Tutoring Services

The Writing Center offers a friendly, informal atmosphere where students may work with the tutors on any writing assignment or task. Here are some typical questions about the Writing Center asked by our students:

Tutoring Services

What happens during a tutorial session?

  • Students review with a tutor their ideas for topics, outlines, brainstorming notes, rough drafts, and finished papers needing revision.
  • Students and tutors talk about ideas for theme and analysis, organization, style and audience, and grammar.
  • Students and tutors talk about effective reading and study habits and exam preparation.
  • Individual sessions might call primarily for conversation that enables a student to work with a clearer sense of purpose; they might require a review of principles of grammar and mechanics, which leads to a focus in revision; or they might suggest the need for quiet reflection and directed writing activity during the tutorial.

In all circumstances the tutor is a careful reader and listener who aims to help students better understand their own writing processes and effectively manage their college writing requirements.  We respect our students' desire to  learn, and our aim is to help them feel confident about managing their academic work.

Is tutoring offered only for English papers?

  • No, we offer assistance for writing in all courses. In fact, 35-40% of our visitors have assignments in business, history, biology, allied health, psychology, and other classes.

Do I need an appointment?

  • No, at the Writing Center we welcome walk-in students. However, to avoid waiting during busy hours, you should make an appointment at the sign-in desk or call our number.  We hold appointments for five minutes.

Do I need to have a paper written when I come in?

  • No, the student tutors have all experienced that dreadful feeling of not knowing how to start a paper and will help you overcome that feeling. They will talk with you about the assignment and discuss your ideas. Please bring your written assignment instructions to the Center. And of course, tutors will work with you on your writing in the stages of outline, rough draft, finished copy, and revision.

Will the Writing Center help me improve my writing skills?

  • We emphasize long-term progress as you build confidence and develop more complex writing strategies. Over 70% of the students who work regularly with tutors in the Center receive A’s and B’s in the course for which they seek assistance. Over 90% receive at least a C.  When you work in the Writing Center, it works!

What writing services are offered through the Writing Center?

WE

  • DISCUSS assignments and their organization before the writing is done.
  • HELP students get started on a paper.
  • RESPOND to rough drafts by asking questions that help to clarify meaning and stimulate new thinking.
  • WORK with students on concerns about grammar, usage, diction, and punctuation.
  • EXPLAIN & REVIEW exercises connected with grammar, sentence structure, paragraph content, etc. provided that they are not homework assignments.
  • HOLD an appointment for a maximum of five minutes.
  • Although we do not edit a paper for errors, we help students understand concepts of grammar and punctuation and apply them to their written work.  We also review principles of effective proofreading.

Will I work with the same tutor each time I visit?

  • Students are welcome to choose one tutor for their sessions if the schedule allows.  Other students enjoy working with several tutors and benefitting from their diverse strengths.  In all cases, students receive the close attention of the tutors, and we hope that students might develop friendships and a sense of a campus home in the Writing Center.

How can I achieve success on my writing assignment?

  • Our most important suggestion: visit the Writing Center several days before your assignment is due, so that you will have time to apply your work in the session to your paper. The tutor’s help will be limited if you come in an hour or two before the assignment is due.