Contact Us
Canaday Library, First Floor

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is located on the first floor of Canaday Library. Our door is to the left of the Circulation Desk when you walk in the front entrance.

When does the Writing Center open for the semester?
The Writing Center opens each semester during the second week of classes. The Writing Center closes each semester on the last day of classes.

Is the Writing Center open during Finals Week?
No. The Writing Center is closed during finals so that the peer tutors can focus on their studies. ESL tutors are available during finals to assist non-native speakers of English.

How do I get a tutorial at the Writing Center?
There are two ways:

1. You can walk in during our regular hours and a tutor will help you if she is available. It’s best to walk in at the beginning of an hour (for example, 1pm or 2pm, not 1:25pm or 2:30pm). In the spring, tutors are often available.

2. You can make an appointment by logging on to our online scheduling system. First-time users need to register and create a password.

Appointments begin on the hour and are NOT on “Bryn Mawr time”.

How long should I expect my tutorial to last?
Conferences last between 50 minutes to 1 hour.

What should I bring to my tutorial?
The most important thing to bring to your tutorial is an openness to work on your writing! Other things that help make a tutorial successful are:

The assignment sheet

Any class notes or course texts that pertain to the assignment

Any written work you have done so far.

I don’t have a draft of my paper; can I still come to the Writing Center?
Yes! While a draft is helpful, it is not necessary for a tutorial. You are welcome to use your session to brainstorm ideas to help get you started.

Is there a limit to how often I can have a tutorial?
YES! Our policy is one tutorial per student per day. We also limit writers to two appointments per week. This is because it is important to have the time to work on your paper between visits and to ensure that tutor hours are disbursed equitably among users of the Writing Center.

What if I need help with study skills?
We don't help with study skills. For non-writing related study skills (how to study effectively for a foreign language or math class), you should contact a Peer Mentor. If you are having trouble in a particular class, contact the professor and/or your dean.

I came to the Writing Center last night and worked with a tutor on a paper and I want to come in right before it's due tomorrow to have a new tutor take a "final look." Is this okay?
Maybe. If you want a writing consultant to look over the final draft of your paper and teach you how to catch grammatical or copy editing errors on your own, then we are happy to help. However, a tutor cannot “fix” your paper for you before you turn it in.

Should I have a conference summary sent a to my professor?
Most professors appreciate receiving a description of what you discussed with the tutor. It lets them know that you are taking the writing in the course seriously. It also tells them what it is that you are working on so that they can further assist you.

How far in advance do I need to cancel an appointment?
You should log on to WCOnline and cancel as soon as you know you cannot make your appointment. Appointments MUST be canceled at least two hours before the appointment is due to begin. If you don't cancel in advance, you'll be considered a "no-show."

What if I’m late to my appointment?
If you are 15 minutes late and the center is busy, the writing consultant will help the next person in line. If no one else is waiting, the consultant may still be able to help you, as long as she has at least 40 minutes before her next appointment or the end of her shift.

Can the tutor read the paper on my laptop?
It's up to the tutor. Some tutors are only comfortable reading a hard copy of your paper. A Writing Center conference is a chance to slow down and evaluate your paper. We hope you'll take notes on the issues you discuss with the tutor and reflect on our feedback before decisions about what to change.

Can I talk about more than one assignment in an appointment?
No. We take pride in the care we give to each student and her assignment.

I have a research paper due for a non-humanities class. May I still come to the Writing Center?
YES! We offer tutorials for writing in all disciplines. All staff members are trained to help students in any major and some, because of their major or other experience, specialize in non-humanities tutorials. Take a look at the “Meet the Staff” page to find out more about our tutors’ special interests.

My professor says I really need to work on grammar; will the Writing Center help me with this?
YES! While the Writing Center is not a copy editing service, we are happy to help students who express a desire to learn more about grammar. Often, once a tutorial is underway, the tutor will note issues other than grammar that will also warrant the student’s attention.

Do you help with non-academic writing?
YES! We help with all the different kinds of writing tasks that students face. This includes personal statements for graduate or professional schools (law school, medical school, etc.), applications for internships, and applications for funding for internships.

Do you help with creative writing?
If you are clear about the kind of help you want with your creative writing, we are often able to help. Some of our staff has a special interest in helping students of creative writing. You can find out who does by looking at our “Meet the Staff” page.

Do you help with foreign language papers; how can I make arrangements for this?Sometimes we have consultants on staff who can help with foreign language papers. You can find out who can help you by looking at the “Meet the Staff” page and then making an appointment with the appropriate person.

I am a strong writer and am confident about my writing. Is the Writing Center for me?
YES! All writers can benefit from the feedback of an interested reader. In fact, just about all professional writers show their work to others in order to improve it.

Does the Writing Center see students who are not freshman?
YES! The Writing Center sees students at all levels and in all classes.

Can I work with the same tutor every time?
Theoretically, yes, but probably not. You are welcome to request the same tutor for each of your visits and make your appointments accordingly. However, our schedule gets filled up quickly and it is unlikely that the tutor you want will always be available. All of our staff members are nominated by faculty on campus for their strong writing skills as well as their ability to work with others. We’re sure you’ll find the help of other writing consultants useful to you as well.

How can I become a tutor?
Tutors are nominated by faculty at the beginning of the spring semester and invited to apply. The application process is very competitive; only about 12 new tutors are hired each year. The best way to become a tutor is to 1) work on improving your skills as a writer; and 2) seek feedback from faculty on ways to improve your writing and express interest in becoming a tutor.

How can I make the most of the Writing Center?

1. Schedule your appointment so that there's enough time to revise before the paper is due.
2. Don't cancel! No matter where you are in the process, no matter how little you have written--we can help. An hour spent planning and prioritizing will help you work efficiently.
3. And relax! Peer writing consultants are also students, and they have felt stressed about writing as well. We’re here to help and are happy to do so.

What if I have a suggestion for the Writing Center?
Tell your tutor, or contact Jen Callaghan, the director of the Writing Center, at