Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the University Writing Center?

Who works at the University Writing Center?

Where is the University Writing Center located?

When is the University Writing Center open?

Do I have to make an appointment?

Is there a fee to use the University Writing Center?

How do I make an appointment?

Can I schedule an appointment several weeks in advance?

What happens during a tutoring session?

What should I bring when I come to the University Writing Center?

What kinds of writing can I bring to the University Writing Center?

Can I e-mail my paper to the University Writing Center or drop it off to be edited?

Will a writing consultant correct my grammar and punctuation errors?

Will my professor know that I visited the University Writing Center, or what we talked about?

How can I sign up for online tutoring?

I typed in my JMU email address and my password, but I received an error message stating, "We could not find that email in our database." What am I doing wrong?

What happens if I'm tardy or I miss my appointment time?

How do I delete my appointment?

I see that the schedule is open for an hour-long session. Why can't I schedule for the entire 60 minutes?

How can I become a peer tutor?

May I use the computer lab if I don't have an appointment with a writing consultant?

What resources are available in the computer lab?

---

Who can use the University Writing Center?

The University Writing Center serves the entire JMU community. We welcome all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff members.

---

Who works at the University Writing Center?

We are a team composed of professional writing consultants, graduate students, and formally trained peer tutors.

---

Where is the University Writing Center located?

We are located in room 417 on the 4th floor of Wilson Hall.

---

When is the University Writing Center open?

Tutors are available in Wilson Hall Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We also offer evening writing consultations (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) in Carrier Library and in Rose Library (formerly ECL) on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Check out our Hours and Locations page for additional information and options.

---

Do I have to make an appointment?

Appointments are often filled in advance during peak times, so we recommend that you make an appointment to ensure availability. Walk-ins are welcome in the Wilson Hall location at all times-- with designated walk-in tutors available between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.--but we cannot guarantee that a tutor will be available. Evening consultations during Write Nights in the Carrier and Rose Libraries are on a walk-in basis only.

---

Is there a fee to use the writing center?

The services we provide are free of charge.

---

How do I make an appointment?

Our scheduling is done online. Click on the online scheduler to register and schedule an appointment.

---

Can I schedule an appointment several weeks in advance?

You may schedule appointments up to two weeks in advance.

---

What happens during a tutoring session?

Sessions vary from consultant to consultant. Consultations are individualized, according to your needs, so your consultant will work with you to decide which aspect of your writing to address. You may find yourself reading your paper aloud, freewriting, brainstorming, outlining paragraphs, making grammar corrections, etc. You may come to the Writing Center during any stage of your writing process. Sessions last 45 minutes, and, due to high demand, we ask that you schedule no more than two sessions per week. Please refer to the Writing Center's policies for further information.

---

What should I bring when I come to the University Writing Center?

Please bring a description of your assignment and any guidelines your professor has given you (e.g., written instructions, grading rubric). It is also helpful to bring any writing you have started, whether it is a full draft, one paragraph, or just notes. In addition to the hard copy, you may bring a digital copy of your writing and access it through your e-mail account, but not all tutors will have computer access.

---

What kinds of writing can I bring to the University Writing Center?

You are free to bring course-related assignments, personal statements, cover letters, creative writing, and other personal writing projects. We also work with faculty and staff on both scholarly and creative writing. We can also assist faculty with designing effective assignments and responding to student writing.

---

Can I e-mail my paper to the University Writing Center or drop it off to be edited?

We are not a proofreading service; however, we are happy to help you develop effective editing strategies. This semester, we are offering online tutoring on a limited basis for the first time. Papers can be submitted for online tutoring using the submission form in the online scheduler.

---

Will a writing consultant correct my grammar and punctuation errors?

We see ourselves as teachers, coaches, mentors, and readers--not editors. We can teach you editing strategies and help you identify mechanical errors, but we won't proofread your papers for you.

---

Will my professor know that I visited the University Writing Center, or what we talked about?

No. You can certainly ask your tutor for a note stating that you participated in a tutoring session, but the UWC and its tutors do not discuss tutoring sessions with professors. A professor may ask you about your UWC session if you tell him/her you visited us, but we consider what is said during a session to be confidential. It's important for you to feel safe to test out ideas, and it's important for us to stay outside of the evaluative classroom learning space.

---

How can I sign up for online tutoring?

Unfortunately, we do not have the means to provide online tutoring for all students. At this time, we can only offer this service on a limited basis. If you have difficulty getting to Wilson Hall for a face-to-face consultation and you are interested in online tutoring, you may send a request letter explaining your situation. The Writing Center staff will review each request on a case-by-case basis. On-line tutoring may be considered appropriate for students who are working full-time, dealing with physical injuries or disabilities, making long commutes to campus, or studying abroad. We may request documentation after reviewing your request. Please send your request letter to feathejj@jmu.edu.

---

I typed in my JMU e-mail address and my password, but I received an error message stating, "We could not find that e-mail in our database." What am I doing wrong?

You need to enter your full e-mail address, including the "@jmu.edu" that follows your e-ID. If you still cannot access the online scheduler, contact the front desk at 568-1759.

---

What happens if I'm tardy or I miss my appointment time?

Arriving ten minutes late for a scheduled appointment will count as a missed appointment. Students who miss two scheduled appointments will be unable to make reservations for the remainder of the semester. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you can do so up to one hour in advance via the Control Panel of our online scheduler, or, in case of an urgent situation, call 568-1759.

---

How do I delete my appointment?

Click on "My Control Panel" and delete your appointment from the "My Reservations" box. Note: You cannot delete or modify an appointment if you are within one hour of the scheduled time. If you are trying to cancel your appointment within one hour of its starting time, you will need to call the front desk to cancel.

---

I see that the schedule is open for hour-long sessions. Why did my session only last 45 minutes? Why can't I have the full hour?

Consultations are scheduled for 45 minutes. We use the last 15 minutes of each hour to compose valuable reports that enable us to reflect on our work, provide individualized consultations, and assess the Center's effectiveness.

---

How can I become a peer tutor?

To become a peer tutor, you must complete Tutoring Writing (WRTC 336), a course that includes an internship in the University Writing Center. After completion of the course, students can then apply for a peer tutoring position and go through the interview process. Enrollment in the course does not guarantee employment at the Writing Center.

---

May I use the computer lab if I don't have an appointment with a writing consultant?

Yes, the computer lab is available for all writers, and you may use the computer lab without scheduling an appointment with a consultant. We also have comfy chairs and writing tables up here, making the writing center a unique space for students to come and work informally.

---

What resources are available in the computer lab?

There are 19 computers, each equipped with Microsoft Office 2010 (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access). The lab also offers printing, which can be paid for using your JAC Card.