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Florida Gulf Coast University

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The Writing Center

Student Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an appointment?
No. Sessions are available on a walk-in basis—no appointment is needed. 
Do I need to have a completed draft of the assignment before visiting the Writing Center?
No. You are welcome to visit the Center at any stage in the writing process.  It is often helpful to discuss your ideas if you are having difficulty beginning the assignment.
Will you proofread or edit my paper? 
Our primary goals are to improve your abilities to think independently, to write critically, and to learn and implement writing strategies that will assist you in producing successful college-level essays. This means that although we would be happy to help you identify issues of style and mechanics, we do not edit or proofread. Writing Center sessions focus on fostering skills rather than on correcting errors. You cannot simply drop your paper off. You are an essential part of the tutoring session.
How long are the consultations? 
Writing Center sessions are approximately thirty minutes in length. We have found it is most helpful to focus on one major issue (such as the thesis statement, development, adding source information, documentation format, or grammar/mechanics) per session as opposed to trying to cover all aspects of the essay at once. 
Can I bring in more than one paper? 
You will only have thirty minutes with a writing consultant, so it is best to bring in one paper at a time. Feel free to stay for multiple sessions if you have more than one assignment on which you would like to work. If you would like to complete another session and there are students waiting for to see a consultant, you will have to wait until another consultant is available. Though we are happy to offer you multiple sessions, we encourage students to spend time independently working on their papers in between each consultation.
How often can I visit?
There is no weekly limit for Writing Center sessions. Our consultations are thirty minutes long, but some lengthier assignments (over six pages) might require you to visit the Writing Center for an additional session, especially if you would like to focus on more than one aspect of your paper. When your initial session is complete, you can sign up for another consultation, but you may have to wait if there are others waiting to see a writing consultant. Additionally, we have found that students can get more out of their supplementary sessions if they work on their assignment independently between sessions.
How can a Writing Consultant help me improve my writing skills?
Writing Center sessions are designed to assist you in improving your ability to write and revise independently. Consultants can help you develop your writing skills through assistance with prewriting, writing, and revising strategies. Consultants help with brainstorming, formulating a clear thesis, developing your ideas, and revising. Writing consultants can also work with you to facilitate improvement in documentation format and mechanics.
Can I email my paper for a consultant to review?
We have found that our one-on-one consultations are much more effective in person. Though it may seem easier to just email your paper to us, sometimes it is a much lengthier process because you do not have the benefit of instant feedback, the quick exchange of ideas, or prompt answers to questions that may arise; however, we do offer distance sessions through email for students enrolled in virtual courses who are unable to physically visit the Writing Center during our hours of operation. See our Distance Learning Tutoring link: 
Will my instructor know that I came into the Writing Center?
We do not notify your instructor when you come to visit us. If your professor inquires about you, we will let them know when you attended and what you worked on. If you need evidence of attending a consultation, we will be happy to make a copy of the Record of Student Progress form, which will show your instructor when you attended, the length of the session, and what was covered in the session.
Do you help graduate students?
Yes. Even graduate students still need help in improving their writing abilities. We can help with any writing assignment that you might have. If you are not on campus during our regular hours of operation, you might want to take advantage of our distance consultation services.
Does the Writing Center help with dissertations or thesis projects?
If you have something specific that you would like to work on within your thesis project, you are welcome to visit the Writing Center for a session. Generally, with projects of this length, you may not be able to work on your entire project given the 30-minute session length. Remember, we do not edit or proofread; however, if you would like to hire someone to assist you with editing your project, we would be happy to pair you with a qualified consultant who can edit your thesis for a reasonable rate. 
Do you help with group projects?
We do help with group projects, and we encourage the whole group to visit when working on these assignments. Though we understand if your whole group is not able to attend the same session, we are only able to help the person who has written the content. There may be questions regarding the clarity of content that can only be addressed by the writer.