Writing Center FAQ

Writing Center FAQ

What kind of work may I bring to the Writing Center? 

Any papers you are working on for any class. All of our tutors are trained to help writers of all skill levels with papers in any discipline at any stage of the drafting process. In some cases, you have the option to make an appointment with a tutor who is majoring in the discipline within which you are writing (see our tutor bios in order to find someone).

I got As on my papers in high school. Why would I need to go to the Writing Center?

Because all writers benefit from discussing their work at some stage of the drafting process. Even your professors discuss their work with colleagues and editors before they publish it. The Writing Center provides an environment in which exceptional tutors who are trained to discuss your work can help you better clarify and sharpen your writing. Besides, writing for high school is different than writing for college. Why wouldn’t you want to try and continue getting As by discussing your work with college writers who have been there?

So what goes on in a typical Writing Center session? 

A skilled and trained tutor will sit down with you one-on-one, discuss your writing assignment with you, talk about what your concerns are with the draft, and help talk you through the revision process. By the end of the session the tutor will have helped you carve out a strategy for revising the assignment by talking through any range of drafting concerns, be they organizational, grammatical, etc.

Can I drop off my paper, have someone proofread it and pick it up later? 

No. Our goal is to help you become a better writer. This requires discussing your writing with you.

What should I bring with me? How can I prepare for my session? 

Bring your assignment sheet, any writing you’ve already started, your notes, and any peer comments or instructor comments you may already have. Your tutor will go through those materials with you, help you examine them critically and help form strategies for drafting and revision.

What if I haven’t started the paper yet? Can I still come to the Writing Center?

Of course. We often help students brainstorm and outline their work. We can help at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to proofreading (but you still need to come in to discuss your work).

So tutors will correct my work? 

Tutors will help identify problems in your writing, ranging from the grammatical to the structural, and discuss what needs correction. For example, if a tutor notices that you have several comma splices in a draft, they will discuss what a comma splice is and how to correct it. Then you will be free to correct the rest of the paper (and subsequent drafts) on your own. Remember, our goal is to help you become a better writer. This means helping you examine your writing more critically and equipping you with the tools necessary to correct yourself when needed.

Am I guaranteed a good grade if I come to the Writing Center? 

Tutors don’t grade your papers. They will discuss your work but won’t speculate on what grade it may receive.

How often may I come to the Writing Center? 

You may drop in and wait for a tutor as many times as you like. But we can only allow up to two one-hour appointments a week.