Commonly asked questions:
What kinds of writing can I bring to the Writing Center?
ABTech students are welcome to bring a variety of compositions to the Writing Center, including academic assignments, professional texts (e.g. resumes and cover letters), or creative projects, such as short stories or poetry.
How frequently can I visit the Writing Center?
Students may schedule up to two in-person appointments per week. Students may also make up to three online submissions in a given week. In total, students may have up to five Writing Center sessions per week (two in-person and three online). Students who would like a weekly standing appointment can make arrangements by calling the Writing Center at (828) 398-7218 or by visiting during business hours.
How much does it cost to visit the Writing Center?
Nothing! The Writing Center is a free service available to all ABTech students.
I am a confident writer. Do I need to visit the Writing Center?
At the Writing Center, we believe that all writers, regardless of skill or confidence level, benefit from discussing their writing, sharing ideas, and receiving feedback. We welcome (and encourage) all students to utilize the Writing Center at any stage of their writing process to receive feedback and guidance.
Will I get a good grade on my paper if I visit the Writing Center?
While receiving feedback on a draft is always beneficial, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a certain grade on your assignment. Your tutor can provide you with feedback and recommendations from the standpoint of a reader and tutor, but they cannot account for or know your instructor’s expectations or approach to grading. However, statistics show that students who utilize the Writing Center are much more likely to experience success in their classes than those who do not. For example, in Spring 2018, 91% of students who utilized the Writing Center received a passing grade in the course for which they visited.
What can a tutor help me with?
Writing Center tutors can support you at any stage of the writing process. Tutors can help you:
- Interpret assignment prompts
- Engage in pre-writing activities, such as concept mapping, freewriting, or outlining.
- Craft a thesis statement.
- Revise drafts.
- Incorporate and cite evidence.
- Strengthen style, cohesion, and voice.
- Develop a more effective writing process.
- Create a writing schedule for longer or challenging assignments.
- Format papers in MLA, APA, and CMS.
Students may visit the Writing Center at any stage of the writing process. Generally speaking, the earlier you begin utilizing the Writing Center for a class or project, the more beneficial the service will be, as many students find that addressing all their concerns or questions can take multiple appointments.
What does a session consist of?
Appointments may last up to 50 minutes and typically follow a general sequence:
- An introductory conversation, during which the tutor will ask the student about their assignment, their concerns, and any other pertinent information.
- A read through of the draft, if applicable, or other available materials, so tutors can get a sense of the student’s writing and begin to develop feedback.
- Discussion of feedback, observations, and questions. This stage will likely take up the majority of the appointment and can consist of a variety of conversations and activities depending upon the assignment, the student’s progress, and the student’s concerns or needs.
- Development of a revision plan.
- Composition of report. Tutors will draft a brief summary of the session for the Writing Center’s records that will be sent to instructors so they can better understand and serve students’ writing needs. Note: reports are NOT an evaluation of students or their writing. They strictly document the steps a student took during the course of a session to strengthen their writing.
What should I bring to my appointment?
We have computers available in the Writing Center, though you may bring and use a laptop if you have one. Your tutor will ask to see a copy of your assignment prompt, so you will want to either bring a copy or have the prompt pulled up on a computer. You should also bring (or be able to access) any materials you have worked on or want to discuss with your tutor, including drafts, outlines, and concept maps.
Can you edit or proofread my paper?
While editing and proofreading are valuable stages of the writing process, tutors cannot provide these services. Instead, tutors will work with students to cultivate their writing skills so they can make grammatical decisions independently. This approach ensures that tutors help students improve as writers, rather than just making corrections to a text in the moment.
When should I utilize face-to-face tutoring vs. online tutoring?
The Writing Center provides a variety of tutoring services, though each service may be helpful for different students at varying stages of their writing process. Online tutoring tends to be most helpful for students who are approaching the end of their writing process and primarily need guidance in adjusting local elements of their writing, such as sentence structure, phrasing, etc. Face-to-face tutoring is often a more effective way for students to address concerns at earlier stages of the writing process, such as brainstorming, planning, and/or drafting, or for students who need to make significant changes to their draft’s structure or content. However, students who are taking classes remotely or who otherwise cannot visit the Writing Center during regular business hours will also be able to address global concerns through online tutoring.
If you have questions about which tutoring service is the best fit for your current needs, please call the Writing Center at (828) 398-7218.
I have a follow-up question after my online tutoring session. Can I contact my tutor to ask them?
While we encourage students to be thoughtful in their reflections and responses to tutor feedback, we cannot accommodate any follow-up questions from online tutoring sessions. If you wish to sit down and talk with a tutor, please make a face-to-face appointment by visiting our calendar or calling the Writing Center at (828) 398-7218.
What if I can’t find an open appointment on the calendar?
If you need to visit the Writing Center but do not see an open appointment on our calendar, call the Writing Center as soon as possible at (828) 398-7218. We can often place you with a tutor who is on standby (i.e. not visible on our electronic calendar) or place you on our waitlist.
How does the waitlist work?
When students are unable to find an open appointment slot, they should join the waitlist, either electronically or by calling the Writing Center at (828) 398-7218. In the event of a no-show or cancellation, students will be notified of the opening via phone in the order in which they joined the waitlist. The open appointment may be claimed on a first come, first served basis. To improve your chances of being moved off the waitlist, follow a few suggestions:
- Always include your preferred contact number when joining the waitlist.
- Put the Writing Center's phone number, (828) 398-7218, in your contacts.
- Make sure your voicemail is set up.
- Routinely check that your voicemail is not full.
What will happen if I am late to my appointment?
While we encourage students to be prompt (if not early!) for their appointments so that they can take full advantage of the 50 minutes allotted for their session, we understand that life happens. If you run late, we will still work with you as long as you arrive within thirty minutes of your appointment’s start time (Ex. before 10:30AM for a 10:00AM appointment). However, if another student is waiting for an appointment, we will give them any appointment slot that has not been claimed by ten after the hour.
How do I cancel an appointment?
Should the need arise, please try to cancel your appointment as far in advance as possible so that other students can claim the appointment. Cancellations can be made by calling the Writing Center at (828) 398-7218.