What to Expect

At the writing center you can expect to receive competent guidance on all writing projects in any stage of your writing process. That means, you can visit us as soon as you get an assignment to start brainstorming ideas. It also means you can come as often as you want for help on the same paper! And if you really like the consultant you work with, feel free to make your next appointment(s) with that same tutor on our online schedule.

A typical session lasts 30 minutes and works in the following manner. When you come in, a consultant will greet you and ask you about your assignment. So do bring your assignment with you, and bring two copies of your paper as well. Such preparation on your part facilitates your session greatly. As you explain your assignment, you and your consultant will set up an agenda of items to discuss; from the get-go, we try very hard to allow you to express your concerns and questions and not to dominate the session.

Because we want to keep you actively involved in the session, your consultant will then ask you to read your paper aloud, if you're comfortable doing so and if the paper isn't too lengthy. (Usually, tutors read long papers silently to themselves while they ask you to work on some aspect of your essay; this approach helps to save time.)

After you read the paper, your consultant will work through the agenda, offering guidance on how to build upon your strengths and improve your weaknesses. But even at this stage, you'll be actively involved in the conference. You might freewrite for five or ten minutes, do some outlining or revising, and even consult a manual.

At this point, it's good to keep in mind that because of our mission, we don't proofread or edit your writing for you. In addition, we don't offer estimates of potential grades or use rubrics (we're not professors!). Along those lines, we don't use red pens, and we don't write on your papers without your permission. And to be sure, we don't embarrass or judge you! We're writers, too, and we know how difficult this process is. We're your sympathetic guides.

At the end of your session, your consultant will review the main tasks for you to accomplish as you prepare to submit your paper. He or she may also suggest you visit the center again for further assistance if time ran short and everything on your agenda didn't get covered as well as you'd hoped.