Who can come to the Writing Center?

All current WSU students, faculty, and staff regardless of their discipline are welcome at the Writing Center. While tutors may not be science majors or philosophers, they will be good readers who can discuss issues of focus, organization, development and the tone in your paper. As the writer, you bring the textual knowledge, but the tutors can help you sort your ideas out, follow formatting guidelines and bolster generally positive writing habits.

Will I have to pay extra for Services?

No. All of the writing, research and technology services are free for WSU students, faculty, and staff.

Do I have to make an appointment?

We encourage you to make an appointment! However, beginning in Fall 2023, we will have a drop-in writing, study, and tutoring space called the Writer's Cafe. During business hours, you're welcome to hang out in the Writer's Cafe whether you just want a chill, dedicated space for writing and researching or if you think you have a question, but aren't sure whether you need a full appointment with a tutor. Tutors will be on hand to assist you during open hours at the Writer's Cafe. 

For any in-depth needs, it is best to make an appointment for writing support. Making an appointment is always helpful, especially when it is later on in the semester. We cannot guarantee assistance in the Writer's Cafe as we have limited staffing during those drop-in hours. You can receive full one-on-one support via scheduing an appointment. To schedule an appointment, please schedule online.

Who are the writing tutors at the Writing Center?

We have both undergraduate and graduate tutors working at the Writing Center. Our tutors come from different disciplines at WSU but are trained as writing tutors and have varying levels of disciplinary knowledge. Our peer tutors work at the Writing Center because they have strong writing skills and a desire to continue to improve those skills by working with other writers – the writers visiting the Writing Center! Please make sure to indicate if you are a graduate student or if you have a particular disciplinary writing need so that we can place you with a tutor who is best able to help you.

When should I come to the Writing Center?

You can visit the Writing Center at any stage in the writing process. You do not have to have a “finished” paper to seek help. The Writing Center is a place where students can receive support at any stage in their writing and researching process, as well as assistance with their technology needs.

What writing support does the Writing Center offer?

On a very basic level, every writer needs a reader – a good reader, not someone who will simply put a comma somewhere or correct an annotation. The Writing Center offers you this help while you are writing your papers. Our tutors will not ‘fix’ or ‘edit’ your papers. Rather, they will equip you with the skills necessary to edit papers on your own. Though there are a couple of computers available in the center, it is not a computer lab – these computers are meant to be used while you are working with your tutor.

The Writing Center and the library have handbooks available for referencing basic grammatical, mechanical and formatting structures. We also provide disciplinary-specific writing support for undergraduate and graduate students. While we will work with you on all forms of academic communication, Writing Center tutors will not write your paper for you, nor they will not edit and correct your paper. They will, however, help you to deal with the larger cognitive issues of paper writing: focus, organization, development and tone. They want you to understand that writing is a process. Through writing, you intellectually engage in a discussion about the subject matter that you are studying and learn the writing conventions necessary for your course and discipline.

Ultimately, the Writing Center should be a place where vibrant discussions about ideas lead to papers that are more focused, better organized, more fully developed, disciplined and tone appropriate. So, stopping by the Writing Center at any point in your paper writing process is fine, however, we find that when students come at the very beginning of their writing process, they are more successful.

What will happen during a writing session?

Our tutors can only review the information you provide for your appointment. If you bring in a draft, you will be asked about your assignment, your focus, your ideas and your concerns. You may also be asked to read your paper out loud to the tutor. Reading the paper out loud will help you to stay actively involved and allow you to control the direction of the tutorial conversation.

As you read, the tutor will listen and take some notes. After reading the paper, you and the tutor will discuss your concerns, as well as the notes that the tutor has taken. If you do not have a draft, you will discuss your assignment with the tutor along with your ideas for the assignment. The tutor will also suggest some ways of getting started. If you actively participate, you will gain more from your session. Upon leaving, always have a goal about what you will work on next. The tutors will complete an online report about your tutoring session. In it, they will record your visit and the issues covered during it. This form allows us to track your sessions and your writing needs.

How long are the sessions? What happens if I am late?

It depends on what type of support you are requesting.

Scheduled tutoring sessions run up to 50 minutes and start every hour on the hour. You'll need to be in the Writing Center within 15 minutes of your appointment start time in order to keep an appointment (or email us at engwc2310@wayne.edu in order to clarify that you'll be late and state when you will be in). After this time period has lapsed, we will cancel your appointment and begin taking walk-ins or assisting any students present in the Writing Center.

One-on-one Research sessions are made by contacting a librarian.

My paper is not for a composition course. Can I still see a writing tutor?

Yes! While we may not be able to get into the specifics of your discipline, the peer tutors can assist students working in a wide range of disciplines with the structure of argument, analysis and description. We can help with any writing assignment that is from a WSU course, including assisting creative writers and students in technical writing courses.

Can I get help with an exam or test?

Not if the request is for an exam or test that does not allow outside guidance. If the writing, research or technology is any way related to tests or exams that are meant to be completed individually and without any outside support, we cannot work with you on the assignment. To do so would be a break of the Student Code of Conduct and would be defined as cheating.

Per WSU's code of conduct, cheating is defined as: "Intentionally using or attempting to use or intentionally providing unauthorized materials, information or assistance in any academic exercise. This includes copying from another student's test paper, allowing another student to copy from your test, using unauthorized material during an exam and submitting a term paper for a current class that has been submitted in a past class without appropriate permission."

Can I bring in an assignment/any piece of writing that is not my own?

No. We will only work with students on their own work. To work on an assignment that is not the student's own is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

Can I bring in a project or writing that is not related to my classes?

Yes and no. Research and technology support is specific to WSU course assignments and projects. However, writing support can be provided to students working on personal statements and other materials related to academic writing. However, tutors will not work on writing that is not academically situated such as complaint letters, personal writing, etc.


If you have a question that we have not answered here, please email our director, Amy Latawiec: amy.latawiec@wayne.edu 

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