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  • Tutorial Support Services » Writing Center

The Writing Center provides faculty and peer tutoring for all RWU students enrolled in writing courses or involved in writing-related projects. To see a peer tutor, students can just walk in, no appointment necessary. To see a faculty tutor, students should sign up for an appointment. Students make appointments at the log-in desk immediately inside the door of the Center for Academic Development, Main Library, 2nd floor.

See "Citing Sources" for help with documentation in your papers.

See "Tutoring" to connect to "Tutors and Majors/Schedule" and Grammar with Karen.

All of the services offered are free of charge.

Writing Center Location
Center for Academic Development
Main Library, 2nd floor

Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm
Friday: 9 am - 3 pm
Sunday: 2 pm - 8 pm

Our Philosophy

At its best, tutoring involves a conversation between a tutor and a writer about the purpose, direction, construction, and execution of a text. That conversation can involve the student’s own writing as well as a text the student might be analyzing, reviewing, or summarizing. The tutor’s job is not to edit or proofread a student’s paper; while the tutor will identify and discuss grammatical, mechanical, and editing issues that interfere with a reader’s ability to comprehend a text most effectively, those concerns are primarily the responsibility of the student to address, whether by asking the tutor about a particular concept or by independently editing the paper during the writing process. The student should not expect the tutor to “catch” and “fix” errors in a paper.  We will work very hard to provide tutoring that is informative, lively, thought provoking, engaging, and, ultimately, helpful.

That philosophy in practice:
The student should expect the tutor to discuss, predominantly by asking thoughtful questions, “large-scale” concerns such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • Is the thesis defined and arguable?
  • Does it control the content of the rest of the paper?
  • Does the paper address what is asked for in the assignment prompt?
  • Does the student have a clear understanding of the material in the assigned text (if there is one) and in his or her own text?
  • Are the topic sentences focused? Do all of the topic sentences relate back to and support the thesis?
  • Are there appropriate transitional words and phrases to provide coherence?
  • Is the organizational pattern the most appropriate?
  • Are the most important points supported with sufficient details and examples?
  • Is the tone appropriate and consistent throughout the paper? (Here, the tutor might discuss word choice and/or grammatical concepts like use of pronouns.)
  • Is the paper formatted appropriately, according to the assigned documentation system?

For students, here are six ways to get the most out of a tutoring session:

  1. Come in to the Writing Center early in the process. Don’t wait until the day the assignment is due!   The stress level for students and tutors is multiplied when there is an imminent deadline looming over a tutoring session.
  2. Arrive with some part of the process underway.  If you want to work on a paper, have a draft or outline at least started.  Even if you need help brainstorming, you can still begin that process on your own.
  3. Know your assignment! Bring your assignment sheet, any pertinent handouts, and/or textbooks to the tutoring session.  If you and your tutor have some questions about the assignment, coming in early in the process (as suggested in #1) will allow you the opportunity to confer with your instructor and resume the session when you are sure of the assignment.
  4. If possible, set the agenda for your own tutoring session. While tutors can review a paper for general effectiveness, it is often more productive if you come in and ask to work on a specific concern.
  5. Be an active participant. You should be prepared to participate in a dialogue about your writing and work on any specific concerns you have, such as sentence skills, paragraph structure, and thesis construction.  We encourage you to take notes during the tutoring session, so you will remember what you worked on.  Remember: The tutors are trained not to “fix” papers for students; we will, however, help students become better writers.
  6. Follow through. Complete the revisions you and your tutor worked on before you submit the paper.  If the tutor suggests you come back for additional assistance, be sure you do.

Phone Contact
Department Secretary: 
Wendy MacDonough
254-3219 

Coordinator of Writing Center
Karen Bilotti
Associate Director for Tutorial Support Services
(401)254-3630
kbilotti@rwu.edu