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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a student...

What should I expect from a Writing Center session?

How does a tutor help me? 

What should I bring to my appointment? 

How do I schedule an appointment?

How can I change or cancel my scheduled appointment?

How long is a Writing Center session?

How often can I visit the Writing Center? 

Where are you located on campus?

Can I meet with a tutor virtually?

What does “e-tutoring” mean?

Do you have walk-in sessions available? 

I am a graduate student. What resources are available to me? 

Where can I learn more about the writing topics that interest me? 

If you are a faculty member...

How can I encourage students to use the Writing Center? 

What should I tell my students about what to expect from the Writing Center? 

What kinds of writing support or instruction do you provide during consultations? 

How will I know if my students have visited the Writing Center? 

What support does the Writing Center offer me as an instructor of writing? 

 

Student FAQs

What should I expect from a Writing Center session?

You can expect your tutor to be a friendly and supportive reader of your draft in progress. 

Sessions begin with some preliminary questions to give the tutor some context for your draft and an understanding of your questions and concerns. The tutor will review the prompt and read the draft (this reading may be done aloud or silently), or they may invite you to read the draft aloud so you can observe it with fresh perspective. From there, sessions proceed through conversation. The tutor may ask questions, offer feedback, and make suggestions that will help you see it from a reader’s point of view and make decisions about revision. You, as the writer, may also ask questions and try out new ideas or language. At the end of a session, the tutor may reinforce what you worked on and help you identify next steps. The session is intended to be collaborative from beginning to end, so be prepared to talk about your writing, share your ideas, and even compose during the session!   

How does a tutor help me? 

Writing Center consultations are intended to give you a reader’s perspective, and to help you learn more about how to use aspects of the writing process effectively to achieve your goals. Tutors can help you assess whether you are addressing the prompt, crafting a strong thesis, organizing information in a way that makes sense, supporting your ideas, and more. 

Sometimes, folks assume that visiting the Writing Center means the writer will leave with a “perfect paper,” every error corrected. In fact, sometimes tutors and writers do choose to focus on patterns of frequent errors and strategies for correcting them, if there are not other major concerns to address first. 

However, the “perfect paper” assumption elevates line editing as the most important part of improving a piece of writing. Instead, in the Writing Center, we believe that it’s important to attend to the concerns of the student, as well as other “global” concerns that impact the draft as a whole, including the instructor’s expectations as detailed in the assignment, the writer’s purpose, the clarity and development of the topic or argument, integration of evidence, overall organization, and so forth. We believe that addressing these larger concerns makes a significant impact on the effectiveness of a draft.          

What should I bring to my appointment?   

Bring the assignment instructions or prompt, the rubric (if available), and - if you have already started writing - bring your current draft and any feedback you already may have received on the draft. 

How do I schedule an appointment?

Visit www.cabrini.mywconline.com and register for an account, if it is your first time using the platform. After registering, return to the home page and select the schedule that interests you prior to logging in. On the schedule, available appointments are marked in white. Be sure to take into account the type of appointment you may be selecting -- face-to-face, a synchronous video conference, or e-tutoring (asynchronous paper review session). Click on a box that works for you and complete the appointment form. Don’t forget to save!  

How can I change or cancel my scheduled appointment?

Log back into www.cabrini.mywconline.com and click on your scheduled appointment. You should be able to modify or cancel your appointment up to two hours prior to your scheduled time. 

How long is a Writing Center session?

Writing Center sessions are intended to take 25-45 minutes, depending on the concerns of the writer and the focus of the session. Sometimes, sessions run a little longer, but it is important to stay under an hour, so that tutors have a chance to complete their records and prepare for the next session. 

Sometimes, sessions run a little shorter as well. However, please know that we will not provide a faculty notification for a session that is less than 15 minutes long. Such a short session indicates to us that substantive work may not have been accomplished. 

How often can I visit the Writing Center? 

You may visit up to three times per week.  

Where are you located on campus?

As part of Academic Enrichment, the Writing Center is located in Rooymans Hall, between the Mansion and Holy Spirit Library.

