Writing Center : How to make the Most of Your Appointment

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Bring your assignment sheet
Having an assignment sheet helps create better communication between you and your tutor.  It helps your tutor understand what you may already know, and it also allows your tutor to notice things that you may have overlooked.

Be aware that tutorials last approximately 45 minutes
Even though you can book an hour-long appointment, be aware that tutorials begin promptly at the top of every hour and end 15 minutes before the top of the next hour.  In other words, an appointment only lasts 45 minutes even though it occupies an hour-long time slot.  The last 15 minutes of each hour are reserved for the tutor to create a record of your visit.

Arrive on time for your tutorial
Tutors have a limited amount of time to spend in each session because so many students come into the Writing Center for help.  Arriving on time ensures that you and your tutor will have the most productive session possible.  If you arrive late, your appointment slot may be forfeited.

Be ready to have a major role in your tutorial
Be aware that your tutor wants to help you develop as a writer by engaging you in a discussion about your writing. The tutor won’t write or edit your paper for you. Instead, the tutor will help you become a better writer and editor.  To have the most productive tutorial, be engaged: be eager to talk about your paper, ask questions, and brainstorm answers to those questions. 

Don’t expect to leave the Writing Center with a “finished” paper
Considering what you want to work on before the start of your tutorial will help you and the tutor work as productively as possible.  However, because writing is a process that involves multiple stages, tutors won’t be able to work on all aspects of your paper with you during one tutorial.  Instead, tutors will equip you to revise certain aspects of your paper by giving you suggestions that you can employ in your writing process as it continues beyond your work with the tutor in the Writing Center.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule an appointment
We get busy!  Plan ahead!  Also, keep in mind that there’s not a lot we can help you with if your paper is due the same day as your appointment.  Writing well takes time.

Remember that you can only make one appointment per week
Because we get busy and because we want you to sufficiently process the discussion from your tutorial, we only allow one appointment per week during the fall and spring semesters.

We look forward to seeing you in the Writing Center!

Program in Writing and Rhetoric • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5340 • 631.632.7390
Writing Center • 631.632.7405