Click on the links below to get answers to frequently asked questions about our tutoring services.
- When is tutoring available?
- How do I make an appointment?
- How long are tutoring appointments?
- What kinds of documents can the tutors help with?
- What if I don't even have a rough draft?
- What happens during a tutoring session?
- How can tutoring help me?
- Is tutoring available for group projects?
- How will my instructor be notified that I came to the Writing Center?
- What if I just need someone to check my grammar?
- Can I email my paper to the Writing Center?
- Can I bring in a paper for a friend?
In fall 2015, the Writing Center will be open for tutoring during the following hours:
Monday & Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Please note that we close for Labor Day, Thanksgiving week, and finals week. The last day of tutoring will be Friday, December 11th.
You can make an appointment online by visiting our Appointment Scheduling page. If you have difficulty with our scheduling tool, you can make an appointment by phone; just call 341-4436 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
The length of a tutoring session depends on the nature of the assignment, the length of the paper, and the particular concerns you have about your writing. Appointments are scheduled for a half hour, and most last almost 30 minutes. Students are permitted to schedule up to two appointments per day, so if you need more time, or if you'd like help with a longer paper, you can make two back-to-back appointments, for a total of 60 minutes.
Our tutors can help you with any type of written work, from English 1120 essays to senior design projects. We can even help with personal or creative writing projects.
We can help with writing assignments at any stage of the writing process. If you're having trouble getting started, we can help with prewriting. If you have several paragraphs, but it just doesn't feel like it's going well, we can help you get on the right track. If you have a complete draft, we can help you polish it.
When you arrive, you'll be asked to complete a form with basic information such as your name, student number, and the class for which you are seeking help. You'll sit down with a tutor one-on-one and begin by reading your paper aloud (a great way to catch problems!). Then you and the tutor will identify those possibilities for improvement that will make the greatest difference in the final product. In many cases, you'll begin to make revisions during the tutoring session so that you can leave with the knowledge that you've made progress toward completing your assignment. Finally, the tutor may offer resources and strategies to help you make further revisions on your own.
The tutoring session is designed not just to help you with a specific assignment, but to make you a better writer. That means the tutor's focus will be on helping you to identify areas for improvement and giving you the tools you need to make those improvements. Our highest priorities are the big-picture issues: thesis statement or research question, organization, and effective argument. Once we address those issues, we can also look at details like style, word choice, grammar, punctuation, and format. Most of all, the tutor is a sounding board or a second set of eyes, helping you understand what sort of impression your writing makes on others.
Absolutely! Group writing projects present special challenges in terms of organization and coherence, and we can help you address these issues. Keep in mind, however, that the tutoring session will be most effective if all authors of the paper are present, so plan on visiting the Writing Center as a group.
Once the tutoring session is over, the tutor will add some information to the form you completed when you arrived for your appointment. A copy of that form is then sent to the instructor, usually within 24 hours.
Our tutors are fully qualified to offer feedback on mechanics such as grammar, punctuation, and word usage, and they are happy to provide help with these issues when appropriate. Keep in mind, however, that other aspects of your writing may be a higher priority. After all, if your thesis statement is weak or your argument unconvincing, even the most elegantly written sentences will fall flat.
The tutoring sessions offered by the Writing Center are not designed to be an editing service; they can be effective only when you work through your paper with the tutor. As a result, our tutors do not read papers in advance. During your tutoring session, however, it may be useful to access your paper on a computer or iPad. In this case, your tutor will provide an email address to which you can send your paper.
Our goal is to help student writers learn to evaluate and improve their own work. We can achieve this goal only by working directly with the writer; therefore, students must bring their own work to the Writing Center.