Student Success Center

Writing Center FAQ

Who can use the Undergraduate Writing Center?+

You must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student at UT Dallas.

How do I make an appointment?+

We encourage you to make an appointment to receive priority over drop-ins. You can make only one appointment at a time.

How can the Writing Center help me?+

Tutors provide advice and make suggestions to help you develop as a writer. Common concerns students bring to the Center include:

  • Finding a topic for a paper.
  • Organizing ideas and clarifying thoughts.
  • Drafting and revising papers.
  • Documenting sources.
  • Preparing for essay exams.

At the Writing Center, tutors help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your paper and discuss strategies for improvement. We will also address any questions you have about the rules and conventions related to your writing assignment.

We will not proofread or edit papers for you; however, we will help you improve your proofreading and editing skills.

Can you estimate my grade on an assignment?+

We do not assess your writing in terms of the grade that it might receive. It is the role of your instructor to evaluate your written work by assigning it a grade.

Our purpose is to provide a nonjudgmental atmosphere that will help you become a more independent writer.

How much time should I allot for consultation?+

Students may schedule 25 or 50 minute tutoring sessions and may have up to 3 tutoring sessions per week. No student may have more than one appointment in a day.

Drop-in sessions are 25 minutes long and do not count towards the weekly appointment limit.

Can we make appointments for group projects and papers?+

No, at this time we do not allow group appointments. Alternatively, a student who wishes to work on his or her individual assignment for a group project can arrange for a one-on-one appointment.

Can I make appointments for take-home exams?+

The Writing Center does not assist students with take-home essay exams without prior approval as noted in the course syllabus, exam instructions or an instructor email message to [email protected].

What if I need to cancel my appointment or arrive late?+

If you are more than ten minutes late to your scheduled appointment, you forfeit your appointment. You may make a new appointment for another day, or if there is availability, you will be allowed to sign-in as a drop-in that same day, but drop-in appointments are not guaranteed.

If there is a pattern of missing scheduled appointments (no-shows), privileges may be suspended at the discretion of the Writing Center manager.

If you need to cancel your appointment, please call at least 24 hours in advance as we may be able to accommodate other students.

How can I make certain that my consultation is as productive as possible?+

Make your appointment well ahead of time and post it to your personal calendar. It is important to allow yourself enough time to work on developing the ideas or making the revisions that you and the tutor discuss. We recommend visiting the Writing Center well before your paper is due to give yourself time to return for additional consultation.

The more informed we are about your concerns, the more we can help you.  Before arriving for your appointment, determine your objectives. What do you hope to gain from the session? For example, do you want to develop your topic, organize your argument, or refine the focus of your paper?

What should I bring to a consultation?+
  • Comet Card (required).
  • Instructions for the assignment and a copy of your paper. Printed copies are preferred.
  • Other relevant materials, such as your professor’s comments on earlier drafts and class notes.
  • Copy of the writing topic, if you are working on an application essay or internship report.

If you’re still in the process of generating and organizing ideas and haven’t yet written a draft, bring your questions to the consultation.

Can you let my instructor know that I am visiting the Writing Center?+

Yes. At your request, we will open an electronic form for you to fill out that will send an email to your instructor. You must provide your instructor’s email address.

If you have a 25 minute appointment, you must actively engage in the tutoring session for at least 20 minutes before we will complete the form. If you have a 50 minute appointment, you must participate in the session for at least 40 minutes.

What if my appointment request was denied?+

Don’t panic. You will receive a call and/or an email explaining why we denied your appointment.

I’m a graduate student. What do I need to know?+

Graduate students can only make appointments with the new Graduate Writing Services office. Use AcceSSC to make your appointments online.

Graduate students are limited to two appointments per week and cannot have more than one tutoring session in a day. The Graduate Writing Services office is still located in McDermott Library 1.312.