Introduction to the MSU Writing Center

Making Appointments with the MSU Writing Center

Click on the blue “Schedule a Session” button in the upper-left corner of this page or navigate to in your browser. This will take you to our online scheduling system, WCOnline.

If this is your first time using the MSU Writing Center, you’ll need to register by clicking on the “Register for an account” link above the log in fields on the log in page of our online scheduler. Please use an email address that you regularly check. We won’t share your address, but we will use this address to remind you of your appointments and share occasional important Writing Center communications.

All questions marked with a red asterisk are required and your password must be 10 characters long.

Once you’ve registered, you can log in using your email address and password. You will automatically be directed to our online appointments schedule, or you may choose the face-to-face or student computers schedule from the menu below the log in fields. You will also have the choice to change schedules once you’ve logged in by choosing the desired schedule from the drop down menu located in the center of the top of the page.

The schedule will show seven days at a time, but you can navigate to any date in the semester by using the “PREVIOUS WEEK”, “CURRENT WEEK”, or “NEXT WEEK” menu at the top of the page or by clicking on the calendar icon next to these menu items.

The tutors' initials will be listed vertically along the left side of the schedule. If you’d like to learn more about our tutors, please visit our tutor page.

To find an available appointment, look for white appointment slots on the page. White appointment slots indicate that the appointment time is available, dark blue indicates that the tutor isn’t scheduled during that time, light blue are appointments that have already been claimed, and your own appointments will show up as yellow.

Clicking on a white appointment slot will open a pop-up window in which you can create a new appointment. Please fill in all fields marked with a red asterisk. You may attach a file to share with your tutor, but they will not view this file prior to your appointment time. If you are scheduling an appointment for a group, please note the information about group appointments at the top of this window. For more information about group appointments, please see the instructions for group meeting using Microsoft Teams below.

Once you’ve hit the “CREATE APPOINTMENT” button at the bottom of the page you should be able to see the appointment in yellow on the calendar. You may click on the appointment at any time to edit or cancel. If you’ve scheduled a face-to-face appointment, please come to the Writing Center in Wilson Hall, 1-114 at the time of your appointment. If you’ve scheduled an online appointment, navigate back to your appointment in our scheduling system, click to open it, and click on “START OR JOIN ONLNIE CONSULTATION” to open the pop-up window in which your online appointment will take place. For more information about online appointments, please see the video tutorial and instructions for making and joining online appointments below.

If you're still having difficulty making an appointment in our scheduling system, please email us at [email protected], call us at (406) 994-5315, or stop by our Wilson Hall, 1-114 location.


Group Appointments in Microsoft Teams: Instructions for Writers

To reduce the risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic the MSU writing center is currently conducticting online group appointments using Microsoft Teams, rather than meeting face-to-face.

To make a group appointment, one of the members of your group will need to 1) make an account (if you don’t already have one) in the Writing Center’s scheduling system, WCOnline, 2) log in to the system, 3) find and choose an available appointment time that works for you and your group, and 4) reserve it by clicking on the white box and filling in the details. It will be important to include the first and last names of all group members when prompted. This will allow us to give everyone access to the online appointment space.

1) Make an account with WCOnline (if you already have an account, you can skip this step):

  • Go to the MSU Writing Center’s homepage: and click on “Schedule a Session.” This will land you on our login page.
  • Click on “Register for an account,” fill in the blanks, and click “Complete Registration.” Now you’re ready to log in.

2 )Log in:

To find the login page, visit the Writing Center’s homepage: and click on “Schedule a Session.” Log in with your email and password. Please note that our WCOnline system is not linked to any other sites in the MSU system.

3) Find and select an available appointment:

  • Once you’re logged in, you will see the scheduling grid. (Note: we have multiple schedules on this site. The default schedule is our “Fall 2020 Online” schedule—that’s the one you want to use.) All of our sessions are one hour, and white boxes indicate available sessions. The initials listed in the left-hand column indicate the tutor you will be working with. All of our tutors are available for group sessions. If you’d like to learn more about the individual tutors, you can visit the Tutors page of our website.
  • Find an available one-hour session at a day/time that will work for everyone in your group, and click on that white block.

4) Reserve the appointment:

  • Fill in the required fields, making sure to include the first and last names of all group members who will be participating in the appointment. You may, but do not need to, attach a file at this time. You will have another chance to share files once you are in the session with the tutor.
  • Click "Create Appointment." You should receive a confirmation email within a few minutes. Please forward that email to all your group-mates so that they will know how to join the session at the scheduled time. If you do not receive this confirmation, please email us at [email protected].

The person who schedules the appointment will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the group session in Teams. We request that the recipient forward this information to their group-mates. The person who schedules the appointment can also access this same information by logging back in to WCOnline and opening appointment. Here's what that will look like:

picture of message about group appointments

Please note that the code is unique to the tutor. So, your code will be different from the one in the example above.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for joining the session:

1) Each member of your group will need to log in to Teams through MSU portal using their MSU credentials. Go to and choose one of the following two buttons on the right: "Microsoft Teams Web Login" or "Microsoft Teams Download." Either option will work; the latter will ask you to download the Teams app.

