Campus Writing Center

 

Campus Writing Center FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


What is the Campus Writing Center? Who can use it?

The Writing Center is a FREE resource that provides QCC students with tutoring assistance for writing-related assignments. Any current student can use our services. The only assignments we cannot help you with are those for Academic Literacy (BE) courses, because that program provides its own tutors. Please contact the English Department for information about tutoring for BE courses. For help understanding the CONTENT of your courses, like Biology or History, please check out the Student Learning Center and other QCC Learning Resources.


Where is the Campus Writing Center located, and when are you open?

The Campus Writing Center is located on the first floor of the Library Building, in room L-118. See our flyer for a map and current hours. During the fall and spring semesters, our hours are:
Monday through Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The Writing Center follows the QCC academic calendar. Thus, we are closed on holidays when the college is closed. When classes are moved to another day of the week (when Tuesday classes follow a Friday schedule, for example), Writing Center hours and services are also shifted for that day.


How will a tutoring session help me?

Writing Center tutors meet one-on-one with students for 50 minutes. We can work on any aspect of your writing or writing-related assignment together, at any stage of the writing process—from brainstorming, to research, to organizing a draft, to citations.


How can I sign up for a tutoring session?

There are three ways to meet with a Campus Writing Center tutor:

  • Walk-in tutoring: The most popular option. No appointment necessary! Just visit us at L-118 during our operating hours, and we will match you with the next available tutor on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • One-time appointments: Call us at 718-631-6663 or stop by L-118, and reserve a tutor for a specific day and time (up to a week in advance).
  • Weekly appointments: Meet with the same tutor at the same time each week for the entire semester. To set up a weekly appointment, call us at 718-631-6663 or stop by L-118, or click here.


Can I get tutoring online?

Yes! We also provide online assistance on paper drafts 24/7 through Tiger Write, our e-tutoring system. While not as interactive as a face-to-face session in the Writing Center, this is a good option if you are unable to visit us in person and want feedback on a full or partial draft of your paper.


What if I’m late or can’t make my tutoring appointment?

If you need to cancel your appointment, please try to call us at 718-631-6663 to let us know. If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, your reserved tutor may be asked to help another student. You can still come in and see if a walk-in session is available, however.


How often can I come to the Writing Center?

There is usually no limit to the number of times you can visit the Writing Center. If you wish to have a second session in the same day, we will ask that you work on your assignment on your own for at least ½ hour before starting another tutoring session.


What kind of assignments can you help with?

We can work with you on ANY writing-related assignment (except for BE courses). While students often visit us with papers for English and Writing-Intensive (WI) classes, we see many writing assignments for subjects like Speech, Nursing, Criminology, and Psychology, too. You don’t even need an assignment to come into the Writing Center! You can also visit us for writing feedback on resumes, and for application essays for scholarships and four-year schools. Additionally, you are welcome to visit us to work on a general aspect of grammar or composition, like run-on sentences or verb tenses.


Do I need to have a complete draft to get tutoring?

Not at all. Many students do bring in a full or partial draft of their papers, but we can also work with you at ANY stage of your assignment, from brainstorming and research to final revisions. Need help understanding the assignment guidelines, or narrowing your topic or thesis? Want feedback on your outline or first few paragraphs? Are you wondering if your paper’s citations are in correct MLA or APA style? We can help!


Will you edit or proofread my paper?

Writing Center tutors will help STUDENTS learn to edit and proofread their own papers. It won’t be perfect the first time, but with practice, students will find that they become more confident and skilled in correcting their own writing. As a learning center, we focus on helping YOU develop, improve, and polish your own writing. Thus, we cannot simply “fix” your paper for you. Also, keep in mind that if you have a very long paper—or if your writing has many different kinds of language errors—it might take several tutoring sessions to work through the entire draft and discuss the most important changes.


What happens in a tutoring session?

After you check in with our front desk and sit down with a tutor, you and your tutor will discuss where you are at with your assignment and what aspect of it you would like to focus on in that session. The tutor might ask you several questions, and then skim your assignment sheet and/or paper draft (if you have one), to suggest the best use of your time together. Then, you’ll get to work! If you would like to use one of our wireless laptops during your session, let your tutor know. Students often find this resource helpful for researching, printing, and saving their work without having to leave the table. To keep the 50-minute session centered on YOUR ideas and YOUR learning, we usually stick to just one or two aspects of the paper/assignment. Unless you have a strong preference for what you would like the session to focus on (and if your instructor hasn’t asked you to work on a specific skill), your tutor will think through our “First Things First” approach in deciding what feedback will be most beneficial for you:

  1. Is there a difference between what was assigned and what was written? Do you follow all parts of the assignment? 
  2. Is the writing well organized? Does it have an identifiable beginning and end? Is there a logical progression of ideas?
  3. Does each paragraph have a clear topic/topic sentence? Do you adequately develop/support the main idea? Do you repeat yourself?
  4. Do you cite your sources correctly? Do the quotations work for or against your purpose?
  5. Are the sentence-level grammar and mechanics (e.g., word choice, parts of speech, subject-verb agreement, punctuation, spelling) adequate?

Of course, YOUR learning is our main priority, so do not be shy about telling your writing tutor what you need most from your tutoring session.


What should I bring to my tutoring session?

In addition to your QCC student ID, please bring: your paper draft (if you have one) as a printout or on a flash drive; your assignment sheet or syllabus; other course materials or textbooks you might need during the session; any feedback you’ve already received from your instructor; and paper and a pen/pencil for taking notes. Also, think ahead about which aspects of your paper draft or assignment YOU believe are most important to work on first.


Are Campus Writing Center tutors QCC students?

Our highly trained staff includes a diverse range of writing tutors, from academically strong QCC students to current Queens College upperclassmen and local graduate students. Additionally, many of our tutors have completed B.A. and M.A. degrees in fields such as English and Education, and some of them are also part-time instructors at QCC and other New York-area colleges.


How can I become a tutor?

Thanks for your interest in joining our tutoring staff! See our Job Opportunities section for the job requirements and application information.


I qualify to take a CATW test-prep workshop. How can I sign up?

To register for a CATW workshop, please click here.


I’m a QCC instructor. Can I bring my class to the Campus Writing Center?

Our in-center class visits are very popular with English and Writing-Intensive classes. Available for one- or two-hour increments during regular Writing Center hours, class visits must be arranged in advance with Joe Labozzetta, our full-time tutor coordinator. Call 6663 to learn more. We can also arrange to have a Writing Center representative visit your class to give a short overview of our services and distribute flyers.


As an instructor, can I require one (or all) of my students to visit the Campus Writing Center?

We are here to support your students as writers, whether it is just one or two individuals or the entire class. To refer a student to us to work on specific skills, you might consider using our referral form. If you are requiring all of your students to visit us, it would be helpful if you e-mail Joe Labozzetta with a heads-up and a copy of the assignment (including due dates). Please keep in mind that students need to visit us BEFORE the day the assignment is due, in order to have an effective tutoring session and to leave time to revise their drafts.

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