How the Writing Centre works
What happens during an appointment at the Writing Centre?
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 tutor will begin by asking what you want to work on, and if you have any specific questions or concerns.
- Your tutor 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 tutor discuss it.
- Your tutor 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.
How often can I use the Writing Centre? [NEW]
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.
Can I bring my thesis, directed study, or ARP to the Writing Centre? [NEW]
Yes, you can make up to 5 Writing Centre appointments to discuss an honours thesis, directed study, or Advanced Research Project.
Can I bring my work to the Writing Centre to be proofread, edited, “checked,” or “corrected”?
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.
How far in advance should I make an appointment at the Writing Centre?
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’s due date so that you have time to revise.
I want to make an appointment at the Writing Centre, but there are none available. What should I do?
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.
What should I bring to my appointment?
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.
Can I come to the Writing Centre if I haven’t finished writing my paper (or if I haven’t yet written anything at all)?
Absolutely. You can come to the Writing Centre at any stage of the writing process, including before you’ve written a word and partway through a draft.
Can I bring my friend’s paper to the Writing Centre?
No. You may only bring your own work to an appointment at the Writing Centre.
Can I bring my group’s paper to 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 at the centre.
Can I get feedback on my paper from a tutor by email?
Only distance students can access writing help by email. If you are a distance student, you may send writing questions or drafts to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of scheduling an appointment online, and a tutor or the coordinator will work with you by email or telephone.
We still need to set time aside to look at your work and respond, so even though you don’t need to schedule an appointment online, you must still email the Centre well in advance about receiving help.