Frequently Asked Questions
What takes place during a tutoring session?
Put simply: conversation between peers about writing.
More specifically, tutors:
- Listen actively, ask questions and make suggestions, helping students develop ideas, make effective arguments and achieve clarity.
- Work with students to identify patterns of error in usage, form and style, explaining rules and offering strategies for editing and proofreading.
- Help students with anything from understanding assignment prompts to finding library resources to using correct citations.
Tutors never write any part of a student's papers or edit their papers for them.
How can my students use the Writing Center most effectively?
Generally, your students will benefit from multiple visits to the Writing Center, starting early in the writing process.
In the early stages of drafting, tutors can help students understand their assignments and work with them on focus and argument. Later on, tutors can help them with sentence-level issues. Time for revision after a visit to the Writing Center is always recommended.
Can I require my students to visit the Writing Center?
We believe that students should be encouraged, but not required, to visit the Writing Center. While required visits can be beneficial to students, tutorials are most effective if the student is a willing and engaged participant. A required visit can result in a student's bringing in a negative or apathetic attitude to the session, which limits productivity. Additionally, required visits often result in students rushing to the Writing Center at the last minute, often right before their papers are due, which prevents them from being able to make substantive revisions based on the tutors' suggestions. If you still choose to require your students to visit the Writing Center, please note that we cannot guarantee that all of your students will be seen by a tutor, especially if they do not have an appointment.
Will I be notified if my students visit the Writing Center?
The content of each tutoring session is confidential. However, prior to each session, students have the option to indicate whether or not they want their instructors to be notified of their visit. You will receive an email notifying you that a session report was uploaded to Stetson SSC. The session report will contain a brief summary of the session, written by the tutor.
My student visited the Writing Center, and their paper still contains grammatical or punctuation errors. Why?
The Writing Center is not an editing service. Tutors are trained to attend first to "higher order concerns" (focus, development, organization, etc.) and typically work on issues of style and grammar only after these bigger picture issues are addressed. Additionally, while tutors will certainly identify and explain patterns of errors to students, they are not able to identify every error a paper may contain within the course of a tutorial—nor is this a good use of their time. We find it most effective to teach students rules and concepts so that they can apply this knowledge in the future.
Does the Writing Center offer support for faculty?
We are open to all members of the Stetson University community. Specific support for faculty is also available. Director Leigh Ann Dunning holds weekly hours in which she is available to help faculty and staff with their professional writing tasks, including assignment prompts, conference proposals, cover letters, articles, etc. Email Leigh Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation.
Can a representative from the Writing Center visit my class?
Class visits are generally about 10 minutes long. During this time, the tutor will talk to your students about the purpose of the Writing Center and what to expect from a tutoring session.
We've also created 40-minute interactive presentations on topics related to writing.
We can also assist with particular writing assignments or tasks. For example, a tutor can help facilitate peer review or class workshops.
To arrange a visit, please email email@example.com at least a week in advance.