For more help with Microsoft Teams, please visit UIT's How-To site for Teams: You'll find custom videos there, explaining most of Teams' basic functions and features.

2) Once logged in, each person should click on "Join or create Team." If that option isn't visible, click on the Teams icon on the left-hand side: Microsoft Teams icon image . The "join or create Team" button will be in the top-right corner of the window.

3) On the next screen, select "join a Team with a code" and enter the code from the confirmation email. The code will give you access to your tutor's meeting space for group sessions. The Team/meeting space will be titled "WC Group Session with tutor's first name."

4) Once you've joined the Team, you'll see a screen that looks something like this:

Image of group writing sessions in Teams

You are now in the General "channel" for your tutor's group appointment space.

5) Read the announcement from your tutor and locate your private channel to the left. The orange arrow in the above image is pointing to an example of a private channel. The title of the channel will list the date and your group leader's name. Click on your channel title to enter the gorup session.

Note: It will take a few moments for the tutor to add each of you to the private channel. So, don't worry if you don't see the channel right away!


Once you are in your private channel, you're ready to start the session. You will have three primary ways to communicate with your grou and your tutor: Posts, Files, and Meet.


At the bottom of the page, you'll see a chat box that looks like this:

 image of Teams start a conversation box

Type something to let your tutor and group-mates know that you're there, then click the arrow in the lower-right corner to post your message.

You will be able to communicate with your group throughout the session using these "Posts."


If your group is collaboratively writing one document, have one of the team members go to the "Files" tab at the top of the page.

Once you're in the "Files" tab, you'll see these options:

image of Teams channel menu bar

Click on "Upload" to upload your document. Once a file is uploaded, it will show up in the space below, and everyone in the group will be able to click on it, open it, and continue the conversation in the document.

If everyone in you group is working on a separate document, each of you will need to upload your own document to the "Files" or attach it to a post in the "Posts" tab. Your tutor can help your group choose the best path.

3) MEET:

Once everyone is present in the channel, the tutor will likely invite you to meet via video conference.

This will give you all a chance to tell the tutor what you’re working on, where you are in the process, and what kind of feedback would be most helpful. You will see a purple “Join” button inviting you to join the meeting.

The video conference function in Teams is similar to other video conferencing platforms. Participants will see a bar of options at the bottom of the image.

After an initial conversation, you and your group can decide whether to continue with video conference, use the “Conversation” and “Comments” functions in the document and/or “Posts” in your group’s channel. Some groups may choose to save bandwidth/distraction by keeping the audio on but having participants each turn off their video. 

If you are meeting via video with the document open, the video window will be smaller and you will only be able to see the speaker. To return to the larger view, double-click on the image.

Teams is new to many of us, so please try to be patient with yourself and others as we orient ourselves to this platform! Thanks.


Email Jess Carroll at [email protected] or the Writing Center at [email protected].

Online Tutoring

The MSU Writing Center offers synchronous online tutoring for all students. Online tutoring sessions involve document sharing and chat. Video, audio, and phone are also available. The Writing Center recommends that students use the fastest available Internet connection to prevent delays and other technical difficulties.

Students make appointments by clicking the blue "Schedule a Session" button in the upper-left corner of this page.

If this is your first time using the MSU Writing Center, you'll need to register in our online scheduling system by clicking on the "Register for an account" link above the log in fields. Once registered, you can log in, see the schedule, and make appointments.

All of our tutors are available for online tutoring at this time. Available appointment slots appear in white. When making an appointment, students will need to indicate "Yes--Meet Online."

Students who need assistance registering an account or making online appointments can call (406) 994-5315 or email [email protected]

Approximately five to ten minutes before the start of the appointment, the student should log back in to the scheduling website. Then, open their appointment and click "START OR JOIN ONLINE CONSULTATION". This will open a separate window.

The student can upload a paper into the document-sharing area by copy and pasting or importing a document. There is no need to upload a document in advance.

To import a document, the student should go to the button with the double arrow icon that is fifth in from the top right side.

The button in the far right corner shows the number of people currently logged in to the session and the color assigned to the student. Colors can be changed by clicking on this button. If there is a "2" on that button, both the tutor and the writer are there, and either can initiate a chat.

The chat section is on the right-hand side of the window. Both the writer and the tutor can also comment on the text in the document-sharing area. Any writing added will be highlighted with the student's or writer's assigned color.

At the end of the scheduled time, the tutor will send the writer notes on the session and a link to the Writing Center's Exit Survey: We always appreciate feedback!

After the appointment, the student can reenter the online session at any time. The chat session and all the highlighted additions are saved in the system.

If the student wants to export their document, they may do so by going back up to the import/export button on the right side of the tool bar.


 General Questions

Is your question not answered here? Give us a call at (406) 994-5315, send us an e-mail at [email protected], or stop by the Writing Center, and we would be happy to answer your question for you!

