Writing Center - FAQ

Who can come to the Writing Center?
All Schreiner students are welcome at the Writing Center. Also, students with papers from all disciplines may use the Writing Center. Though the tutors may not be science majors or philosophers, they will be good readers who can discuss issues of focus, organization, development, and tone in your paper. As the writer, you bring the textual knowledge, but the tutors can help you sort your ideas out.
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Will I have to pay extra for the tutoring?
No, the tutoring is free for Schreiner University students.

How do I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment by clicking the link that is on this Writing Center website (right column). The online schedule allows you to make an appointment at any time. Be certain to fill out the online information form because that helps us to help you. Or, you may call the Writing Center at 792-7323 or at 792-7347 during its hours of operation.

Do I have to make an appointment?
No. It is best to make an appointment, but it is not necessary. Making an appointment is always helpful, especially when there is only one tutor available. Walk-ins are served on a first come, first served basis. However, if someone who has an appointment arrives shortly after you, then the person with the appointment will be served first.

Who are the tutors?
Sophomore, junior, and senior Schreiner students are Writing Center tutors. They are from different disciplines at SU, but are trained as Writing Center tutors. These peer tutors work at the Writing Center because they have strong writing skills and desire to continue to improve those skills by working with other writers---those writers visiting the Writing Center!

When should I come to the Writing Center?
You can visit the Writing Center at any stage in the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising. You do not have to have a “finished” paper to seek help. The Writing Center should be a place where vibrant discussions about ideas lead to papers that are more focused, better organized, more fully developed, and tone appropriate. So, stopping by the Writing Center at any point in your paper writing process is fine.

What does the Writing Center offer you?
The Writing Center offers you one-on-one help while you are writing your papers. Though there are a couple of computers available in the center, it is not a computer lab. You are welcome to use these computers while you are working with your tutor.

On a very basic level, every writer needs a reader---a good reader, not someone who will simply put a comma somewhere or correct an annotation. The Writing Center and the library have handbooks available for referencing basic grammatical and mechanical structures. Certainly, students who visit the Writing Center with multiple drafts will learn how to use tools such as handbooks.

The Writing Center tutors will not write your paper for you, and they will not edit and correct your paper. They, however, will help you to deal with the larger cognitive issues of paper writing: focus, organization, development, and tone. They want you to understand that writing is a process. Through writing, you intellectually engage in a discussion about the subject matter that you are studying.

What is the purpose of a Writing Center?
Stephen North, a writing specialist, noted, “[I]n a writing center the object is to make sure that writers, and not necessarily their texts, are what get changed”; he claimed that the purpose of the writing center is “to produce better writers, not better writing.” That may appear paradoxical, but it’s not: good writers will produce good writing. His key point is that writers need to learn how to be good writers and that process comes from working on many papers, not just through the single paper brought to the writing center. The Writing Center, then, seeks to make students better writers by helping them with their written work.

What will basically happen during a tutoring session?
The tutors will review the information you provided online when you scheduled your appointment. If you bring in a draft, you will be asked about your assignment, your focus, your ideas. You will also be asked to read your paper out loud to the tutor. Reading the paper out loud will help you to stay actively involved and will allow you to control the direction of the tutorial conversation. As you read, the tutor will listen and take some notes. After reading the paper, you and the tutor will discuss your concerns as well as the notes that the tutor has taken.

If you do not have a draft, you will discuss your assignment with the tutor and your ideas for the assignment. The tutor will also suggest some ways of getting started.

If you actively participate in the session, you will gain more from your session. When you’re leaving always have a goal about what you will work on next.

The tutors will complete an online report about your tutoring session. In it, they will record your visit and the issues covered during it. That form will be emailed to you and can be emailed to your professor, if you want it to be. It is a very good idea to send the form to your professor because the form shows your initiative in getting your work done well. And, it also allows the professor to mark your progress in writing your paper. Professors like getting this information about your work.

 

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