Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What do Writing Centre tutors do?

A1: Writing Centre tutors read work that you upload, and then discuss issues they see in your writing with the aim of helping you find solutions. Tutors will not directly tell you how to improve your work, and they avoid doing anything that would put them in the role of editor or co-author. You are the one to decide how to improve your writing.

Q2: I have not begun writing, and I do not know where to start. Can I get advice from a tutor if I haven’t written anything yet?

A2: Absolutely yes! Our tutors would be happy to help you brainstorm ideas for an assignment. Prior to a consultation, you can share with your tutor a link to the assignment instructions, along with any reading list, as well as any notes that you might have made in preparation for the assignment. Or you can just bring these items to the consultation.

Q3: A professor said that I really need to work on language accuracy in my writing. However, I heard that the Writing Centre does not proofread writers’ work. How can a Writing Centre tutor help me?

A3: Tutors do not proofread or edit writers’ work because this would make the tutor a co-author. Nevertheless, tutors are happy to highlight language issues in your writing, and advise you on how to improve your language usage in order to help you become a better proofreader of your own work.

Q4: Is the Writing Centre only for weak writers?

A4: No. Writers of all levels of ability write to be read, and Writing Centre tutors are keen to read and give feedback from a reader’s perspective on anyone’s writing.

Q5: How should I select a tutor?

A5: Read the tutor bios on the Writing Centre website to learn about our tutors. The Writing Centre employs tutors with a wide range of disciplinary interests, and tutors are trained to give feedback on writing from any discipline. If your writing is on an advanced disciplinary topic, you may want to choose a tutor from a disciplinary background similar to yours.

Q6: How much of my written work can I upload for my tutor to look at before a consultation?

Q6: How much your tutor can read before a consultation depends on how many issues there are in the text. There is no specific word count or page restriction, but around 10 pages of double-spaced text for a 30 minute consultation is a general upper limit. If your work is longer than this, then plan ahead to make a couple of visits. In order for your tutor to have time to read your work, upload at least 48 hours before your scheduled consultation, and don’t make changes to the file once you’ve shared the link.

Q7: Are Writing Centre consultations free?

A7: Yes, Writing Centre consultations are completely free. Please note that at this time, consultations are only available to UGC-funded students.