Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions that students often ask about the Writing Center:
1. How do I see a tutor?
2. Can I see the same tutor each time I come to the Writing Center?
3. How many times can I come to the Writing Center?
4. What will my tutoring session be like?
5. What can I expect of tutoring at the Writing Center?
6. What specific tutoring help can I get at the Writing Center?
7. Will my professor know if I attend the Writing Center?
Getting a tutor at the Writing Center is simple and easy. You just come in a few minutes before the beginning of any class period that you’re free. You don’t need an appointment or any kind of advance registration; all you have to do is be on time. If you are not on time, meaning the very beginning of a class period, it will not be possible for you to sign in. If you are on time, you’ll be given a simple form to fill out each time you come and then be assigned a tutor.
Occasionally there are too many students for the Writing Center to see in one period. If that happens, you will be offered a guaranteed appointment at a later time the same day.
You are welcome to see the same tutor each time you come; just ask for your tutor's schedule and request him or her on your sign-in form.
You may come to the Writing Center up to three times per week, one session per day.
Most often, you'll find yourself paired with just one other student, usually taking the same class as you, so there will be plenty of time and individual attention for each of you. Once in a while you may have the tutor all to yourself.
You can expect to meet a person who is friendly, patient and knowledgeable, who will decide with you what you need to learn in order to improve your writing, and then will work with you to learn what you need to learn to make those changes. You can expect this person, and the Writing Center, to keep working with you for as long as you need, whether that means one session, one week, one semester, or your whole time at LaGuardia. What you get at the Writing Center is tutoring. Tutoring means helping you to improve your understanding or skill in some area, in our case, writing. Tutoring means helping a person become an independent learner. You can not expect to get your papers corrected or proofread, which is called editing. (You may not know this, but it is illegal for tutors to edit papers.) The Writing Center works directly with you to help you improve your writing.
If your paper is marked:
If you come in to revise a paper that has been marked and graded, your tutor can go over it with you, in one or more sessions. You and the tutor will also decide what materials and tasks to work on for as many sessions as you need.
If you come to work on a paper that has not been marked and graded by your teacher, or that you haven’t even started, there are several things your tutor can and cannot do. As already mentioned, a tutor may not proofread and edit the whole paper. But there is a great deal your tutor can do to help you.
If your paper is in progress:
-Your tutor can help you find a focus, find ideas, and begin to write your paper;
-Your tutor can help you with your paper’s thesis, organization and development;
-Your tutor can help you with research techniques, from integrating sources to doing documentation.
If you have a finished draft:
-Your tutor can read through the whole paper in one or more sessions, time permitting, and give you a specific evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses in your paper;
-Your tutor can carefully review and discuss your paper’s thesis, organization and development
-Your tutor can point out examples of error patterns in your paper and can help you correct the beginning of the paper, to help you understand what to look for in the rest of the paper;
-Your tutor can choose from extensive Writing Center materials to help you learn more about the kinds of errors in your paper.
We also encourage you to come for tutoring without a paper at all, to work on specific aspects of writing that you want to improve. This is an easy and very powerful way to improve your writing!
Each time you come to the Writing Center your tutor will send a brief report of your attendance to your teacher.
So whether it's getting started on a research paper project, or revising a marked essay, or simply dealing with any aspect of writing, the Writing Center's staff of friendly, skilled, trained tutors can help you.
We'll see you soon!
(The only exceptions are students still taking ESL and students working on a Reading Department course assignment, both of which have separate tutoring centers specifically designed and available for them.)