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Writing Center FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Writing Center?
The Writing Center at Lincoln Center is located on the third floor of the Lowenstein Building. Our room is off the silent lounge across from the elevator. The Writing Center at Rose Hill is Walsh Library, Reference Area (Rm 121).

When does the Writing Center open for the semester?
The Writing Center opens each semester on the first or second day of classes. The Writing Center closes each semester before reading days start.

Is the Writing Center open during Finals Week?
No. The Writing Center is closed during finals so that the peer tutors can focus on their studies.

How do I get a session at the Writing Center?
There are two ways:

  1. You can walk in during our regular hours and a tutor will help you if she is available. It’s best to walk in at the beginning of an hour or half hour (for example, 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.).
  2. You can make an appointment by logging on to our online scheduling system. First-time users need to register and create a password. Appointments begin on the hour or half hour.

How long should I expect my tutorial to last?
30 minutes or an hour depending on what length of session you schedule yourself for.

What should I bring to my tutorial?
The most important thing to bring to your tutorial is an openness to work on your writing! Other things that help make a session successful are:

  • The assignment sheet
  • Any class notes or course texts that pertain to the assignment
  • Any written work you have done so far.
  • Any secondary sources that might be pertinent.

I don’t have a draft of my paper; can I still come to the Writing Center?
Yes. While a draft is helpful, it is not necessary for a tutorial. You are welcome to use your session to brainstorm ideas to help get you started. But please read the prompt before you come in at the least.

Is there a limit to how often I can have a tutorial?
Yes! Our policy is one and a half hours per student per week.

I came to the Writing Center last night and worked with a tutor on a paper and I want to come in right before it’s due tomorrow to have a new tutor take a “final look.” Is this okay?
Maybe. If you want a writing consultant to look over the final draft of your paper and teach you how to catch grammatical or copy editing errors on your own, then we are happy to help. However, a tutor cannot “fix” your paper for you before you turn it in.

How far in advance do I need to cancel an appointment?
You should log on to and cancel as soon as you know you cannot make your appointment. If you don’t cancel in advance, you’ll be considered a “no-show.”

What if I’m late to my appointment?
If you are more than 15 minutes late, your appointment will be canceled. Be on time!

Can the tutor read the paper on my laptop?
It’s up to the tutor, but we generally prefer to read a hard copy rather than electronic versions. A Writing Center conference is a chance to slow down and evaluate your paper. We hope you’ll take notes on the issues you discuss with the tutor and reflect on our feedback before decisions about what to change.

Can I talk about more than one assignment in an appointment?
Probably not.

I have a research paper due for a non-humanities class. May I still come to the Writing Center?
Yes! We offer tutorials for writing in all disciplines. All staff members are trained to help students in any major and some, because of their major or other experience, specialize in non-humanities tutorials. Take a look at the “Meet the Staff” page to find out more about our tutors’ special interests.

My professor says I really need to work on grammar; will the Writing Center help me with this?
Yes! While the Writing Center is not a copyediting service, we are happy to help students who express a desire to learn more about grammar. Often, once a tutorial is underway, the tutor will note issues other than grammar that will also warrant the student’s attention.

Do you help with non-academic writing?
Yes! We help with all the different kinds of writing tasks that students face. This includes personal statements for graduate or professional schools (law school, medical school, etc.), applications for internships, and applications for funding for internships.

Do you help with creative writing?

Do you help with foreign language papers; how can I make arrangements for this?
We do not take papers written in another language.

I am a strong writer and am confident about my writing. Is the Writing Center for me?
YES! All writers can benefit from the feedback of an interested reader. In fact, just about all professional writers show their work to others in order to improve it.

Does the Writing Center see students who are not freshmen?
Yes! The Writing Center sees students at all levels and in all classes.

Can I work with the same tutor every time?
Theoretically, yes, but probably not. You are welcome to request the same tutor for each of your visits and make your appointments accordingly. However, our schedule gets filled up quickly and it is unlikely that the tutor you want will always be available. All of our staff members are nominated by faculty on campus for their strong writing skills as well as their ability to work with others. We’re sure you’ll find the help of other writing consultants useful to you as well.

How can I make the most of the Writing Center?

  1. Schedule your appointment so that there’s enough time to revise before the paper is due.
  2. Don’t cancel! No matter where you are in the process, no matter how little you have written–we can help. An hour spent planning and prioritizing will help you work efficiently.
  3. And relax! Peer writing consultants are also students, and they have felt stressed about writing as well. We’re here to help and are happy to do so.

What if I have a suggestion for the Writing Center?
Tell your tutor, or contact the Writing Center Director at