Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to set up an appointment?
No, the Writing Center does accept walk-ins. However, around midterm and the last four weeks of the semester, the Writing Center becomes extremely busy, and you will need to set up an appointment ahead of time to be sure someone is available to talk with you.
How far ahead of the due date of an assignment should I come in?
The earlier, the better. If you are coming to the Writing Center to improve your writing, it makes sense to allow yourself enough time after the tutorial to revise the paper. Try setting up an appointment at least two days before the assignment is due.
What do I have to do to become a Writing Center tutor?
Our tutors are students who have taken WRIT 500 and have gone through training to learn how to help students with their writing. We, however, do not claim to be experts, nor do we claim to help you write an error-proof paper. Our tutors enjoy writing, talking about writing, and helping others with their writing.
What is the Writing Center? What happens in a tutorial?
The Writing Center is a place where you can discuss your writing with someone who wants to talk with you. The Center is staffed by student tutors who have been trained to help other students improve their written work. There are a few things you should know. First, a tutoring session is an interaction between the tutor and student, meaning that both sides must participate. We ask that students come to the Writing Center prepared to work on their assignment. You don’t have to have a rough draft to come to the Center but please bring your assignment sheet. The tutor can help with any stage of the writing process--brainstorming, prewriting, organization, drafting, development, revising, etc. The tutor cannot fix your paper. Expect the tutor to ask you questions about your writing. We want you to learn how to think through your problems and solve them on your own.
What services does the Writing Center offer?
A student can set up a tutorial session in the Writing Center in order to work with a tutor on a writing assignment. Also, the Writing Center has handouts that students are welcome to take. The topics range from documentation to grammar to argumentation, and students can help themselves to these handouts at any time when the Writing Center is open. Many handouts are also available on our web site.
Who comes to the Writing Center?
Students from all majors and classes come to the Writing Center. Every day, we help students from biology, history, political science, philosophy, psychology, mass communication, education, business—and other areas. Also, students bring in different types of assignments. Tutors can help you work on any paper, your résumé and job applications, or any other kind of writing. Finally, we have helped undergraduate students, graduate students, staff members, and even professors.
Why can't the tutors just show me how to fix my paper?
Because you, as the writer, have ownership of your paper. We will make suggestions, but we will not fix the paper. In a tutorial session, we ask questions that make you think about your writing, what you are saying, and what you want to say. Then, we help you discover ways to get your point across effectively.