All students are welcome to seek help at the Writing Center. All levels of writers schedule appointments, ranging from students with less experience to those with advanced skills.
Graduate students may choose to work with peer tutors or with our graduate writing consultant, who provides writing support and advice to graduate students working on longer, complex projects such as proposals, theses, and dissertations. Like the peer tutors, the graduate writing consultant works collaboratively with students to help them become clearer and more confident writers. For more extensive editorial work, students may be referred to a professional editor.
The Writing Center offers two options for online tutoring:
- Online meetings use audio-visual and messaging tools so tutors and writers can share and talk about their work in a process similar to an on-campus, face-to-face tutoring session. Writers access the online meetings through the appointment site. Online meetings are helpful for all stages of the writing process, including brainstorming ideas and help with proofreading.
- eTutoring lets writers upload a draft to a tutor for written feedback, including reader response, questions, and suggestions. eTutoring is helpful for writers whose schedules conflict with regular tutoring hours or writers looking for general feedback on draft or section of a draft. eTutoring should not be used for proofreading or “grammar-check” requests. Assistance with proofreading is best done in real-time, either in an online or in-person session.
Like in-person sessions, appointments for online meetings and eTutoring are made through the Writing Center’s online calendar.
Students interested in becoming writing tutors must apply for English 402: Internship in Tutoring Writing. The application process requires writing samples, faculty recommendations, and an interview with the Director of the Writing Center. If accepted, interns study theoretical and practical issues of tutoring and teaching writing. While enrolled in the course, they also gain experience tutoring. Successful applicants have been good students, strong writers, and (just as important) nice people. Students who complete English 402 are eligible to apply for a paid position in the Writing Center.
Most tutors are undergraduate and graduate students. Before becoming a tutor, students enroll in English 402: Internship in Tutoring Writing, a class on the theory and practice of tutoring writing. All our tutors share a commitment to helping students manage the complex task of writing.
Students should come prepared to work and to talk about their writing. They should bring their assignment sheets and other information that helps the tutor understand the instructor’s requirements and goals.
Although tutors do not proofread or edit papers, they do help students learn strategies for improving their ability to proofread and edit. Tutors do not have all the answers, but they are patient and willing to listen—and they know how to use handbooks, style manuals, and online resources.
Not necessarily. Tutors can help at any stage of the writing process. If students need help starting a writing project, tutors can help brainstorm possible approaches. Often just talking about an assignment inspires students to start writing.
The Writing Center gets busy, so it is often necessary to schedule an appointment. However, students are always welcome to drop in during our open hours to see if there is an available spot.
The Writing Center is a small program and cannot accommodate the needs of all faculty and students. Therefore, we ask instructors to contact us before requiring their students to visit; however, faculty and advisors should always encourage their students to visit for appointments.
Yes! Tutors help with formatting citations for many different style guides, including MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style and others. For citing according to MLA guidelines (8th Edition), we have also created a series of How-To screencasts you might find helpful: