Writing Center FAQs
Who uses the Writing Center?
Students, both undergraduate and graduate, come to the Writing Center for assistance with all kinds of writing projects: papers, proposals, lab reports, resumes, letters of application, and more. Writers come to the Writing Center during any stage of the writing process, from pre-writing (generating ideas) to revision (organizing and developing ideas) to editing (checking for style and correctness).
Who are the tutors?
Nearly all Writing Center tutors are undergraduates who have taken English 270: Peer Tutoring in Writing. In some ways they're just like you: they've taken many of the same classes and are part of the Fisher community. What's different is their training: peer tutors have all studied theories of teaching and writing, and they've had lots of practice and experience analyzing papers and working with writers.
Can I drop off my paper for proofreading?
The short answer is no. The Writing Center is not a proofreading service; however, we can teach you techniques to help you more effectively proofread your own writing. That's the key: it's your writing. We are here to help you become a more effective writer, and we do that by teaching you strategies that professional writers have found highly effective.
If I go to the Writing Center, will I get an A on my paper?
That's a question we can't answer, and we wouldn't even try. Only your professor can assign a grade for your papers, but Writing Center tutors can help you improve your papers. More importantly, however, we can help you become a better writer so that you'll be able to write more effective papers for any class you take.
What happens in a tutorial?
Our tutorials involve a lot of "writer talk" and a lot of "tutor listening." When you come in, we'll ask you to fill out a form that describes what you'd like to work on. If you have a paper draft, we'll ask you to read it out loud so that you can find your own mistakes and get an even better idea of what aspects of the paper you need to work on. The tutor will ask you questions in order to help you think through and develop your ideas.
How long does a tutorial last, and how do I arrange an appointment?
Most tutorials last for 30 minutes. It's easy to make an appointment: go to https://tutortrac.sjfc.edu. If you have trouble scheduling an appointment, you can call the Writing Center at (585) 385-8151. We're located on the top floor of the Golisano Gateway. You can reach Dr. Theresa Nicolay, the Writing Center Director, at (585) 385-8147.