Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Writing Center?
McQuade Library, Room 346, between the Alden Classroom and the Tutoring and Math Center.
When is the Writing Center open?
Fall and Spring Terms
Monday through Thursday 9am-4pm & 6pm-9pm
Monday through Thursday 12pm-6pm (tentative)
Who staffs the Writing Center?
- A Writing Center Director with a background in Composition
- An Assistant Director
- Peer writing consultants and fellows from across the disciplines
- A Graduate Fellow (depending on placement)
Do I have to make an appointment?
We prefer that you do, since this will allow us to prepare better for you. We can still meet even if you don’t have an appointment, but only in between scheduled appointments, if an opening is available, so there will likely be a wait, especially during high volume times of the semester.
What should I bring to the Writing Center?
You can get feedback from a Writing Consultant even if you bring nothing but the ideas in your head and a desire to learn! Of course, there are other things you can bring:
- A draft in any stage—early or late, messy or clean, handwritten or on your laptop or iPad
- The syllabus or assignment sheet explaining what you are writing
- Questions—lots of questions
Most importantly, bring your desire to learn and a willingness to try!
What resources are found in the Writing Center?
- Documentation Style Guides
- Handbooks and references for grammar and style
- ESL guides on grammar, language, and idioms
- Texts and handbooks on writing in other disciplines
- Readers and rhetorics with a range of essays covering a wide variety of topics
- Web resources
What can the Writing Center do for me?
The Writing Center can help you to grow more independent and confident in your academic, personal, and professional writing. You can get help in such areas as:
- Interpreting assignments
- Choosing topics
- Organizing writing projects
- Solving specific writing problems, from getting started to editing/proofreading
- Developing effective revision strategies
- Learning to use critical reading as a means to perceptive writing
- Developing research abilities
- Creating your individual writing style
- Managing group writing projects
- Developing PowerPoint presentations
- Developing skills in written English, if English is not your first language
Why should I visit the Writing Center?
In addition to the reasons described above, here are some other reasons to stop in.
You need help polishing your work
If you are an accomplished writer who wants to sharpen your presentation or improve your style, peer and professional writing Consultants can act as informed, critical readers to help you fine-tune your work.
You lack confidence in your abilities
Peer and professional writing consultants in the Writing Center will not spend a lot of time talking about what is wrong with your writing; you already know the problems. Rather, they will help you work on those problems and, more importantly, help you to recognize and build your strengths as a writer.
You face an intimidating assignment
The center’s peer and professional writing consultants represent a number of majors, so the chances are good that someone will be familiar with the course you are having problems with. Consultants are trained to help you understand the requirements of specific assignments and help you get started with writing.
English is not your first language
Peer and professional writing consultants appreciate the difficulty you face working with a language you have not quite mastered yet. The individual attention offered at the Writing Center will help you not only with particular assignments, but also with mastering the conventions of written English.
You have an accessibility issue
While peer and professional writing consultants are not experts in learning disabilities, they do appreciate different learning styles. Consultants can help you understand assignments, work out strategies to complete assignments and talk through the writing process.
You need help with formatting and documentation
The Writing Center has a number resource books on writing in many disciplines. Our consultants can help you find the resources you need.