, we want ESL and international students to be able to communicate fluently and confidently while studying at Queen’s University. Our ESL 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, ESL resources, and access to computer software—Inspiration 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 ESL Program Coordinator, Donna Katinas. Students can email her directly at email@example.com and she will set up a convenient time to meet and talk about concerns and issues students may have related to language and academic communication skills.
Please note: ESL students who want help with writing assignments can book writing consultations in our core writing program.
For more information, please visit the ESL Support Page.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make an appointment?
- Log into the SASS appointment booking system.
- If you have not used one of our 1:1 appointment programs before, you must register before you are able to make an appointment.
- 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 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.
How do I cancel an appointment?
- Ensure that you are cancelling 12 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 check box labeled “Cancel this Appointment.”
- Click the “modify” button. Your appointment is now cancelled. You may also call the front desk 12 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 12 hours in advance of the appointment). Failing to provide 12 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 12 hours’ notice and do not show up for the appointment) are not entitled to further appointments until the fine has been paid.