University Writing Center Frequently Asked Questions for Students
Who can come to the University Writing Center (UWC)? Where is it?
All CSUCI students, first year to graduate level, are welcome to visit the center. We are open Monday through Thursday 9:00 to 7:00 and Friday 9:00 to 12:00. We are located in the Broome Library, 2nd floor Room 2360. While we could say that our services are free, that isn't quite true. By paying your student fees, you have already paid for tutoring -- come and get what you've paid for.
What happens in a tutoring session?
When you come to the center you can expect a tutor to read your paper attentively and ask questions. Sometimes tutors ask you to read portions of your papers aloud, so you can hear your work and learn to revise papers on your own. Tutors will ask questions, offer information, make suggestions for revision, and point out resources for writers, but their most important role is as a reader for your papers.
* Please note, while UWC tutors are prepared to help you with your writing, they are not necessarily familiar with the material you are covering in your class. They may be able to help you understand a difficult passage in your reading (if you bring the book), but this is not a guarantee.
What should I bring with me?
Bring what you need to work, particularly the assignment and any other material the instructor may have given you that would contribute to a tutor's understanding of the writing task. If you need help summarizing, quoting or referencing a source, be sure to bring the book or article as well. It's also helpful if you know what style manual you are required to use (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. ) if you are including sources in your paper. There are laptops in the center that you are free to use during your session.
What if I don't even have a draft?
That is fine; just bring in the written assignment/syllabus and your ideas. One of the best ways the center can help writers is by discussing the assignment. This allows you to brainstorm, get some thoughts down on paper, and be sure the demands of the assignment are being addressed.
How long do sessions last?
Tutoring sessions last 30 minutes. This is enough time to go over an average paper, but it is not enough time to go over multiple papers (eg: a portfolio). It is a good idea to consider seeing a tutor more than once for a given paper. Students can make up to two appointments per week and are allowed one drop-in tutoring session per day. For an appointment, call (805) 437-8409 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Students who are registered with the EAC and are eligible to receive extended time as one of their accommodations in their classes are eligible to receive hour long appointments in the center. Simply bring in the same paperwork that you present to your professors and present it to the UWC coordinator.
How do I make an appointment?
• In person: 2nd floor of the Broome Library
• By phone: (805) 437-8409
• By email: email@example.com NOTE: you should receive a reply email within 24 hours of your request. If the reply does not come, please call us.
What if I don't have an appointment?
Walk-ins are welcome. However, the center does get busier toward the end of the semester, so making an appointment is a really good idea. NOTE: Tutoring begins on the hour and half hour. If students with appointment do not arrive within 5 minutes of their scheduled time, tutors will be available to see drop-ins. Walk-ins are welcome.
Can the UWC help with a long research paper?
Sure, if you bring it in early enough. The tutors can look over approximately six to eight pages in a typical session. So planning your visits to the center should be a part of your overall research strategy. Students who postpone writing long projects until the end of the term may not be able to receive the amount of tutorial support they were hoping for. While all tutors are familiar with APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles, their proficiency varies. When making your appointment please ask which tutor will best be able to help you.
My group is working together on a project. Can you work with several people?
Yes, the UWC has facilities to work with several people at one time. Be sure to mention that a group is coming when you make your appointment.
What if I need extra help with basics?
Tutors can help you look for patterns of error in individual papers and to learn the conventions of sentence structure and punctuation. If you would like more systematic instruction in language or composition basics, you can arrange for individual or group sessions by contacting Kathleen Klompien, the UWC coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why won't the tutor just fix my mistakes?
The UWC's mission is to offer support to writers themselves. We are here to help students learn about and improve their writing. Altering the quality of a student's papers without the student's involvement and understanding not only violates our policies but flirts with academic dishonesty. Therefore we do not "correct" papers, but address editorial revision collaboratively within the context of the paper as a whole. We appreciate students' and professors' understanding of our ethical and professional boundaries.
Can I work with a particular tutor?
You are encouraged to form a working relationship with a tutor. Improving writing is a long-term process and meeting a tutor for a regular weekly conference is a smart strategy. However, after several sessions with one tutor to discuss the same paper, it can be a good idea to see someone else to get a fresh perspective.