A-State Writing Center F.A.Q. and Policies
We tutor all students, faculty, and staff, from all disciplines, on all pieces and elements of writing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where are you located? We are located on the First Floor of the Dean Ellis Library, 133A.
- Is the Writing Center free? Yes, all of the Writing Center’s services are free.
- Hours? Our friendly, qualified tutors are available in person and online. Hours vary each term and we are only open when classes are in session.
- Who can use the Writing Center? Anyone affiliated with the university can use the center: undergraduate and graduate students (including concurrent students), faculty, and staff.
- What kind of things do the tutors help with? Our trained tutors can assist you with any occasion for writing: essays, cover letters, resumes, grants, research papers, reports, proposals, lab reports, etc. We can also help you with specific areas of writing (for example, a particular area of grammar with which you struggle) and help you better understand your current writing assignment.
- Do I need to have a completed draft before I visit the center? No. We will help you at ALL stages of the writing process, including drafting and planning.
- How can I get an in-person tutoring session? You can make an appointment via Penji.
- Can I drop my paper off and pick it up later? No. Tutors will not comment on writing without the author present.
- Will the tutor edit my paper for me? No, we will not fix the writing for you—we are tutors, not editors—but we will we coach and advise you and teach you to recognize and fix errors on your own.
- What should I bring with me? You will want to bring a copy of your paper or electronic access to your paper (flash-drive, laptop, IPad, email), a means of taking notes, any handouts regarding assignment criteria, and an open mind. Masks are required to enter the Writing Center. We keep a limited supply of PPE and sanitation products if you forget your own.
- What can I expect from a Writing Center session?
In a tutoring session, you can expect that a Writing Consultant is going to begin by asking you about your project and your goals for the session. Then, you and the consultant will proceed accordingly. We invite you to watch the attached video for an inside look on a Writing Center consultation. See the attached video for more info. (attach “Inside a tutoring session.”)
- What if I don’t understand the writing assignment or project I need to complete?
We are happy to try to help you better understand the assignment or project. To this end, bring any materials that might help us, such as your notes, textbook, assignment sheets or prompts, and research materials. If you don’t have any of these materials, we suggest that you contact your instructor first to find out more about the assignment or project, and then come see us.
- What are reoccurring weekly appointments and should I sign up for these?
If you anticipate needing or wanting to meet with a consultant on a weekly basis, reoccurring weekly appointments will ensure that you are working with the same tutor each week and will also guarantee that these appointments are reserved for you, even during our busiest times, such as midterms and finals week. Sign up for these on Penji.
- Who should I contact if I have questions or comments about the Writing Center or its services? If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, you can contact the Writing Center Director, Tabatha Simpson-Farrow by email at email@example.com
Writing Center Policies for Tutees
Just as our tutors have many rules they abide by in the center, we have policies that we expect tutees to follow and respect.
1. Students can utilize the Writing Center once per day and a maximum of three times per week. Students engaging in "tutor-tag" (attempting to go from one tutor to another) will be asked to leave.
2. Sessions typically last between 30 and 45 minutes. Sessions should not exceed 50 minutes because tutors need to complete their notes from the session before their next session. Please note that if you are late to your appointment or "drop-in" that your session may have to be cut short to accommodate a scheduled appointment. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this might cause.
3. If a student misses three appointments without letting us know in advance, she will not be able to make any more appointments for the semester. She is welcome to drop in and use our services, but she will not be allowed to make appointments.
4. Students should not answer their cell phones in the Writing Center. If a tutee needs to answer his phone, he should take the call outside of the center and recognize that a call longer than 5 minutes will result in the session being automatically terminated.
5. Tutoring is hard work that takes intelligence, patience, and kindness. We require that tutees treat the Writing Center staff with respect; we ask tutees to also treat them kindly. That being said, the Writing Center staff reserves the right to ask students to leave if they are being disruptive, disrespectful, or distracting.
We have a wonderful, dedicated staff, but no one is perfect all of the time. If you have a less than favorable experience in our center, we want to hear about it. Please contact the Writing Center Director, Tabatha Simpson-Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.