Generally, appointments at the Writing Center run for 30 minutes. For particularly long papers, sign up for 2 sessions for a total of 60 minutes. A sign up sheet with our hours is located outside the Center at 122 Barret Library. Please be sure to include your cell phone number in case we need to reach you about rescheduling your appointment.
What to bring
Bring to your session whatever you have that might aid in the writing and tutoring process; for example, bring any/all of the following: paper assignment or topics (from your professor), brainstorm lists, outline, draft, source materials, final paper. Your peer tutor will help with any part of the writing process, whether it be coming up with an idea, making a thesis "arguable," concluding, incorporating evidence and/or sources, or making suggestions for revising a rough draft. The staff can also help with clarifying a professor′s comments on a graded paper.
A typical session
In a typical session, the peer tutor will ask you to read your draft aloud. This strategy engages both the student and tutor in the writing process. While you read, your tutor will begin to get a feel for the direction of your argument and the general organization of your thoughts. Reading aloud also helps the writer hear the deficits in his or her prose. After the tutor has a handle on the scope of your paper and has made mental notes, he or she will prioritize the paper′s needs and discuss with you ways to revise. These needs can range anywhere from argument development to grammar correction.
Keep in mind that the goal of the Writing Center is to improve student writing through a holistic approach that sees the argument and organization of a paper inextricably tied to its syntax. In other words, while the tutors will address recurrent grammar problems, particularly ones that affect the delivery of the prose, they are not proofreaders. Ultimately, the staff approaches conferences as writing conversations, not writing corrections, and therefore student visitors should expect to be highly involved in the tutoring session.