Welcome to the Writing Center - Write your future
At the Writing Center, tutors ask open-ended questions, offer constructive feedback, and act as an attentive and responsive “audience” for students of all levels at any stage of the writing process. We provide writing support in the form of one-on-one tutoring sessions, group tutoring sessions, writing groups, workshops, and other forms of writing intervention.
We are undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a few staff, who represent various disciplines across the university. We will work with you on any writing project, from a research paper to a scholarship application letter. We’ll even work with you on your non-school related writing!
We welcome walk-ins when we can, but it’s always a better bet to schedule an appointment. Undergraduate students may schedule 25 and 50 minute appointments, while graduate students may schedule 50 minute appointments.
Please bring a copy of your assignment, a copy of your work, and your Comet Card. Plan to arrive early. Check our FAQ for our policies about cancelling appointments and arriving late to sessions.
What Students Are Saying:
“Great session. She did not try to provide answers in the form of sentences but rather gave me ideas on what to talk about. I appreciate this because I'll be able to feel like my paper is written all in my own words and done by me.”
“Very helpful. [My tutor] did give me some suggestions, but she did an even better job of leading me to my own conclusions about my writing, which I think is the most effective/helpful way of teaching. I will definitely return.”
“I loved my appointment! I got to flesh out the ideas I still had floating in my head in a logical manner. [My tutor] was very patient and listened to all of my ideas. Great time!”
Who can use the Writing Center?
You must be a currently enrolled student of UT Dallas.
How do I make an appointment?
DROP BY: MC 1.312
CALL: (972) 883-6736
It is always best to arrange for a session in advance because students who have scheduled consultations have priority over those who drop in for an appointment.
You can make only one appointment at a time. After you have either attended a session or canceled a previously made appointment, you can schedule another appointment.
How can the Writing Center help me?
In the spirit of collaboration, we give advice and make suggestions in order to help you develop as a writer. Typically, the concerns that students bring to the Center include but are not limited to:
- 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, we will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your paper and discuss strategies for improvement with you. We will also address any questions you have about the rules and conventions related to your writing assignment.
Because the help we provide is intended to foster independence, we do not proofread or edit papers. 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 in which to help you become a more independent writer.
How much time should I allot for a consultation?
Undergraduate students may schedule either 25-minute or 50-minute tutoring sessions and may have up to 3 tutoring sessions per week. Graduate students may schedule 50 minute appointments and may have 2 tutoring sessions per week. No student may have more than one appointment in a day. Walk-in sessions are 25 minutes long and do count towards the appointment total.
Can we make appointments for group projects and papers?
The Writing Center welcomes students working together on a group project; however, because the nature of such work is collaborative, we ask that all members of the group attend the session.
Alternatively, a student who wishes to work on his or her individual assignment for a group project can arrange for a one-to-one consultation.
If your group has more than three students in it, please be sure to call ahead. We can only guarantee appointments for large groups over the phone.
Can I make appointments for take-home exams?
The Student Success Center 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@example.com.
What if I need to cancel my appointment or arrive late?
At exactly 5 minutes late: You forfeit your appointment to any walk-in students who may be waiting. If no other students are waiting, you may still have your appointment up until the 15-minute mark.
At exactly 15 minutes late: You are considered a no-show.
When you No-Show
- For the 1st time: You will receive a warning email from manager, and you may not schedule another appointment for 7 days.
- For the 2nd time: Your appointment-making privileges will be temporarily suspended until you meet with the manager to clarify this policy.
- For the 3rd time: your appointment-making privileges are revoked for the rest of the semester
If you need to cancel your appointment, please call at least 24 hours in advance. Appointments cancelled within 24 hours of the appointment’s scheduled start time (or within 15 minutes after the appointment has already started) are considered Late Cancellations. 3 late cancellations equal one No-Show.
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 consultant discuss. In addition, if you visit the Writing Center well before your paper is due, you will have the 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?
Don't forget your Comet Card!
Bring your professor’s instructions for the assignment and a copy of your paper. We prefer printed copies formatted according to course requirements, but we can also work with you on your laptop.
Also bring any other relevant materials, such as the professor's comments on an earlier draft and class notes.
If you are working on an application essay or internship report,bring a copy of the writing topic.
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. Be sure that you have your instructor’s correct email address.
However, 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.
I’m a graduate student. What do I need to know?
Graduate students can only make appointments with the Learning Specialist III (Thomasina Hickmann). We ask that graduate students only seek help with the later stages of writing: we cannot help them brainstorm their topic. They can only have one tutoring session about any short documents (3 – 4 pages) unless the LS III approves further sessions. Graduate students cannot see the LS III about resumes, cover letters, and any piece of writing that would be less than two pages when conventionally formatted (double-spaced with 1-inch margins, using 11- or 12-point font). Personal statements are exempt from this policy.
Graduate students are limited to two appointments per week and cannot have more than one tutoring session in a day.
What if my appointment request was denied?
Don’t panic! You will receive a call and/or an email explaining why we needed to deny your appointment. If you do not, please call the Writing Center Manager at 972-883-5484.
It is most likely that you tried to schedule a group appointment at a time when we could not accommodate one. Scheduling problems with our software and tutor schedule changes sometimes also force us to deny appointment requests.