FAQs for Students


1. Why should I come to the Writing Center?

We help to build upon the skills that you are learning in your writing classes and show you how to transfer those skills into the writing that you will do in other disciplines. Working with a writing tutor allows you to fine-tune your writing skills, which are in high demand in the workforce. 

2. Does it cost anything to come to the Writing Center?

No, we are a free service.

3. Can I get help for papers in courses other than English?

Absolutely! We are here to help all writers, regardless of coursework. In fact, we can also meet with you to discuss writing you have done that is not course-related. Students have brought us papers for culinary arts, psychology, economics, history, criminal justice, human services, and other disciplines. Some students have brought in PowerPoint presentations, scholarship essays, and resumes.

4. Do I have to make an appointment?

No, there are drop-in hours available at some campuses, if those fit your schedule. We also offer appointments outside of those hours. You can make an appointment here. If you need to cancel an appointment, please let us know. Our contact info is here.

5. What is the difference between drop-in and an appointment?

For each session, you will work one on one with a writing tutor. During drop-in hours, you will be able to work with a tutor for a maximum of 30 minutes. As there may be other students ahead of you, you may have to wait for a tutor to become available. You can remain in the Learning Commons and continue to work on your document after meeting with a tutor. To receive additional feedback on your work beyond the 30 minutes, you would just need to sign in again and wait for the next available tutor.

During an appointment, you will have a specific, prearranged time to meet with a tutor. Appointments are limited to 45 minutes. While you can still work on your project on your own, you may not get additional time with the tutor beyond your scheduled appointment.

6. Do I need to have a draft of the paper?

No, a draft is not necessary. Students come to the Writing Center for a variety of reasons. Some need help getting started on the paper. Other students need help critically reading a source for a research paper or their textbook for a class. Some are working on organizing their ideas. Others seek help revising their work, sometimes after receiving instructor feedback. Writing Center tutors are here to help you at any stage of the writing process.

7. What should I bring to an appointment?

Anything that is connected to your assignment. So, your assignment sheet, any texts that are related to it, any drafts that you have written, and feedback that you have already received. If your professor posts assignment info on eLearning, you will be able to access that site during the session. You can also bring your own laptop or tablet.

8. What will we do during the appointment?

Your tutor will ask you what you would like help with, and will offer advice for you to consider. We want you to leave with more than what you brought to the session and to offer you the specific feedback that you want. Many sessions involve doing some writing or making changes to a draft in progress. Usually, the tutor or the student will read the writing out loud. Sessions involve a back and forth conversation between tutor and student, so we hope you relax and feel free to ask any questions you have. You can expect to leave a session with a specific revision plan that will guide you through the next steps for revising your paper. 

9. Can I make more than one appointment for a paper?

Sure. Often students visit us early in the writing process to talk through possible ideas or think about a way to organize the ideas they have already. Then they return in a few days with an early version of the paper. We are here to help at any point in the process, multiple points if need be. The only limit is that students can make no more than three appointments with the Learning Commons, which includes the Writing Center, each week.  

10. What is the difference between the Learning Commons and the Writing Center?

The Learning Commons is a centralized location for tutoring and academic support services, including the Writing Center. If you would like help learning subject material from a course, you would make an appointment with a subject tutor at the Learning Commons. For any writing or reading-related help, you would want to make an appointment with a Writing Center tutor.

11. Who works at the Writing Center?

Peer, professional, and faculty tutors work at the Center. Peer tutors have earned at least a B+ in ENG 101 and ENG 102, received a recommendation from their professors, and have completed writing tutor training with the Writing Center Coordinator. Professionals have a Masters degree and extensive training in tutoring writing. Faculty tutors teach writing in their courses. As a student, you can decide with whom you'd like to work.