Writing Center FAQs
Where is the Writing Center?
McQuade 346, between the Alden Classroom and the Tutoring and Math Center.
When is the Writing Center open?
During fall and spring semester: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 6 to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sundays, 6 to 9 p.m. The center is closed Saturdays. Summer term hours are Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.
Who staffs the Writing Center?
- A 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 need to make an appointment?
We prefer that you do. This will allow us to prepare better for you. We can accommodate walk-ins, but only between scheduled appointments if an opening is available. Expect a wait, especially during high-volume times of the semester.
- 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.
- English as a Second Language 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.