Frequently Asked Questions
Remember that tutors are there to help you become a better writer overall, not just to improve a single piece of writing. Be ready to take an active role in your appointment, to answer questions your tutor might have, and to write, revise, and write again so that your own ideas and your own voice comes through in your paper. Your active involvement in your tutoring session will, in turn, help you become an independent, confident writer, capable of self-revising and self-editing your papers in future writing tasks.
Setting up an appointment
How do I make an appointment?
Please go to our online scheduler to register with your California Lutheran University email and student ID. Then log in and choose a convenient session time for you. Please note the directions at the top of the scheduler that will walk you through scheduling face to face or online appointments.
What times are available for appointments?
Appointments begin at the top of the hour and at half past. For example, at 10 a.m. or at 10:30 a.m.
Should I schedule a 30- or 60-minute session?
This really depends on your goals for the session. If you have one or two very specific questions (for example, a question about how to document a source or about a grammar issue), choose the 30-minute option. If you want to discuss an entire paper or part of a long paper, choose 60 minutes. We encourage graduate and international students to schedule 60-minute sessions.
Do I have to make an appointment?
If you prefer an online appointment, you must register with our online system and schedule an appointment via our online scheduler. For face to face tutoring, appointments guarantee you time with a tutor, but they are not required. You may drop in at any time and work with tutors who are available. Please note that the Writing Center experiences an increase in visits around midterm and finals, so drop-in sessions are hard to come by. We encourage all students to make appointments through our online scheduler during the peak times of midterms and finals. If you drop in, we will ask you to go to our online scheduler to register and choose the next available session.
Can I choose to work with a specific tutor?
Of course! Meeting with the same tutor is especially helpful if you're working on a long paper and need more than one visit to discuss revision ideas. Just choose your preferred tutor from our online scheduler.
How often can I visit the Writing Center?
Each student may schedule up to 60-minutes total per day (one appointment per day) and up to 120-minutes individual appointment time total per week.
What happens if I'm late or forget to show up for my appointment?
If you're more than ten minutes late for an appointment, your tutor might begin working with a drop-in student and you will be marked as a no-show. If you're late or don't show up for two appointments in one semester, you will be unable to make appointments on our online scheduler for the rest of the semester and can only drop-in.
Do I need to have a draft of my paper before I visit the Center?
No. Our tutors are trained to work with students at any stage of the writing process. Even if you just received an assignment and are unsure of how to begin, we can help brainstorm ideas and organize a drafting plan. Tutors can also help with general writing questions. For online appointments, please upload your assignment sheet to the whiteboard so that you and your tutor can begin working on a writing plan.
What should I bring to my visit?
Please bring a copy of your syllabus, a copy of your assignment sheet, and any drafts, brainstorming, or outlines you may have. You are welcome to bring your laptop and any sources you may have already gathered, whether they are electronic or print sources. Please note that we do not have a printer in the Writing Center, so if you would like to work from a hard copy, please print it out in the library before your scheduled appointment.
Is there anything else I should do?
It's a good idea to have a general sense of what you want out of each session. It's best to limit these goals to two or three things. For example, you may want to clarify your understanding of the assignment, talk about ways to strengthen your thesis, or brainstorm new ideas or examples to support your argument. You will discuss these goals with the tutor at the beginning of your session.
During the Session
I made an appointment. Where do I go?
If your appointment is at the TO Writing Center, we are located in the Pearson Library in the Darling Collaboration Suite. For your Oxnard campus appointment, please visit our Writing Center @ Oxnard located in room 114. For your online appointment, log back in to the online scheduler approximately five to ten minutes before the start of your appointment. Then open the appointment and click "Start or Join Online Consultation."
What happens during a session?
Face to face appointments: after introductions, your tutor will ask about your goals for the session. If you're working on a paper for a class, the tutor will ask to see your assignment and maybe your syllabus.What happens next really depends on your learning style, your tutor's style, and where you are in the writing process. The tutor might ask you to read your draft aloud or ask you open-ended questions about your assignment. Reading your paper aloud can help you notice which sections need more attention. The tutor might also ask you to clarify your meaning in a certain part of the paper. The tutor might even take notes while you're talking. In some sessions, the tutor may stop you as you read to ask questions. If the tutor's strategies aren't working for you or if you're confused, please tell the tutor. The tutors are here to help, and they're always happy to try new tutoring techniques.A few minutes before your session ends, your tutor will likely stop to summarize the key points he or she hopes you take away from the session. You're welcome to take notes as well. Online appointments work similarly except all discussion and dialogue will occur in chat form. Your tutor will ask open ended questions as you work together to strengthen your paper.
Will the tutor edit or proofread my paper?
For both face to face and online sessions, tutors will work with you to look for mistakes and model ways to fix them. It is our goal to help you become an effective editor of your own work rather than for us to do the editing for you. You can expect a tutor to look at a few paragraphs with you to discover your patterns of error. After the tutor explains the errors and the ways to avoid the errors, you will be expected to apply this knowledge to the rest of your paper on your own. The tutor will be close by and act as a guiding reference.
I am a graduate student. In what ways can the Writing Center help me?
As of fall 2012, we are now able to provide graduate students the option of working with graduate writing tutors, who are able to address some of the complex writing projects expected from CLU’s graduate students. Graduate student tutors go through the same rigorous training as our undergraduate tutors and are prepared to work with graduate students on seminar papers, research projects, and case studies. We also offer our services at the Oxnard campus for students taking courses there. For thesis and dissertation support, please contact Dr. Erica Cirillo-McCarthy, Assistant Director of Graduate and ADEP Writing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an ADEP student. In what way can the Writing Center help me?
Both our undergraduate and graduate writing tutors are here to help you with your writing assignments in the ADEP program. Undergraduate and graduate writing tutors attend weekly training on specific tutoring topics, such as working with adult students. We are open until 8pm Monday – Thursday to meet the needs of students who may work full-time and/or have full-time family responsibilities. We also offer our services at the Oxnard campus for students taking courses there. We look forward to serving you!
End of Session
Why I am asked to fill out a survey after every visit?
This form provides us with valuable, anonymous feedback so that we can continually improve our services. It also helps us with funding, as we use your feedback to illustrate exactly what students have to say about our services.
I know I want to come back to the Writing Center. How can I schedule a new appointment?
We encourage students to schedule their next appointment right after they fill out the student survey. Please take a few minutes while you are still here to sign into our scheduler and schedule your next appointment.