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Writing Center FAQ's

Student and tutor at Arnold Writing Center

The Writing Center is happy to assist with writing assignments in all subjects.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Writing Center's services, policies, and procedures:

Do I need an appointment?
No.  All Writing Center tutoring takes place on a walk-in basis.

Is there a charge for Writing Center tutoring?
No.  All tutoring is provided free of charge.

Is there a limit on the number of tutoring sessions I can attend?
No.  You are encouraged to bring multiple drafts of an assignment to the Writing Center.

Can I come for help with writing not related to a class?
Yes.  Students frequently come to the Writing Center with essays or personal statements for transfer or scholarships.

What if I am not currently taking classes at the college?
Members of the public are welcome at the Writing Center, but priority will be give to currently enrolled students.

When am I least likely to have to wait for a tutor?
The Arnold Writing Center is triple-staffed Monday-Thursday from 11am-2pm.  Saturdays tend to be quiet, as well.  The AMIL Writing Center rarely has a waiting list.

How will my instructor know that I came to the Writing Center?
Instructors receive a copy of the feedback form that you fill out at the beginning of your session.

Why do some sessions last longer than 30 minutes?
Most sessions last approximately 30 minutes.  If there is no waiting list, tutors can extend sessions at their discretion.

What do I need to know to sign in at the computer kiosk near the Student Services desk?
You will need to enter your name, your student ID, your class, and the service you wish to use (Writing Center).

When I sign in at the computer kiosk, will the tutor know I am here?
The tutors have no access to the sign-in system and will not know you have arrived for a session unless you come to the door of the Writing Center and say hello.  If the tutors are occupied with other students, be sure to sign your name on the waiting list on the table near the door.

Where can I print a copy of my draft or my assignment sheet?
You can use the computers and printers in the Technology Learning Center at Arnold or the computer lab at Arundel Mills.  Computers in the Writing Center are exclusively for use by tutors.

Why does the tutor need to see my assignment sheet?
It is nearly impossible to help someone improve his or her writing without knowing what that individual is trying to accomplish.

What is proofreading, and why won't the Writing Center tutors proofread my paper for me?
Proofreading is going through one's draft to find typos and errors in punctuation, grammar, mechanics, and usage.  The assumption is that the writer knows how to avoid these errors.  Proofreading is a student's responsibility, but tutors can teach students proofreading strategies that they can employ on their own.

If tutors won't proofread, how can I get help with grammar and mechanics?
Just ask!  Tutors will be glad to help you locate errors in grammar, mechanics, and style, and then to teach you how to correct these errors.

Why do I have to make the corrections on my own paper instead of having the tutor correct my paper for me?
It is your paper.  Research shows that students who make their own corrections are more likely to remember what they have learned than students who have others mark up their papers for them.  At the Writing Center, we want you to get a higher grade on the assignment you've brought to us, but more importantly, we want you to learn the concepts that will enable you to get higher grades on all your subsequent assignments.


Still have questions?
Contact Dr. Jessica Rabin, Professor of English and Director of Writing Tutoring.