Writing

Announcements

Fall 2016 Hours

*Note: We are closed on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. for staff meetings.*

In 220 Boucke:

Sunday, 6-9:30 p.m. (drop-in)

Monday-Thursday, 10a.m.-2p.m. (by appointment); 2-9:30 p.m. (drop-in)

Friday, 10a.m.-3p.m. (by appointment)

In 101 Pattee:

Sunday-Thursday, 10p.m.-midnight (drop-in)

Online:

Sunday-Thursday, 8-10 p.m.

Writing is conversation. When you write, you enter a conversation with yourself, your readers, and the people whose work you reference in your paper. You probably also talk about your writing: with friends, classmates, parents, and maybe even your professor. Our peer tutors are experts at talking about writing. By listening to your concerns and asking questions, our tutors can help you break through your writing blocks and express yourself clearly. Come join the conversation!

We offer drop-in and appointment hours as well as online tutoring by appointment. Please note: because tutoring is a conversation between you and the tutor, papers cannot be dropped off or emailed to us for proofreading or editing services. To make an appointment for a face-to-face or online session, or to meet with a tutor who specializes in working with multilingual writers, use WCONLINE, our scheduling system

To use WCONLINE:

  1. Click here, then create a login using your PSU email address and a new password. Once logged in, you should be on the scheduling page for Writing Tutoring, Fall 2016. Available time slots will appear in white.  
  2. Select the appropriate tutor and click on an available time slot. A window will appear that will allow you to set the time you would like (no more than 1 hour) and save the appointment. You should receive a confirmation email.
  3. If you want to sign up for an online writing tutoring session, go to the schedule menu at the top and select “Online Writing Tutoring, Fall 2016.” When you  make an appointment on this schedule, you will receive an email from your tutor explaining how to connect for your appointment.

Our writing tutors can talk with you about writing for any of your classes or about your personal statement or application for a fellowship, scholarship, or graduate school. Our personal statement specialists work on Tuesdays from 2-6; Wednesdays from 2-4; and Thursdays from 12-2. Just drop in during these times and ask to work with the personal statement specialist. But don’t worry if you can’t meet with a specialist; all of our tutors can help with personal statements!

Please Note:

  • If you are a multilingual writer and would like to meet with a tutor who specializes in working with multilingual writers, please make an appointment on WCONLINE (instructions above). Currently, our multilingual specialists work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.
  • World Campus students can work with professional online writing tutors at Tutor.com. For more information, visit World Campus Student Resources
  • Graduate students who would like to discuss their work should visit our Graduate Writing Center

More Helpful Links:

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you charge for tutoring?

We do not charge a fee for our services. If you’re enrolled as a current Penn State student, your tuition covers the cost of tutoring.

Can you help with personal statements or cover letters?

Yes! Our personal statement specialist's hours are listed above, but ALL of our tutors can help with personal statements and cover letters. Just for the record, we can help you with any genre of writing (research papers, personal statements, poems, lab reports, etc.) at any stage of the writing process. If you have an assignment but don’t know what to write about, we can help. If you have a draft that you hate, we can help (Don’t hate! Collaborate!). If you’re not sure whether you’ve properly cited your paper, we can help.

What we CANNOT do is edit or proofread your paper. We cannot go through it line by line and correct all of the mistakes. Instead, we can identify your most common errors and explain grammatical concepts so that you can learn to edit your paper yourself.

What will people think if they know I get tutoring?

If they’re smart, they’ll applaud your resourcefulness and commitment to your education. If they’re super-smart, they’ll be inspired to see a writing tutor for their own work.

Will my professor know I met with a writing tutor?

If you’d like your tutor to email a summary of your session to your professor, you can fill out a contact report form. Otherwise, we will keep your session confidential.

I need to make up my peer review session. Can I do that with a writing tutor?

Yes and no. You can certainly meet with a writing tutor for a tutoring session, and you can request that your professor be notified of your visit. However, our tutors will not fill out peer review worksheets for you.

Can I drop my paper off to be edited and pick it up later?

Nope. That would sort of defeat the whole point of tutoring as conversation and collaboration. As someone smart probably said at some point, “Edit my paper for me, and I will learn nothing. Help me learn to edit my own paper, and I will be able to edit my own paper.”

I met with a writing tutor but still got a C on my paper. What’s up with that?

Here’s the thing about conversation: it has little to do with grades. We can talk to you about your writing, help you see your paper from a reader’s perspective, point out gaps or incoherence, help you plan your revisions, and even help you learn how to use commas and semicolons. What we can’t do is write your paper for you. Writing takes time and planning. It usually takes several drafts. So, if you visit a writing tutor and still get a C on your paper, we suggest the following:

  1. read your professor’s comments and humbly ask for clarification if you don’t understand them
  2. start your next paper earlier
  3. try to visit a writing tutor two or three times before the due date.

Can I be a peer writing tutor?

Please see our employment page for more information about how to become a peer writing tutor.

Contact Information:

Cindy Spiegel
Cocurricular Programs Coordinator
Language and Writing Communities
Penn State Learning
Phone: (814) 865-0259