The Learning Centre aims to help students develop the academic skills and techniques they will find helpful for university education, and to become independent learners and successful students. UNSW students enrolled in an award program can make an appointment at the Centre to receive individual assistance with any study-related concern.
An individual consultation allows you to seek help with any specific problems or issues you may have with your studies. Peer Writing Assistants (PWAs) and students work together to discuss and explore useful strategies that students can apply to their studies.
In an initial consultation, you can discuss your concerns with a PWA. They might read a sample of your written work, and then discuss ways to improve your writing with you. They may then either refer you to other Learning Centre programs, or arrange a further consultation.
PWAs can't necessarily read and comment on entire assignments; however, they will try and cover as much as possible within a 50-minute time frame.
Individual consultations are by appointment via our Consultation Booking System (your zPass is required).
Each consultation is 50 minutes long. Demand is high, so make your appointment well in advance, rather than a day or so before an assignment is due.
During Semesters 1 and 2, The Learning Centre consultation hours are:
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 contact The Learning Centre Director Dr. Sue Starfield.
Students may book consultations for the current week and one week in advance through our web-based Consultation Booking System. Further appointments are made after these consultations if the Peer Writing Assistant recommends it.
Due to the high demand for Peer Writing consultations, all students will be limited to ONE appointment per week and FIVE consultations per semester.
Consultation bookings are not transferable. Appointments made under a particular student ID must be attended by that student ONLY.
There is a high demand for consultations, so if you can't come, please cancel the day before. Missing your appointment without canceling in advance means a limitation on any further bookings.
If you need to cancel an appointment, please cancel online via the Consultation Booking System or telephone us on 9385 2060 (messages can be left after hours).
To get the most out of a consultation, try to be at least working on your first or second draft. Writing Assistants need to see your work. Bringing in a draft (rather than finished work) means we can help you much more (drafts are much easier to revise than finished pieces).
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.
Please also bring along:
As a rule, bring whatever might help us (and you) to better understand your task or problem.
After a consultation, think about what you discussed:
"I always have trouble when it comes to writing essays. Through consultations, I get tips on how to make my writing more organised, coherent and make more sense to the reader."
"Well, for my first assignment I received a bare PASS—disappointing. I then booked 2 individual consultations to help with essay writing and to get feedback on ways to improve. I also accessed online resources on referencing and essay writing. For my second assignment I achieved 37/40—amazing—and I feel the LC has given me confidence to write/ argue and structure an incredibly great essay. THANK YOU LEARNING CENTRE."
"I love you guys! Thank you to [the PWA] who helped me so much. I got a distinction for my essay with her help, my last essay that I did on my own I got a pass. Such an fantastic resource, I have been telling my friends and I will be coming in next semester for sure."
"I really gain lots of knowledge
and info about academic writing and gain confidence as well.
Much appreciated all the staff are so nice and very patient and helpful. it means lots to me!"
"What an excellent service, the resources, the one-on-one help, the feedack - I feel really set up to write well. Before I came to the LC my first mark was a PASS, after my sessions I received a High Distinction for my next essay—THANKYOU"
"I'm very grateful for this service and the dedicated staff that assist you to achieve your best. It is encouraging to see the progress that I don't believe would have happened without the help of this vital service."
(Comments from The Learning Centre 2009 Evaluation Survey)