Writing Center FAQs

1.     What is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is a place where students can find competent, friendly, individualized, free writing assistance. The Center is open to all students: first-year to graduate students, native speakers of English and English language learners, those new to academic writing and advanced writers. Writing Center tutors are prepared to help students improve their writing and produce more effectively written assignments in all disciplines.

2.     Where is the Writing Center?

It’s in the Bartle Library building: LN 2411. To get there, using the stairs across from Jazzman’s, go up to the second floor, turn left, and follow the hallway past the Harpur Dean’s Office.

3.     How can I contact the Writing Center?

You can drop by the Writing Center (LN 2411), call (607)777-6725, or email wstewart@binghamton.edu. To make appointments, go to http://binghamton.mywconline.com/

4.     When is the Writing Center open?

Writing Center tutoring takes place Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. while classes are in session (not during holidays, breaks, etc.).

5.     Who are the Writing Center tutors?

While occasionally we have graduate writing tutors, most semesters our writing tutors are advanced undergraduates who excel in their classes, are themselves excellent writers, have undergone a competitive application and screening process, and are either currently enrolled in or have completed a 400-level teaching practicum course that specializes in Writing Center tutoring. Their work is informed by theoretical and practical knowledge specifically developed for writing center tutors.

6.     Will a Writing Center tutor proofread my paper?

Since the Center’s purpose is to enable the student to write well and communicate clearly, tutors do not merely edit, proofread, or correct papers. Tutors do help writers to recognize and address issues of style, syntax, and grammar—as well as content and organization—so that writers become better editors of their own work.

7.     How can I make an appointment for tutoring?

Requesting a tutoring appointment is easy and fast (although wait times are sometimes long): just go to http://binghamton.mywconline.com/ to create an account, if this is your first visit, and to schedule an appointment during an available time slot. You’ll be asked some questions aimed at helping you and your tutor to make the most of your appointment time.

You’re also welcome to access tutoring on a walk-in basis, subject to tutor availability. If a writer doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment or finishes early, a tutor may be available to work with you on a walk-in basis. Walk-ins are first-come, first-served, so it’s preferable to make an appointment.

8.     How long do tutoring sessions last?

Each session lasts a maximum of 45 minutes. Students can schedule up to two appointments per week, on different days.

9.     When should I make an appointment?

We encourage students to make appointments well in advance of due dates so that you can make time for revision after your tutoring appointment. It’s also a good idea to work proactively on your writing rather than to try to develop skills in what can feel like an emergency or crisis situation. Some students make regular weekly or biweekly appointments with a tutor in order to develop rapport with someone who can offer consistent, appropriate help over the semester.

10. What materials should I bring to a tutoring session?

When you make an appointment, you’ll answer some questions that will help you to prioritize what you’d like to address. Ideally, you’d bring the instructions for the assignment, the class syllabus, research notes/sources, if you have any, and any outlines or drafts you may have written for this assignment. But if you’re just starting to think through the assignment, it’s fine to arrive without a draft. Note that we can’t print your paper, but there are lots of places on campus for you to print.

11. What if I’ve made an appointment but need to cancel?

As soon as you know you won’t be able to keep—or no longer need—your appointment, cancel it online (see #3); you must give at least twelve hours’ notice.

Appointments cancelled with inadequate notice, or missed without notice, are recorded as “no-shows”; that’s because another student may be unable to make an appointment during that time slot, and so it’s essentially wasted. If a student twice fails to show up, or does not give adequate notice of cancellation, their account will be disabled for the semester. Excessive cancellations (more than five over the semester) might also result in the disabling of an account, for the same reasons. Students whose accounts are disabled may still be able to access tutoring on a walk-in basis, however. Get in touch with the Director, Wendy Stewart (wstewart@binghamton.edu) if you feel there’s been a mistake.

12. What other responsibilities do I have when I meet with a tutor?

Make sure you’ve completed the documentation you’re asked to supply, whether you’ve made an appointment or come for a walk-in appointment. That information helps us to document and improve our service so that our writers continue to benefit from tutoring.

Please be respectful of our tutors’ time: like yours, it’s valuable. If you’ve got an appointment, keep it and come to the Writing Center on time; arriving more than 10 minutes late may result in a “no-show.” And if you’re being tutored on a walk-in basis, know that once the tutor’s shift is over, they’re not obligated to stay; if you arrive at the start of a tutor’s 45-minute shift, you’ll have 45 minutes, but if you arrive 10 minutes before they’re scheduled to leave, then you’ll get 10 minutes of tutoring.

You may be asked to complete an anonymous satisfaction survey after completing an appointment. Please complete it; it helps us to document our service and to improve it.

We look forward to working with you!