How the Writing Centre Works

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What to Expect

  • Writing Centre tutors may not be experts in the subject matter of your essay, but content-based feedback is not the aim of this service. Rather, our tutors are careful readers who can serve as a sounding board for how to express and organize your ideas.
  • It is not the tutor’s role to approve or interpret essay topics or to explain professors’ comments. You must contact the professor directly for this type of assistance. If need be, the tutor can help you formulate questions for your professor.
  • Come with a specific idea on which you would like feedback and select a few areas of interest, that is, grammar, punctuation, and/or organization of ideas. Please do not ask for general help with an entire essay. Given that our time is limited, we may not be able to address all of the issues pertaining to the text in one appointment. Therefore, you may need to book a second appointment.
  • Be prepared to work collaboratively with the tutor. The tutor can help you identify problems and indicate them in your text but will not write out all needed corrections. Remember, the point of the exercise is for you to learn to recognize your weak areas and to research and propose your own solutions. Tutors will provide guidance and can suggest resource material, which can be consulted on site should you need to explore concepts more thoroughly. You are welcome to book follow-up appointments to help you revise new drafts. We can also help you learn from previously marked assignments.
  • You are discouraged from going to the Writing Centre with a blank page, expecting help on an essay from scratch. However, if you are genuinely having trouble getting started, the tutor can offer some pointers on brainstorming, outlining, and structuring ideas.

Here are some examples of things we can help you with:

  • Structuring your essays (outlines, thesis statements, and argumentation);
  • Reviewing your drafts (syntax, grammar, spelling, vocabulary);
  • Making your essays conform to MLA or APA guidelines;
  • Improving your writing skills for class assignments and essays.

The Writing Centre is not a service that edits and rewrites students’ work but a tutoring service that helps students become more adept at revising and proofreading their own work.