Why would I use the Writing Center?
Good writers know that any writing can be improved by a second set of eyes looking it over. Your professor wouldn't submit a paper for publication without having a respected colleague read it first. You could ask a friend to review your paper, but you may not know whose feedback you can rely on. Our consultants are experienced student writers who have been trained to help fellow students improve their writing. They don't merely proofread for you: they help you get started when you're stuck or show how you can rethink, restructure, and revise your own work.
What should I bring to a consulting session?
- A copy of the writing assignment and any info your instructor has provided regarding writing expectations for the class (such as an assessment rubric).
- An electronic version of your outline or draft for your essay or two typed hard copies, if possible. We can work with handwritten copy if that's all you have, but you'll get more out of the session if we can work directly with your draft or ideas onscreen.
- Questions! If there are particular questions you have about writing or grammar or citation, please include them in the "Notes" section of the online sign-up form so that the consultants can be better prepared to assist you with those specifics.
How are professors notified about visits?
Faculty like to hear that you're taking advantage of the Writing Center! Professors receive an email describing what you worked on during your session. This information is based on the Preview Sheet that you and your writing consultant complete at the end of your session. It provides an overview of writing issues discussed in the session. Some faculty recommend that you use the Writing Center for a particular essay, and some offer an extension or extra credit of some kind if you come; this Preview Form confirms that you're fulfilling any such suggestions or requirements.
Do consultants proofread papers?
Yes and no. Consultants improve your writing process, not just papers, so they will help you identify grammatical and spelling error patterns and show you ways to become a better proofer of your own work. We may not catch every single mistake, but we can help find those that are most distracting to your readers.
I'm short on time — do consultations take long?
Not at all. Just 25-50 minutes with a writing consultant can save you time worrying about where to start and help you write more efficiently.
Isn't tutoring only for poor writers?
Nonsense. The most skilled writers share their drafts with other writers and revise according to the feedback they receive. Discussing a paper with an experienced peer is a great way to make sure your writing communicates your ideas clearly and appropriately for your audience. You don't have to be desperate to benefit from the Writing Center; you only have to be determined to write better.
What else does the Writing Center do?
Writing consultants sometimes visit classes to give special presentations on writing, especially assisting with peer review of first drafts. We also offer occasional grammar workshops on specific topics -- check this site and Around the Heart often for details on upcoming events.