F.A.Q.

What are your hours?
Our hours are subject to tutor availability. Please see our website for our exact hours, utsa.mywconline.com. General hours for the Main Campus (JPL 2.02.12D): • 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday and Wednesday • 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday • 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday • Sunday hours are offered some semesters based on tutor availability. General hours for the Downtown Campus (FS 4.432): • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday Online appointments are also available seven days a week during select hours.

At what point should I visit the Writing Center for help with my assignment?
You don’t need to wait until you have a complete draft. You can visit for help brainstorming or to create an outline, and you can visit once you’ve completed a draft, too. For best results, come early in the writing process and visit again throughout your work on the assignment.

Does the Writing Center only help with assignments from a writing-specific class?
No. Whether it is a lab report for your geology class or a short story from your creative writing class, we can help with writing assignments from any discipline. We also provide assistance with cover letters and résumés.

What should I expect from a tutoring session?
The tutoring session is a dialogue between you and a peer tutor who will discuss your project with you to help find ways to strengthen your writing skills. You can expect to be an active participant during your session so we ask that you do not bring children to your appointment and to please refrain from using your cell phone.

Who are the tutors?
Our tutors are either graduate students or undergraduate students of junior standing or higher. Some tutors have already completed their degrees, with several having obtained a degree at the Master’s level or higher. Not all tutors are English majors; many have degrees in fields like science, history, and psychology. For more information, please read the brief tutor biographies available on the WC Online.

What should I bring to my session?
Please bring a copy of the actual assignment (the handout or instructions from your syllabus). If you have a draft, please bring a typed, double-spaced copy to the session. To make the most use of your time, please print any necessary materials prior to the session.

Can we work from my laptop?
No. We want to give you and your work our undivided attention and laptops tend to disrupt the tutoring process by acting as a distraction to both the tutor and the student.

Can I get help with my group project?
Since tutors work with writers and their work, tutors can only assist with a group project if all members of the group are present. Otherwise, we can help with the part that you wrote.

How does the online tutoring system work?
Online tutoring can help students connect with a tutor even if they cannot come to campus by reserving time to meet online. This means that you and your tutor share a private chat room where you can upload and discuss your paper, brainstorm ideas, or create an outline. Online tutoring is highly interactive and requires your full attention, so please do not schedule a session when you are otherwise busy, such as during your shift at work.

Should I make a 30-minute appointment or a 1-hour appointment?
We recommend that you schedule a one-hour appointment to ensure all of your questions and concerns are addressed. Look for two consecutive white boxes on the online schedule to make a one-hour appointment. Typically, 30-minute appointments are useful for a follow-up session or one quick question.

How do I cancel my appointment?
Log into your Writing Center account and click on your orange appointment slot. Then scroll down and find the “Cancel My Appointment” option and click on it. If you know ahead of time that you will not be able to attend the session be sure to cancel the appointment, or you will be listed as a “no show.” After two no-shows, your account will be disabled and you will need to appeal to the head of the Writing Center to get it reactivated. This policy is because we have a high volume of students who would like to make appointments, and it is not fair to them if they cannot because other students have repeatedly reserved spots and then do not up.

What if I’m late to an appointment?
The Writing Center has a limited number of appointments. If you are 5 minutes late for a 30 minute appointment or 8 minutes late for an hour-long appointment the tutor will mark the appointment as missed, allowing the appointment time to be used for other students. Please see the previous question for more information on the consequences of missing an appointment. If you know that you are running late to an appointment, please call us at (210) 458-6086 so that we can inform the tutor or reschedule you.

Can I have multiple appointments in one day?
Typically, we do not allow multiple appointments in the same day to make sure you have time to process your previous session, as well as to ensure other students have a chance to see a tutor.

Can I make an appointment right before my paper is due?
Typically, we do not allow last-minute appointments for an assignment due within two hours. This is because you won’t have time to incorporate our suggestions and fully engage with the tutoring session. We understand you are busy, but you will need to plan ahead to make sure you can get the assistance you need.

How many pages or assignments can we cover in one session?
We can assist with one assignment per appointment. If your assignment is longer than 10 pages, we suggest that you sign up for multiple sessions so our tutors have enough time to help you with the whole assignment and answer all of your questions.

What if I just have a quick question about documentation?
There are multiple resources available online to assist with documentation questions: UTSA Library Tutorial: utsa.edu/tlc/Learning_Technology/cite_right/ The OWL at Purdue MLA Guide: owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ The OWL at Purdue APA Guide: owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ Chicago Online Quick Guide: www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html The Writing Center also has style guide handbooks available for use at both the Main Campus and the Downtown Campus locations. If you still have questions, please make an appointment to see a tutor. We also offer documentation workshops throughout the semester; check with us to find out the dates for the next one!

