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Writing Center

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Writing Center?

In general, a writing center is a place you can go, at any point in your composition process, to help you improve through peer feedback--regardless of your class or major. While most writing centers only offer help with writing assignments, the PFW Writing Center also offers our Speech and Presentation Service, so our students can receive help with written and oral assignments across the university in all disciplines and at all levels and stages of the composition process.

Who uses the Writing Center?

We work with all Purdue University Fort Wayne students and Indiana University Fort Wayne students in all majors, freshmen to seniors, undergraduates and graduates, native and non-native English speakers. Basically, we can help with any assignment for classes offered on the PFW campus. That might be lab reports, literature reviews, researched argument papers, position papers, speeches, presentations, senior projects, or any of a hundred other types of assignments.

What does the Writing Center do?

In the Center, graduate and undergraduate consultants work as willing readers and listeners for your work. We ask questions, offer recommendations, and connect you with tools you can use to improve your composition skills. We can help you develop a thesis or argument, organize your information, assist with citations, help you build an outline, help ensure you're following your assignment sheet, incorporate instructor and peer feedback, and more. We can also help to connect you to additional resources on campus.

How does the Writing Center help me?

Our focus isn't to "fix" your work for you, but to work with you to discover what's successful and what not-so-successful in your assignment--and then help you discover ways to revise. We offer our personal reactions and suggestions based on our knowledge and experience in forms of communication, and can help you interpret your assignment and implement your instructor's comments with tried and true tips, tricks, and methods.

How much does it cost?

Our services are paid for by student fees and support from the SGA, so you'll never be asked to pay a consultant at your appointment. If you've paid your tuition bill, you've already paid for our services!

How does a one-on-one consultation work?

When you meet with a consultant, whether virtually or in person, you'll start with conversation. Your consultant will ask where you're struggling or what questions you have, and what you would like to focus on for the appointment. Then you'll dive in to the work. The consultant may ask you to read portions of your work out loud, or they may read a section to you. Your consultant will ask thought-provoking questions to encourage a dialogue about the assignment and how you are meeting the instructor's goals. However, YOU control the pace and the focus of your appointment.

At the end of the appointment, the consultant will write up a summary of what you accomplished together during the consultation. This summary is entered into TutorTrac, and will be emailed to you--and will serve as proof of your visit if your instructor required the visit or will give extra points for using the center.

Do I have to come to campus for help?

Nope! The Writing Center offers in-person and online services to accommodate complicated schedules and transportation issues! If you prefer a conversation with your consultant, you can schedule an in-person or virtual appointment through TutorTrac. If you can't find an appointment time that matches with your schedule or don't need to talk things through with a consultant, you can submit to our eConsult service (you complete a form, upload your assignment, and we'll return your request in 2 - 3 business days). We also have IM Chat that's active while we're open for quick questions.

Does the Writing Center offer editing and proofreading services?

The Writing Center is not a proofreading or editing service, although we are happy to help with these skills. Please don't plan to drop off your assignment and pick it back up later with line-by-line edits marked on the text. This is a collaborative process!

My instructor is requiring that I have an appointment. What do I do now?

First, don't wait until the last minute to schedule your appointment, especially if it's close to midterms or finals. Our appointments book up fast, and you don't want to miss out on those points! Also, check with your instructor to see if there is a specific type of appointment required. Some instructors want you to speak one-on-one with a consultant and won't accept our eConsult service for credit.

At the end of your appointment, you'll write up a summary of what was discussed (or the consultant will write up a summary of their recommendations if you've used the eConsult service). That summary will be emailed to your PFW email address along with documentation such as the date and time of your visit, the class you made the appointment for, and the consultant you spoke with. You can give that summary to your instructor as "proof" of your time in the center.

I lost the email for proof of my appointment! What do I do now?

Don't worry! You can access your appointment history in TutorTrac and prove that you used the center. When you log into TutorTrac, in the upper left hand side of the window is a Visit History button. When you click it, a window opens with a record of every tutoring and Writing Center appointment you've had at PFW.

You can also contact the Writing Center and ask that we resend your appointment summary.

How many appointments can I have?

Students can schedule three appointments per class, per six-day period, and one appointment per class, per day. If you schedule more than one appointment per class per day, we will keep the first appointment and cancel the rest.

However, we encourage you to meet with us multiple times! We're happy to work with you throughout your composition process!

What if I'm running late for my appointment?

We will wait 10 minutes from the start of your appointment time before we work with a student seeking a walk-in consultation. If you let us know you're coming and when we can expect you, we may still be able to work with you, as well as the student walk-in.