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Frequently Asked Questions

The Writing Center
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up to see a tutor?
 

 

Appointments
 
Because the Writing Center could sometimes be completely booked two weeks in advance, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment as soon as possible. There are three ways to secure an appointment:
  1. use our online booking system (If your browser gives you a security warning, please know that our system is safe and proceed with your browser's directions to make a security exception)  
  2. call 212-650-8104
  3. visit us at the Writing Center
We will not respond to email requests for appointments. You are allowed to make no more than two appointments per week. Sessions begin on the hour, and if you arrive more than five minutes late without calling or emailing, your session will be given to a walk-in student. For more on the Writing Center policies, see Students' Rights and Responsibilities.
 
 
Walk-in Sessions
 
You may also come to the Writing Center without an appointment and put your name on the waiting list. Students on the waiting list are not guaranteed a tutoring session. The front desk will call names from the list every hour only if tutors are available. Walk-in students must be present when their name is called. 
 
 
For more information on our policies, please read Students' Rights and Responsibilities.
 
 
Who are your tutors?

 

Our well-prepared tutors include professionals, adjunct professors, and graduate students from a range of age groups, backgrounds, majors, and careers. They have advanced training in English writing, including Creative Writing, English for Speakers of Other Languages, writing for the sciences and engineering, writing for the social sciences and public policy, and other forms of English communication.
 
 
What happens in a session?

 

Our 50-minute sessions typically include an opening conversation between the tutor and student, approximately 40 minutes of student-centered writing instruction, a brief review, and a plan for further student development. 
 
At the beginning of a session, the tutor will ask you about your writing, listen to you, assess your writing skills, and narrow down the focus of the session to a few key grammatical and/or structural issues that may impede meaning in your writing. 
 
During the session, the tutor will explain, model, and guide you as you practice your writing skills. Instruction is student-centered, meaning that the student is in the driver’s seat and is the main focus of the session. The tutor may ask guiding questions, prompt you to read parts of your paper aloud, or demonstrate writing skills directly on your paper or on scratch paper. You may consult a handbook or receive a helpful handout. Since our tutoring sessions last 50 minutes, there may not enough time to work on every writing issue within a single session. Becoming a good writer is a process. You should use each session wisely, participate in the discussion, and work with your tutor on eliminating recurring mistakes in your writing rather than passively receiving suggestions from your tutor. 
 
At the end or the session, you will briefly review what you worked on, and you will be able to ask clarifying questions. You and your tutor may also discuss next steps in your process of development as a writer. 

 

What should I bring?

At a minimum, please bring a pen or pencil and paper as we do not use computers in tutoring sessions. If you have a specific assignment, definitely bring the assignment sheet to show to your tutor. Other than that, bring whatever you have to work on: your notes, an outline, an exploratory draft, rough drafts, or graded papers with comments. Our tutors will gladly work with you on any stage of the writing process, from the initial brainstorm to the reviewing your professor’s comments on a graded paper. 
 

 

Do you have computers?

Yes. Please read our Computer Lab page for details.