F.A.Q.

Our hours are subject to tutor availability. Please visit our online appointment system for our exact hours, utsa.mywconline.com.

Nothing. Writing Center services are free.

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

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). Additionally, we offer online tutoring that can be accessed anywhere from a computer with internet access.

Yes. To keep the Center running smoothly, and to minimize wait times for students, we primarily rely on pre-scheduled appointments. While it is possible to walk in and find an available appointment time close to the time you arrived, your best course of action is to make an appointment as soon as you decide you need writing assistance. You can cancel your appointment anytime prior to the start of the appointment.

Appointments can be made by visiting our system here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

There are multiple resources available online to assist with documentation questions:

UTSA Library Tutorial
The OWL at Purdue MLA Guide
The OWL at Purdue APA Guide
Chicago Online Quick Guide

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.