Writing Centre FAQs


If it is your first time making an appointment at the Centre, you will need to create an account in our online booking system. To create an account, follow these steps:

  • Go to www.cbu.ca/writing-centre.
  • Click the “Book an Appointment” button.
  • Click on “Register for an account.”
  • Fill out the short registration form (please note that you can use any email and password).
  • Click “Register.”

Once you’ve created an account, you can book an appointment. To book an appointment, follow these steps:

  • Go to www.cbu.ca/writing-centre.
  • Click the “Book an Appointment” button.
  • Sign in with the email and password you chose when creating your account.
  • Click on the white rectangle of the appointment time you want to book.
  • Fill out the short appointment form.
  • Click “Save.”

Only distance students can get writing help by email. If you are a distance student, you should book an appointment on our online schedule and write in your appointment form that you would like help by email or telephone. On the day of your appointment, you should email your assignment instructions, a draft of anything you’ve written, and your questions/concerns about your writing to writing_centre@cbu.ca and a Writing Advisor or the Coordinator will provide you feedback.

As with in-person appointments, you should book your distance appointment well in advance, so that you have time to make changes to your assignment and also to book a follow-up appointment if needed.

The Centre is located in the Learning Commons (B-110) in the Marvin Harvey Building.

The Centre is open year-round, including the spring and summer terms, and during both fall and winter Reading Weeks. However, the Centre is closed when CBU is closed (e.g., holidays, inclement weather). For specific hours, please check our schedule.

White means an available appointment; blue means another student has already booked the appointment; grey means the time is unavailable.

Two weeks of the schedule is available at a time. Each Monday morning, the next week will be opened up.

  • Your Writing Centre appointment will involve a lot of talking–about your writing assignment, your ideas, and how to organize and express those ideas in writing.
  • Your Writing Advisor will begin by asking what you want to work on, and if you have any specific questions or concerns.
  • Your Writing Advisor will follow up with questions designed to provide a better understanding of your assignment and, if you’ve brought one, your draft.
  • If you have brought a draft, you’ll be asked to read at least some of it aloud before you and your Writing Advisor discuss it.
  • Your Writing Advisor will help you find opportunities for improvement, share writing strategies and direct you towards helpful resources.
  • Throughout the appointment, you should bring up any concerns or questions you have.

You can book 10 appointments per term with a maximum of 2 appointments per week (and no more than 1 appointment per day). The Centre may limit appointments to 1 per week during busy times so as many students as possible can get help.

You should speak to the Coordinator (office B-105-B in the Learning Commons). Do not make appointments using a friend’s account.

Yes, you can make up to 5 Writing Centre appointments to discuss an honours thesis, directed study, or Advanced Research Project.

No. The Writing Centre is a tutoring service, not a proofreading or editing service. Having someone else check for and fix your paper’s grammatical and other mistakes is not the best way to improve your writing.

Our tutors will help you with grammar and expression issues, but they’ll do it by:

  • answering grammar and usage questions
  • pointing out and explaining recurring errors in your writing and how to fix them
  • suggesting strategies for strengthening your proofreading and editing skills

This method is a much more effective way to help you build your writing skills. If you wish to work on grammar in a session, prepare beforehand by doing your best self-editing and proofreading, and bringing clear questions or marked sections of your paper along with you to discuss.

Book your appointment as early as possible–at least a week before your preferred appointment time is best. There may be appointments available at the last minute, but appointment slots tend to fill up quickly during busy times.

We also recommend leaving a couple of days between your appointment and your assignment due date so that you have time to revise.

First, contact the Writing Centre to see if an appointment can be arranged for you. If an appointment cannot be arranged, you can be added to our waiting list in case a spot opens up. In the meantime, keep checking the schedule online–you may notice before we do that another student has cancelled an appointment, freeing up a slot that you can book for yourself.

If you have a draft of a paper, bring either a print copy of it or a laptop with the document on it to your appointment. We will not print papers or work with students on the Centre’s computers.

You should also bring any assignment instructions and texts you are using for that assignment. For example, if you are writing a summary of a journal article, bring the article to your appointment. If you are writing an essay on Frankenstein, bring the novel with you.

This way, if questions arise, you can consult the text. Bringing an assignment your professor has already marked may help you and your writing tutor decide what to work on.

No, you must bring either a printed copy of your paper or your own laptop or tablet. The Centre cannot print papers or work with students on the Centre’s computers.

Absolutely. You can come to the Writing Centre at any stage of the writing process, including before you’ve written a word or partway through a draft.

Yes, if you get permission from your professor or instructor. You can show us an email from them giving you permission, or they can email or phone the Centre to let us know (writing_centre@cbu.ca or 902-563-1325 or 902-563-1266).

No. You may only bring your own work to an appointment at the Writing Centre.

Certainly, but we’ll only be able to help you with the parts you’ve written. If your group members want to work on their portions, they must make their own appointments. Your group can also come to the Centre as a group to discuss an assignment or questions you have in common (e.g., how to use a certain referencing style).

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