The Writing Center has two locations on campus. The main Writing Center location is in Wilson Hall, Room 1-114, just inside the entrance on the west side that is closest to Montana Hall and across the hallway from the Math Learning Center. Due to social distancing guidelines, all of our face-to-face appointments (masks required) are taking place in Wilson Hall, Room 1-115. We also have a satellite location on the First Floor Commons in the MSU Library, across from Brewed Awakening, however, this location is currently  closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All students who are currently enrolled at Montana State University and Gallatin College have free access to the MSU Writing Center. Writing Center sessions are not limited to those enrolled in writing classes. Writing Center tutors meet with students of all abilities, backgrounds, and fields of study and can help with any kind of writing, including group projects and multimedia projects. We offer face-to-face and online tutoring sessions to allow all MSU students, even those not on the Bozeman campus, to access our services.

MSU faculty and staff interested in working with the Writing Center are encouraged to visit our Faculty Resources page and/or contact us directly.

The Writing Center’s peer tutors can help you with a multitude of writing projects: course essays, class presentations, cover letters, personal statements, scholarship essays, artist statements, creative writing, resumes, and so much more. We can also help at any stage in your writing process: from initial brainstorming and research to the organization of your ideas and final revisions.

Currently, we're offering limited, socially distanced, masks required, face-to-face appointments in our Wilson Hall location. The majority of our appointments are held online through our online scheduler and group appointments will be held using Microsoft Teams. You will be expected to bring your writing to share with your tutor or be ready to brainstorm.

Yes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to take walk-in appointments. Please use our online appointment scheduler (WCOnline) to make an appointment with a tutor on either our face-to-face schedule or our online schedule. If you need help making an appointment using our scheduler, please call us at (406) 994-5315 or email us at [email protected].

Bring any writing you have so far, whether it’s scribbled notes, a rough draft, or a sixth draft. If you don’t have any writing yet, that’s okay. You can still bring your assignment sheet or prompt, any notes you’ve taken, and relevant course information that will help your tutor to understand the prompt and your ideas so far. Also, bring any feedback you’ve received so far.

MSU Writing Center tutors are fellow MSU students who come from a variety of academic disciplines and personal backgrounds. In other words, they are writers, too. And, each tutor brings their unique set of experiences and knowledge to a tutoring session. All Writing Center staff participate in weekly tutor development meetings--workshops, writing groups, training sessions, etc.--and pursue relevant scholarship within the field of Writing Center studies. Check out our tutor bios to learn more about our current roster of excellent tutors!

Yes! We offer online sessions with all our tutors. 

You can schedule an online appointment just as you would any other appointment; when you open the appointment scheduling window on WCOnline, you’ll see a menu bar that asks, “Meet Online?” From there, you can select the option, “Yes--Meet Online.”

When it is time to start your online consultation, click on your appointment and then click the red text that says, “Start or Join Online Consultation.” This will take you to your online appointment where you can chat with a tutor and upload or copy and paste your writing. Please see our video tutorial on making and joining online sessions above. 

You can always access your session after the session to revisit what was worked on and talked about.

Definitely! We are happy to read through a prompt with you, talk through your plans for the assignment, and develop strategies before you even begin to write. An early conversation or brainstorming session can be a rewarding and productive experience for many writers. The tutors tend to enjoy them, too.

It’s never too soon to come into the Writing Center! We can help you with your assignment when you are still facing the blinking cursor in a blank word document. If you are coming in for a prewriting or brainstorming session, bring anything you do have so far: your assignment sheet or prompt, any notes you’ve taken, relevant course information, etc. From there, we can help you brainstorm new ideas while discussing any ideas you already have.

Though we are happy to help you work through final revisions, we are more than proofreaders. You can expect your tutor to be an active, curious, empathetic reader who will take the time to talk with you about your writing and any particular concerns you might have about your writing. In other words, tutors work collaboratively with the writers who visit the center.

To cancel an appointment, return to our online scheduler (WCOnline), log in, and click on your scheduled appointment--it should appear in yellow. From there, simply click “Cancel Appointment.” If you are having trouble cancelling an appointment, just give us a call or send us an email. If you don’t cancel your appointment and you miss the appointment, the missed session will be counted as a “no-show.” After two no-shows in a single semester, your access to our scheduling system will be blocked. If you miss two appointments and your account is blocked, please contact the Writing Center at (406) 994-5315 or at [email protected] to have your account re-enabled. We understand that things happen, but we’d like to make sure that appointments are available to writers who need them.

The Writing Center considers our primary relationship to be with the student; we are here to serve you. Because of that, we allow you to decide when you will or will not let your professor know of your visit. At the end of each of your sessions, your tutor will email you “session notes.” Session notes describe what you worked on with your tutor, what you plan to do as you continue writing, and any other information that is helpful to you, as a writer. If you need to let your professor know that you met with a tutor, you may forward your session notes to the professor, or print them off and give them to the professor.

Yes, you can schedule an appointment with a tutor of your choice as their availability allows. Your tutor can always help you to schedule a follow-up appointment, and they may also recommend another tutor who they think would make a good match for both you and your writing project. Please see our tutor page to learn more about our current tutors.