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Online Appointment Protocols

Fall Quarter 2020

During Fall Quarter, all our consultations will be online, using a combination of Zoom and Google Docs. If you have not yet created your Northwestern Zoom account and downloaded the zoom app, go to Click the log in button to create your account. Go back to that page and click the “download client” link to install Zoom on your computer.

When you make the appointment:
  • Remember that all meetings will be virtual, using Zoom and Google Docs. You won’t have the options to choose between face-to-face and online.
  • Provide the consultant with as much information as you can about what you are writing and what you want to accomplish in the session. If you are responding to an assignment prompt, paste it in the appointment record.
At the time of the appointment:
  • Format your document as a Google doc, if it is not already one.
  • Click the “share button” at the top of your Google doc to create a shareable link. In the drop-
  • down menu, indicate: “Anyone with a link can edit.” (If you are sharing from your Google Drive, select “More…” in the sharing dropdown menu to find this option.) Copy the link to your clipboard.
  • Find the Zoom URL associated with your appointment by logging into your Writing Place account and looking for the clickable link in a box toward the top of your appointment record.
  • Launch Zoom by clicking on the link. (Note: If Zoom prompts you to join the meeting with app,
  • Click “yes.”)
  • Wait for your consultant in the Zoom “waiting room.” At your appointment time, your
  • Your consultant will admit you into the Zoom meeting. When you are admitted to the meeting, be sure to turn on your audio and video. Your consultant will also ask you to paste your Google doc link into a chat box and will give you directions for sharing screens within Zoom.

NOTE: Be sure that your name on Zoom matches the name you used when booking your Writing Place appointment. If the consultant doesn’t recognize your name, they will not admit you to your appointment from the waiting room.

If you are having any difficulty with Zoom, send an email to the Writing Place at to make alternate arrangements with your consultant.

During the appointment, expect to:
  • Begin with conversation, explaining to the consultant what the assignment is, what you have been working on, what are the issues on your mind.
  • Work interactively with your consultant. Read the text simultaneously with the consultant, with one of you reading aloud. As you read, jot down comments in the margin of your Google doc if there are questions you’d like to discuss. Your consultant will not read through the entire paper at once but will interactively read, discuss, and ask you to revise throughout the session.
  • End the session with a summary of next steps. The consultant will document those in an email that you will receive after the session.