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Academic Success Center > Writing Center > Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's about the Writing Center

Why should I seek assistance from a Writing Center tutor?
Writing conferences are individual oriented and offer one-on-one assistance. They offer individuals opportunities to discuss their concerns and specific needs in a writing project. In other words, the tutorial conferences are more conversational, more student guided, and focusing more on individual needs during the revision process.

Scheduling and attending a tutorial conference does not, in any way, suggest that you are a bad writer; it is just an opportunity to address a student’s specific strengths and weaknesses.

Do I need to pay a fee to use the service?
No. The Writing Center is a support program that supplements classroom instruction. It is a free service that provides tutorials to all UMC students across the curriculum.

When do I need to see a writing tutor?
You can see a writing tutor for any writing related questions. Feel free to stop by and see a tutor if you need assistance in any one of the following areas:

  1. Don’t know what to do to get started with a class paper
  2. Need help brain-storming
  3. Not sure what a thesis statement or topic sentence is like
  4. Need writing strategies for a specific kind of audience
  5. Don't know how to find or evaluate sources
  6. Need to practice a presentation or speech
  7. Need feedback from a reader for your paper
  8. Confused about which citation style to use and how
  9. How about grammar? What is a dangling modifier?
  10. Don’t know what to include in a resume or cover letter

What are writing conferences like?
In a typical writing conference, a student sits down one-on-one with a writing tutor to discuss any aspect and any stages of a writing project. The tutor will help the student identify strengths and weaknesses of a piece of writing, and strategies for improvement. However, the tutor will not proofread, correct, or “fix” a student’s paper. Nor would a tutor suggest a grade for a paper.

What do I need to bring?
When you come to a writing conference, make sure you bring a copy of your assignment sheet together with your rough drafts (if you have any) and/or ideas for your projects. In addition, you could prepare a list of questions that you want to ask during the conference.

How long is a session?
Each tutorial session is 30-minute long. Tutors can go through a paper 2 to 3 pages long during a session of this length. If you have a paper that is more than 3 pages, you can either sign up two consecutive sessions or ask a tutor for options.

Would a tutor proofread or correct my paper?
No, the tutor would not proofread, correct, or “fix” a student’s paper. Nor would the tutor suggest a grade for a paper. However, the tutor will help students identify strengths and weaknesses of a piece of writing, discuss strategies for improvement, and show to them how to proofread or edit their own writing.

Do I need an appointment?
Yes. To guarantee you a 30-minute tutorial session, you do need to make an appointment. Sign up for a conference is easy. Just go to, click on Make an Appointment, and follow the instructions. You can book a session on-line two weeks in advance. Depending on how busy the tutors are, we may have openings for walk-in visitors during regular tutoring hours.

You can also seek assistance during our walk-in hours or get quick writing tips through our online consultation service.

How do I make an appointment?
It's easy! Just go to and click on Make an Appointment. Follow the instructions as you move along.

Will my class instructor know that I used the service at the Writing Center?
If you want us to let your class instructor know that you have used the service at the Writing Center for a specific project, please let your writing tutor know during the tutorial. We will send a note to your instructor.

The Writing Center