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Our Services

The writing center.

You'll find our location at 209 Baldy Hall a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for talking about writing.   

The Center for Excellence and Writing at 209 Baldy Hall offers a number of free services for any UB writer seeking to develop his or her writing ability! 

Individual Consultations

Student and Consultant engaged in writing session

The CEW is a great place to "talk out" any issue related to writing!  We offer free consultations with any UB writer.  Our graduate and undergraduate level consultants regularly talk with writers about academic essays, research projects, personal statements, application essays, theses, dissertations, and more. Consultations usually last 30-45 minutes. We will ask you what you would like to work on and proceed from there. We see writers by appointment, as walk-ins, or online! Consultants do book up fast, so writers are encouraged to make appointments to guarantee they are seen.

Ongoing Writing Support

consultant and student

In many instances, it is beneficial for writers to work on an ongoing, extended basis with the same consultant. In such cases, writers may be scheduled for weekly or biweekly standing appointments.  This service is especially beneficial for writers who are working on large projects such as theses or dissertations, who are serious about developing their writing skills, or who feel they need regular support for the various writing projects that are part of their curriculum.  International students may also find ongoing support a good way to work on their English proficiency.  If you would like to schedule a standing appointment, drop in to talk with us or email


dissertation retreat

The CEW offers workshops on a variety of research and writing topics.  Workshops may be brought to various campus groups or offered in the Center.  These workshops will be publicized on our website and across campus.  We welcome suggested topics for workshops.

Dissertation Retreat

This popular program offers graduate students working on major projects an opportunity to make significant progress.  We provide support, time, and space for dissertators across the disciplines to write intensively.  Each retreat is designed to provide the following:

  • A quiet, comfortable writing space
  • General writing strategies and advice from writing consultants
  • Help with creating and maintaining a writing schedule
  • Peer motivation and support.

Our Spring 2017 dissertation retreat is currently TBD. If you are interested in participating in a dissertation retreat, please download the application below, fill it out, and email it as an attachment to

English Conversation Corner

The CEW hosts English Conversation Corner for international students seeking to develop conversation skills in English.  Here, international students mix with native speakers for friendly conversation, exchange of cultural information, and help with idioms, pronunciation, and verbal fluency. CEW Consultant Michelle Gaskin hosts English Conversation Corner. You do not need to make an appointment and you do not need to stay the whole time.  Just drop in to say hello!

Conversation Corner Meet Times:

Monday:         9:30am - 11:00am

Wednesday:    12:30pm - 2:00pm

Friday:            9:30am - 11:00am

Writing Groups

graduate students having a discussion

Writing Groups help graduate students improve their writing by providing a supportive environment for the review of writing and research.  A representative from the CEW can meet with members of your department to help you to form an effective disciplinary writing group.  With support and instruction from the CEW, the groups navigate the writing process, provide accountability and deadlines, exchange ideas, and give and receive feedback on their projects. 

Online Consultations

How do I sign up for online consulting?
A limited number of our consultants are available for online appointments. You can see who they are by looking under the consultant names on the daily appointment schedule. When you make an appointment with one of these consultants, you will see an "Online appointment" option on the appointment form. Click on the consultant’s "Yes - meet online" option to create the online meeting. Both you and the consultant open the appointment a few minutes before it is time to meet. Then click on the red "Start or join online consultation" link to open the online meeting.

How do I join the online consultation?
Log on to, find your consultation time, and click on the box indicating your scheduled online appointment. Once you click your appointment, a new window will open and it will show detail about your appointment. Within the box that says “Meet online” you will see in red font “Start or join online consultation.” Click this link. The online consultation will open.

How do I attach a paper for the online appointment?
You can attach a paper into the document-sharing area either prior to or during the online meeting. Attaching a paper is easy. Once you fill out your appointment form, a new window will open and it will say “Success!” at the top of the page. Below that, it will confirm the date of your appointment. Near the bottom of the window, the form says “If you would like to attach a file to this appointment, click here.” Click the link in order to upload your attachment(s), then click the button that says “Choose file.” Navigate to the correct document from the saved location on your computer, then fill in the document’s name so that it is easily identifiable. Lastly, click “Upload file.” If you would like to upload another file, simply repeat the steps mentioned above, otherwise, click “Close window.”

How do I interact with my consultant during an online appointment?
We encourage writers to use the video chat function in order to have the full conversational experience. After opening the online consultation window, activate audio/video settings.  Make sure to select your camera and microphone and click on “Share selected devices” when the configuration window pops up.

You and the consultant can chat and comment on the text in the document-sharing area. You can both choose to share "real time chat updates" with each other—you will each see each other’s text as you type. After your online meeting, you can reenter the online session to "play back" from the beginning of the session to see text as it was entered through the session.

What are the advantages of online consulting?

Online consulting makes it easy to receive a writing consultation from any location without having to physically visit the Center for Excellence in Writing on UB’s North Campus. With the help of online consultation tools such as audio, video, chat, and whiteboard, you will receive the same quality, effective review and thoughtful discussion about your piece in real-time, just as you would as if you were to visit the CEW.

Our consultants are trained to engage writers in a variety of ways, using technology not only as a tool, but as an enhancement. Just like a face-to-face consultation, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions pertaining to your work as well as receive thoughtful feedback and suggestions from our consultants.

Precise Note-taking
The online consultation has various recording devices to help you track and document revisions, edits, and brainstorms during your consultation.

Just like face-to-face consultations, online consultations work best when the writer is focused and involved. By utilizing the online tools, you will be engaged in reading, writing, speaking, and listening through the webtools offered. The online features are helpful devices, especially for English Language Learner students who are looking to practice various forms of communicating in English.

What are some of the features of online consulting?
Text Chat

Similar to texting or instant messaging, this chat box on the right side of the screen will enable you to send messages back and forth with your consultant via keyboard.

This tool allows you to import, export, paste, or type on the document in which you are working.

This resource allows you to view the changes made to your document from the beginning to the end of your session.

Drawing Function
This feature is wonderful for visual learners and may be a great asset during a brainstorming session. Here you can share your ideas through drawing pictures or explaining ideas outside of traditional words.

Audio and Video
You will feel as if you are right next to your consultant if you choose to incorporate audio and video. You will be able to work remotely yet face-to-face with these functions, allowing you to have a smooth flow of conversation.

Your chats and documents will be saved and you will have the opportunity to refer back to your online consultation when writing, revising, or editing your work.