Frequently Asked Questions
Who can the Writing Center help?
We work with writers in all areas of study, at all levels, in all stages of their writing processes, and with all types of writing projects. The Writing Center offers students resources for developing as writers and thinkers, sharing their work and ideas, and receiving thoughtful feedback on work in progress in a practical, friendly, collaborative environment. In our humble opinion, all students would benefit from working with a tutor.
How finished does my paper have to be for me to get help from the Writing Center?
You can come to the Writing Center at any stage of your writing process. We recommend that you come in as soon as you have an assignment but before you’ve started writing. At that point, we can help you break the assignment down into tasks and figure out how much time to allow for each task. We can also help you brainstorm topic ideas or approaches, revise drafts, integrate and document sources, and do all sorts of other things.
How can I get the most out of my session?
1. Make an appointment.
2. Think about what you’d like help with. Our writing advisors can help you with global issues that affect your entire composition (such as depth and thoroughness of arguments, clarity of thesis, organization, thesis, and support) and local issues that affect individual sentences (such as syntax, grammar, and punctuation). Your writing advisor will be best able to use the time allotted for your session if you provide him or her with specific global and/or local issues that you would like some help with. Advisors would prefer to work on global issues if they exist because those affect the entire piece of writing.
And don't worry if you haven't yet written anything. We can help you get a draft started.
3. Bring your assignment sheet with you so your writing advisor can understand the assignment’s requirements and can examine how closely your rough draft meets the criteria. If your assignment involves conducting research, either bring your source material with you or be prepared to find it online during your session.
Will you fix my grammar and punctuation?
We will help you learn to identify and correct the errors you are making, but we do not make corrections to papers. If you struggle with grammar and punctuation, we recommend that you begin working with a Writing Center tutor regularly, perhaps as often as once a week.
What are your appointment policies?
- Students can only have one appointment per assignment per day. For example if a student has two assignments, they can make two appointments in one day for each individual assignment. There is no limit on the number of appointments a student can have in a week.
- Students may make recurring appointments.
- Students who are more than ten minutes late for an appointment may have their appointment slots given away to walk-ins.
- Students who are no-shows for two appointments in a semester can only have walk-in appointments for the rest of the semester.
- Cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance will be recorded as no-shows.
- Multiple students can participate in a session. Be sure the appointment you make in WCOnline indicates that multiple students will participate in the session.
- If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call the Writing Center at 303-556-6070.
Can I drop off my paper and pick it up later with comments and corrections?
No, you must meet with a tutor and discuss your assignment and writing.
How long do tutoring sessions last?
The standard length for tutorials is 40 minutes. We also offer 10-minute "speed tutoring" sessions for students who just have a quick question, such as "did I cite this source correctly?"
What happens in a Writing Center tutorial?
The tutor will ask you to explain the assignment you are working on and then ask questions about your writing goals and concerns. Depending on the writing situation, tutors may use different strategies at this point. Strategies often used in tutorials include
- Reading the draft aloud so you can hear how it sounds
- Asking you to read the draft aloud so the tutor can hear how it sounds
- Asking questions about your purpose and goals in the piece of writing
- Discussing different strategies and techniques you could use in the writing
- Demonstrating and modeling different strategies and techniques
- Referring to resources such as dictionaries and handbooks
- Cutting a draft into smaller pieces and rearranging them in different ways
Do I need an appointment?
Yes. We strongly recommend that you make appointments to guarantee that you will have 40 minutes of uninterrupted time with a tutor. You can make an appointment here.
How can I make appointments?
You can make appointments by dropping by the Writing Center in King Center 425, calling us at 303-556-6070, or using our online appointment system.