Can I meet with a tutor virtually?

Yes, we are continuing to offer online video conferences. When you log on to the Writing Center schedule at www.cabrini.mywconline.com, look for sessions labeled “Video Conference.” These sessions will meet on Blackboard Collaborate. Your tutor will reach out to you prior to your session with a link to join the conference. 

What does “e-tutoring” mean?

“E-tutoring” is our name for asynchronous Writing Center sessions. Asynchronous means that the client or writer does not need to be present for the session to take place. At the time of your scheduled e-tutoring appointment, your tutor will download the documents that you added to your appointment form, and will create written feedback for you. Around the end of your appointment time, you will receive a notification that your appointment has been modified and that feedback is ready. E-tutoring sessions are essentially paper review sessions and are most beneficial for writers who already have a complete or nearly complete draft. 

Do you have walk-in sessions available? 

Yes! In Fall 2022, students may drop by Rooymans Hall on Thursday afternoons (1:30 - 4:30 pm) for walk-in sessions. In addition, students may drop by our Writing Center satellite in Founders Hall, 3rd Floor (across the hall from the Wolfington Center), on Wednesdays, between 2:30 - 4:30 pm. 

I am a graduate student. What resources are available to me? 

At this time, the Writing Center is primarily focused on serving undergraduate students. However, masters students are welcome to schedule with professional staff. In addition, you may find some of the materials on our Writing Resources page useful.

If you would like to let the Coordinator know what services you wish were available, or to report on the writing needs you are experiencing, feel free to reach out to Rebecca Steffy.  

Where can I learn more about the writing topics that interest me? 

As a starting point, visit our Writing Resources page. It collects several documents that we have created that we think are helpful, and it links you to other Writing Centers with more comprehensive resources available online. 

 

Faculty FAQs

How can I encourage students to use the Writing Center? 

We are so happy that you would like to encourage students to use the Writing Center! Include current information about how to connect with us on your syllabus, and give us a shout out during class, especially when you are giving writing assignments. If you are open to the idea, you can offer an incentive like extra credit for visiting the Writing Center. On your Blackboard page, you could also add a link to our scheduling platform as a resource - www.cabrini.mywconline.com.  

If you would like your students to receive a short orientation to the Writing Center during your class, please reach out to Rebecca Steffy to arrange for a visit. These visits usually take 10-15 minutes of class time. 

What should I tell my students about what to expect from the Writing Center? 

Our mission is a good place to start. The Writing Center strives to be a welcoming space where thoughtful readers help you meet your writing goals. We provide one-on-one consultations for undergraduate students working on any academic writing project at any stage of the writing process (for example, planning, drafting, revising, etc.). Through attentive listening, conversation, and collaboration, we can provide feedback and address questions and concerns that will help you become a more effective writer over time.

For a more detailed description of what to expect, see “What should I expect from a Writing Center session?” or “How does a tutor help me?” above.

What kinds of writing support or instruction do you provide during consultations? 

Our tutors may offer a variety of supports, such as asking questions, modeling, using graphic organizers, offering advice, options, or alternatives, and pointing to additional resources. Sometimes our tutors may act as a scribe while the writer composes or thinks aloud, and sometimes they are a sounding board for new ideas. Throughout the consultation process, we want to provide useful suggestions when needed, but also preserve the writer’s agency over their draft.

How will I know if my students have visited the Writing Center? 

Students have the option to alert their instructor about their Writing Center session. If they choose to do so, the instructor will receive a simple notification email generated by WC Online that indicates the name of the student who visited the Writing Center and the date of their visit.  

What support does the Writing Center offer me as an instructor of writing? 

Professional staff in the Writing Center are happy to consult with you about your writing assignments and about commenting on writing. If you are interested in having a conversation, please reach out to Rebecca Steffy. 

Because of recent changes to our professional staff, we are no longer offering in-class writing workshops. However, we may be able to create a resource that you can use during class, or at least have a conversation about your needs. If you would like to consult in this way, please reach out to Rebecca Steffy.