Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Writing Center?
In general, a writing center is a place you can go, at any point in your process, to help you improve your compositions 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 get 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 assignments for classes through PFW or IUFW. 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 can help you develop a thesis or argument, organize your information, assist with citations, help you build your outlines, help you make sure you're following your assignment sheet, 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 find what's working and what isn't in your assignment--and then work with you to 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 one-on-one 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 many 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 an email consultation request through our online form (we'll return your request in 2 - 3 business days, so be sure you've left enough time between submitting your request and the assignment's due date for revision!). 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. Our focus is always on the Higher Order Concerns first: do you have a thesis statement? Does your evidence support your thesis? Is your information in an order that makes sense? Those are the big issues in the paper--and it doesn't matter if all of your commas are correct in a paragraph if the paragraph needs to be deleted because it doesn't support your thesis.
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 be left without an appointment! Also, check with your instructor to see if there is a specific type of appointment your instructor is requiring. Some instructors won't accept email consultations for credit--they want to you speak with a consultant for your appointment.
We don't send reports of visits to faculty members. Instead, you will receive an email from either TutorTrac or firstname.lastname@example.org (it depends on what type of appointment you scheduled) with your visit summary. You'll need to submit this email to your instructor as proof of your visit.
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.
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!