Will my instructor know if I have been to the Writing Center?
At the end of each session, your tutor will fill out a “Verification of Attendance” slip and give you a copy to keep. The slip includes the student’s name, the date, the start/end of the session, the class the assignment is for, what was discussed in the session, the tutor’s signature, and the student’s signature. The slip also has the phone number and website to the Writing Center should any questions, comments, or concerns arise. It is your choice to share the slip with your instructor. For online appointments, we send an e-mail Verification of Attendance, which you can print out and turn in with your assignment.

Can the Writing Center help with my comprehensive exam or with other exam questions?
Tutors are not allowed to assist you with your comprehensive exams (often called comps). Other exam questions can be addressed on a case-by-case basis with written permission from your instructor.

Why won’t you proofread my paper or offer line-by-line editing?
It's more important for us to address major concerns, such as organization and clarity, instead of getting fixated on grammatical mistakes. Think about it like cooking: what would happen if a chef got so caught up in trying to have the perfect appearance for her food that she didn't spend any time making sure she had the right ingredients? It would taste horrible, no matter how good it looked! Of course you want your paper to have the right ingredients and look good, too, but it's better to focus on making sure your paper has the right ingredients first. When we've addressed those major concerns, we can sometimes spend some time addressing minor concerns, such as grammatical mistakes. The key here is how we can help teach you to identify and correct these errors on your own, so you can find and fix them in your paper. To do this, we might examine one error, such as an incorrect comma usage, and explain why the comma is in the wrong place, what would be the right place for it, and how you can tell if you come across an error like that again in your paper. Then, you can take what we talked about and apply it to the rest of your paper to get practice in finding and correcting those errors. This empowers you to be in control of your paper and learn how to strengthen your writing.

Can I drop off my essay?
The purpose of the Writing Center is to connect you with peer tutors who can help you improve your writing and become a stronger writer. This happens through interactive sessions, so you must be present and participating.

How much does it cost to use the Writing Center?
Nothing. Writing Center services are free.

Where is the Writing Center located?
We have two locations. At the 1604 campus, we are located on the main floor of the JPL (2.01.12D). We also have an office at the downtown campus in the Frio Street Building (FS 4.432).

What is involved in a visit to the Writing Center?
Each visit is personalized to your needs. The tutors are there to help you. The tutor will read through your paper with you, answer your questions, and work with you to strengthen your skills as a writer. You and the tutor may discuss any aspect of your writing or the writing process.

What would a visit do for me?
Many instructors say that student writing improves after quality feedback. As a writer, you will notice, after a  visit with The Writing Center, your process of revision is more productive. You may find yourself more attentive to your writing, spending more time on your writing, and beginning to think more confidently and analytically of yourself as a writer.

Do I need to make an appointment with a tutor?
While you are welcome to walk-in at any of the locations during their open hours, you're also welcome to make an appointment for either of our centers. Keep in mind that many other students have papers as well.  So, an appointment will often keep you from having to stand in a long line!

Can I request a particular tutor?
Yes. If you are making an appointment, just request the tutor by name.

What kind of help will I receive from a tutor?
Writing Center tutors will discuss your writing assignments with you and make suggestions on approaching a topic, organizing a paper, developing your style, or correcting recurring errors. Tutors may also direct you to other resources for further assistance. Tutors will not edit or proofread a paper or write any part of your paper for you. We will help you with grammar and punctuation, though.

What do I need to bring with me?
Bring your questions, ideas, notes, doodles, and your assignment or writing task. The more information you give us about the task, the more focused our advice can be. Bring a hard copy of your essay. Bring writing at any stage of your process. It is also helpful if you bring a copy of the assignment.

Will my instructor know that I used The Writing Center?
Whether you inform your professor that you have visited The Writing Center is your decision. After your session, we will give you a form that proves you did visit with us. You may give it to your professor if you wish. We do not notify the professor ourselves.

What if I just have a quick question about my writing?
You will find that we have more than one tutor at many hours.  If someone is not busy, he or she can certainly answer your question on the spot.  Also, feel free to contact us with simple questions via Twitter.

What are the hours of The Writing Center?
See our ‘Schedule’ page for a full schedule at all locations.

Who can get help at The Writing Center?
Students, faculty, and staff.  Anyone who wants help with UTSA-related writing is welcome at The Writing Center.

Do I need a completed draft?
No.  You may come into The Writing Center for help brainstorming or with any other stage of the writing process.