Services and FAQs
Explore the ways that the Writing Center can help you and other frequently asked questions.
How the Writing Center Can Help…
Work with us on any or all of the following:
- Pre-writing: brainstorm ideas, choose/narrow topics, develop/focus a thesis, and organize your paper’s content.
- Drafting: develop paragraphs, add specific and vivid details, and add in-depth critical analysis. Revising: add, cut, and rearrange according to comments made by your instructor.
- Editing: overcome any problems with grammar, punctuation, and style. We can also help with formatting styles such as MLA and APA.
There are, however, limits to what we can do. We cannot proofread, rewrite a paper, or guarantee “A” papers. Please have reasonable expectations and be open minded when you visit us.
Are you a faculty member looking to reach the Writing Center?
The Writing Center offers workshops, group tutoring sessions, class presentations and much more. Faculty are welcome to contact the Writing Center Coordinator for their campus to arrange to bring their classes to the Writing Center or can request that the tutors come to meet the class at their regular classroom. Here are just a few topics we can cover with your students:
- MLA & APA Formatting
- Finding a paper topic
- Essay organization/outlining
- Introducing a class to the Writing Center
- Abstract writing
- Finding academic sources
Please contact the Writing Center Coordinator on your home campus us for further details and scheduling. We’re looking forward to working with your students!
Scheduling and Policies
Writing Center tutoring is a free service offered to all PNW students and staff. Staffed by trained peer tutors, the PNW Writing Center is an excellent resource for those who seek assistance planning, writing and revising texts.
Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help with any stage of the writing process, including brainstorming, researching, organizing ideas, drafting, revising for overall content or identifying common errors. We can offer help with any assignment for any course or other writing, such as scholarship applications.
Writing Center sessions are available in-person or remotely. You have the option to choose between synchronous online tutoring (via video chat) or asynchronous eTutoring (via uploaded documents and email).
Some walk-in appointments may be available although it is always best to make an appointment in advance.
Available appointment spots are shown in white.
- Appointments are 45 minutes in length. The last 15 minutes of each session are for the tutor to write up session notes, send a session report to the instructor if requested to by the student, and prepare for upcoming appointments.
- Students may schedule one appointment per day and up to three appointments per week.
- The Writing Center requests that students who need to cancel their appointments do so as soon as possible so that other students can use that time.
- Students who have 3 missed (no-show) appointments will have their appointment schedule account deactivated and will only be allowed to utilize walk-in appointments.
- Writers will receive an email message afterward from the tutor summarizing their session.
- Students are expected to make appropriate progress, as determined by the tutors, staff, and/or faculty, on the work they bring to the Writing Center. Tutoring sessions are intended to help students grow and develop their individual skills as writers and members of the academic community.
Peer tutoring is based on respect for all members of the PNW Writing Center community (tutors, writers and faculty). Both writers and tutors must abide by PNW’s standards on academic integrity and civility code. Tutoring is a privilege maintained by both tutors and writers who uphold these standards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before Your Appointment
We have, aside from tutors who will guide you through the writing process, other great materials to aid students in writing: computers, various reference books (textbooks, MLA and APA manuals, dictionaries, and thesauruses) grammar and structure handouts, and more.
When working with the Writing Center, always BE PREPARED! You should bring: assignment sheets (prompts), your papers (whether they are graded or not), your textbooks & resources, a flash drive or storage device or your laptop computer, your notes, or anything else that will help the tutor to understand the assignment and effectively help you with it.
Yes! PNW Writing Center tutors will be available for asynchronous tutoring via email. Visit our online appointment system and click on any open box (shown in white). When you sign up for an appointment, be sure to click the box that says “eTutoring” and attach your writing, along with the assignment sheet and any questions or items you’d like the tutor to address.
The tutor cannot not “fix” the paper for you, but will instead make suggestions for ways you can revise the work yourself. Please allow up to 48 hours for a response.
Anyone! Beginning as well as advanced writers can come for assistance at any level of the writing process. The Writing Center is available to the entire PNW community.
Not necessarily! If you are at the beginning stages of your writing, you are welcome to come in and just have a conversation with a tutor about your ideas. Talking about your ideas can help you make decisions, focus on a topic and decide where to begin. Please note that tutors can help with a range of writing, not just for classes. We can also help with personal statements or scholarship applications.
Inside the Writing Center
The Writing Center is the only location where students can receive one-on-one tutoring for generating, revising and editing papers, as well as one-on-one computer instruction for word processing and using the Internet. We also have informative handouts, exercise worksheets and reference materials to assist you. Writers can get help with a tutor at any step in the writing process. Students may also use the writing center to study, write their papers or do online research.
Yes, come on in! The Writing Center is a good place to study, work on the computer, read, or just relax.
Students, whether experienced or inexperienced writers, can work with experienced tutors and gather ideas for creating and improving writing assignments.
Writing assignments need not be limited to just English classes! Tutors can aid students with any type of writing.
What happens in a tutorial?
- We ask questions! What is your assignment? What have you written and how do you feel about your writing? What is your main argument? What are your concerns with your writing?
- We read out loud! Reading a paper out loud tells us what to listen for in your paper. It also helps you catch mistakes that you may have made in your draft.
- We look at the global issues in your paper. By global, we mean, does your paper express its main idea clearly? Is your paper organized and do your arguments have enough support?
- We look at the late concerns in your paper. These concerns are sentence level issues such as comma splices, grammar, and coherence. Are you using punctuation in the proper place and do your arguments make sense grammatically?
- We discuss your plans for revision. While this may signal a stopping point as far as the tutorial is concerned, it is not where revision and work on the assignment ends. This is the point where we talk about how you plan to revise your paper and discuss what needs to be done after you leave the tutoring session. We may suggest, at this point, that you return to the writing center with your revised draft for further work.
A tutor will: Help you brainstorm. Aid you with the global (organization and thesis) aspects of your paper. Help you find and evaluate sources & evidence. Discuss the logic of your argument. Suggest ways for you to revise your work. Help with formatting and grammatical questions.
After Your Appointment
No. Tutors will send writers a “Session Report” summarizing the work that was done during their session as well as any suggestions we made for future writing within 24 hours of the session. If instructors request proof of a session (such as for extra credit for a class), students should forward the Session Report email to their instructor.