Finals Week Hours
Drop-in (220 Boucke):
Sunday, 6-9:30 p.m.
Monday- Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Writing is conversation. When you write, you enter a conversation with yourself, with your readers, and with the people whose work you reference in your paper. You also talk about your writing: with your professor; with your classmates during peer review; with a parent, perhaps, or a trusted English-major friend; and maybe even with the stranger in the laundry room at night, if you’re both bored and feeling chatty.
Our peer tutors are experts at talking about writing, and they can help you learn how to talk and think about your own writing. By listening to you read your paper and describe your writing goals and concerns, our tutors help foster your independence as a writer. They ask questions, provide support, and offer alternate points of view. They like writing, they like reading, and they like to listen and talk. Come join the conversation!
For drop-in hours and locations, see the Announcements box on the right. To make an appointment to see a tutor, please use the following links:
- For a face-to-face appointment, click here, create a login, then select “Boucke Writing Appointments, Spring 2016.”
- For an online appointment, click here, create a login, then select “Online Tutoring.” Online appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
- For help with a personal statement for a fellowship, scholarship, job, or graduate school application, click here, create a login, then select “Personal Statement Tutoring.” Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Please note: this service is only for current Penn State students who are working on a personal statement. If you need help with any other writing, please visit Penn State Learning during our regular tutoring hours.
- If you are a graduate student, please visit our Graduate Writing Center.
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.
What kind of writing can you help with?
We can help you with any writing for any class 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.
We can also help with writing that isn’t connected to a class. We can help with personal statements, job or school applications, or the novel you’re trying to write for Nanowrimo. 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. If not, then your professor will never know that you care so much about doing well in the class (see how we turned that around on you?).
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.
More helpful links:
- Resources for Writing (Purdue Online Writing Lab)
- The National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing’s newsletter for peer writing tutors: The Dangling Modifier
Language and Writing Communities
Penn State Learning