Before you visit the Writing Lab
Don't wait until the last minute to visit the
Writing Lab. Give yourself at least a day between your visit to the
Lab and the date the paper is due. Otherwise, you won't have time to
make significant revisions.
Think about what you want to accomplish before you
confer with a tutor. The tutor will ask, "How may I help you?" Be ready
with a specific answer. What are your main concerns regarding your paper?
Bring the assignment sheet, the written-down
directions for the assignment you're working on.
Don't think you have to bring a completed draft
before you can confer with a tutor in the Writing Lab. A conference
can be helpful at any stage in the writing process, even if you haven't
written a word yet. A tutor can help you decide on a topic, limit it,
brainstorm ideas for developing it, and consider how you might organize
your material before you begin.
Ways tutors help
Tutors can help you check that you've followed your
instructor's directions and have addressed any explicit criteria of
Tutors can help you develop your ideas by discussing
them with you and asking questions.
Tutors can help you identify technical errors in a
draft (for example, in sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation) and
teach you to make corrections on your own.
Tutors can help you become a better reader of your
own writing by helping you analyze your draft in terms of focus,
organization, development, style, and correctness.
Tutors can help you with citing and documenting
source material in MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American
Psychological Association) styles, or another documentation style.
Your tutor will be an attentive, thoughtful reader of
your writing who can let you know how your words are getting across. If
nothing else, allowing a tutor to read your paper and talk with you about it
will help you learn to internalize an audience--that is, predict and respond
to the needs of readers in general, whatever the assignment.
You can meet weekly (or more often) with the same
tutor over the course of a semester. Your tutor can monitor your progress
and focus with you on the writing skills you would like to develop.