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Writing Center: Frequently Asked Questions


  • Do I need an appointment to see a writing tutor?
  • No. You can drop in to see a tutor whenever you have time.
  • How often can I come to see a writing tutor?
    • In general, you should not come more than once per day and no more than 2-3 times for each assignment. You must do substantial work on your own before you come see a tutor for additional tutoring sessions. If you feel like you need more help after seeing a tutor, please talk with Paul Whiteford or Adam Rusinak.
    • I need help with my paper, but I don't have a lot written yet. Can you help me?
    • Yes! Tutors can help you at any stage of the writing process from coming up with a topic to putting the finishing touches on a final draft. 
    • Will you proofread my paper and fix my grammar?
      • No. Tutors are not professional editors and will not simply fix your paper. We are happy to read over it, however, and will offer advice regarding the errors that we see. Our goal is to make you a better writer, not just to improve the essay that you bring to us, so we will focus on errors that we can realistically teach you how to correct yourself in the time available.
      • Can I e-mail a paper to a tutor and have them send corrections to me?
      • Sorry, the writing center does not currently accept papers by e-mail.
      • My paper is due in an hour. Can I still come to see a tutor?
      • Please visit a writing tutor at least one day before your paper is due. That way, you will have enough time to make changes to your paper.
      • Will you help me to read essays or articles assigned to me?
      • We can give you some pointers about writing a summary of the essay or article you were assigned to read, and look over anything you have written, but tutors will not read the article and tell you what it's about.
      • I have to write a paper for a class, but it's not for an English class. Do I see a writing tutor or a tutor in the class's subject?
        • Possibly both. Tutors can help you figure out who can best help you with the specific questions you have.
        • I missed class the day that we went over the assignment. Can a tutor explain it to me?
          • Go see your instructor first. Seeing a tutor cannot replace going to class or getting advice from your instructor. 
          • I saw my instructor but didn't understand her/his advice. Can you help me?
          • Again, the best thing to do in this case is to go back to your instructor and ask her/him for clarification.
          • My teacher gave me a lower grade than I deserve. Can a tutor read my paper and tell me what grade I "should" have received?
          • Your instructor is the one who grades your paper. Therefore, it is his or her opinion that matters most. If you have a question about your grade, you should speak with your instructor directly.
          • What grade will my essay receive?
          • That is completely up to your instructor. Tutors will NOT make guesses about your grades. However, if you work hard on your essay with a writing tutor, your grade will likely improve.
          • I don't think the advice the tutor gave me was right. What do I do?
          • You are ultimately responsible for decisions about your work. So it is up to you whether or not to follow a tutor's advice. If you feel like the tutor has given you poor advice, you may seek clarification and input from your instructor, other professional staff tutors, or fellow classmates. However, if there is a serious concern, please contact the staff writing tutor, Paul Whiteford (paul.whiteford@anokaramsey.edu), and let him know about the problem.