I wrote the following copy for a small community college writing center. The site was designed to be used primarily by college freshman taking introductory writing and composition courses.

About

At the Writing Center students learn how to improve their writing skills through one-on-one peer tutoring. We do our best to make the Writing Center a safe, non-judgmental place to receive feedback from tutors, as well as access print and online writing resources.

The Writing Center is also home to a computer lab, accessible during Writing Center hours. We offer free printing! We only ask that you keep your prints to under 15 pages and skip the Power Points and PDFs. (Our printers really don’t like them.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Writing Center located?

The Writing Center is located in the Academic Programs Building, Room 128 (AP-128).

To view a campus map, click here.

Do I have to be in an English class to get help?

Nope! We are happy to help with writing assignments for any class, as well as cover letters, application essays, or personal writing projects. Principles of good writing apply to all disciplines, so no matter what your paper is about, we can help you communicate your ideas clearly.

When can I receive help?

The Writing Center is open Monday–Thursday from 8:00 am–8:00 pm and Friday 8:00 am–4:00 pm.

The Writing Center is closed on days when college-wide classes are not in session. Summer Hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00 am–4:00 pm.

At what point in the writing process should I visit a tutor?

We’re happy to help no matter where you are in the¬ writing process: whether you’re just getting started (or haven’t started yet—we’ve been there!), stuck somewhere in the middle, or are just looking to fine-tune your finished draft.

We love bouncing ideas around and want you to feel comfortable coming in with incomplete thoughts and messy drafts. We don’t want you to feel like your writing has to be perfect (because, let’s face it, there's always something to do).

Even if you are confident in your writing, it never hurts to have a second pair of eyes on your work!

Do I need an appointment to see a tutor?

It depends.

During busy times, like midterms and finals, the Writing Center is often swamped, so appointments are necessary if you want to see a tutor. You can make an appointment by coming into the Writing Center and signing our appointment book.

We do, however, welcome walk-ins and take them whenever we can.

Please be aware of due dates and be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the Writing Center and make revisions. If you come in an hour before your paper is due, we are very limited in the help we can provide.

What does a tutoring session usually involve?

After introductions your tutor will have you fill out a Tutoring Session Form while they look over your assignment description. After asking a few clarifying questions about the assignment, the tutor will ask what you want to work on during your session. Then you’ll read through the paper out loud together (you can choose who reads).

Afterwards, as we respond to the paper, we like to talk about the “big picture” stuff first—things like your thesis statement, organization, and whether your ideas are fully developed and supported. These are what will make the biggest difference in your paper and often are what your teacher cares about most. Then, depending on time, we will look at the “smaller” things or sentence-level concerns, as we like to call them. This can include grammar, punctuation, and style.

We may not have a chance to get through everything in one session, so we may suggest that you come back for another appointment. We want to give you a chance to apply what we talked about on your own, and we also don’t want to overwhelm you! (Our brains can only talk about writing for so long before they get tired out and need a Netflix break.)

If you have a specific question or problem you want to address, please let us know! We want to help you with your concerns first and foremost.

How long do tutoring sessions usually last?

Tutoring sessions generally last between 20 and 30 minutes.

We like to keep sessions under 30 minutes because it gives you a chance to try on your own what you discussed with your tutor. Of course, if you’re not quite sure you’ve got it yet, you can always come back and we’ll take another look.

What should I bring to a tutoring session?

When you come into the Writing Center for a tutoring session bring the following:

Can someone just fix/edit my paper?

Short Answer: Nope.

Long Answer: The Writing Center is here to help you become a better writer through one-on-one peer tutoring. If someone is making all the changes for you and telling you what to do, you won’t learn as much. We want to teach you the principles that will help you grow as a writer so each paper is easier and better!