What We Do

students in Writing CenterWhat Should I Bring?

So that the tutors can help you most effectively, please bring:

  • the assignment/directions
  • your most recent draft
  • any questions you have
  • recent feedback from your teacher
  • electronic version of your paper

What Should I Expect?

When you walk into the Writing Center, the tutor on duty will greet you. If you do not have an appointment and the tutor is busy, we'll ask you to register with the Writing Center online and sign up for an appointment.

If you are here for a scheduled appointment, a tutor will be with you promptly. As a walk-in, a tutor will be with you as soon as possible or we will schedule you an appointment for a later time. You can wait on the couch, if you'd like, and continue working on your paper or look through our resources. 

group at Writing CenterWhen the tutoring session begins, the tutor will introduce himself/herself and ask you a few questions about the assignment, what you have completed, and what you want to work on. When the paper is due is a key to how much time you will have to work on the essay and what we can specifically do to help you. If you're not sure what you want help with, that's okay. Please ask any questions you have. The tutors may not know the answers to some questions, but resource materials, such as Writing @ Western, are available in the Writing Center for you to use, and your tutor will gladly help you find what you're looking for.

During the tutoring session, the tutor will listen to you, ask you more questions, and work with you on those aspects of your writing which you've decided to focus on. Tutors may work with more than one student at once, giving you time to apply what you have learned to your draft. An average tutoring session will last for approximately 25 minutes. However, just because your session is over doesn't mean you have to leave. You're welcome to stay and continue to work quietly by yourself or just hang out. If you'd like to schedule your next appointment, this is a good time to do so. Or you might want to use the writing resources on the bookshelves to look up the format for your bibliography. Whatever you need, this is your Writing Center, so please use it.

The Writing Center has the newest state-of-the-art computers for your use. Even if you don’t need a tutor at the time, please come in and feel free to use our computers. We’ll be there as a resource if you do need help.

What Do You Do?

Our policy is to help you help yourself. The goal of the Writing Center is to help people become better writers by being willing to work with them at any stage of the writing process. So, no matter if you're brainstorming for topics or polishing your final draft, we're here to help. However, the Writing Center isn't a grammar shop. That is, we don't "write papers" for you, proofread, edit, or otherwise "pre-grade" drafts that writers bring us. Instead, we'll ask you what you want to work on in the tutoring session, and we'll follow your lead to make sure we cover what you want to cover. Of course, if we see something in a draft that needs attention, we'll alert you to it, but we'll also ask if that is something you want to work on. Believing strongly that writers build on their strengths, we'll also be sure to point out the strong points of your work.

We're interested readers who are here to give you as much constructive feedback as we can. The Writing Center is not just a place for "problem" papers. We're here for all levels of writing, from freshmen essays to faculty proposals, including everyone and everything in between.