The Writing Center @ Penn State Learning aims to promote engaging conversations and writing support for undergraduate students at Penn State. We offer drop-in and appointment hours, as well as online tutoring by appointment or through our asynchronous submission form. All tutors are undergraduate students who have completed a full semester of writing tutor education and practical training. Tutoring is free of charge.
We view each writing tutorial as an opportunity for students to meet "peer-to-peer" to talk about an in-progress writing project. Student writers attending a tutorial should be prepared to discuss their assignments, questions, and concerns, along with their personal strengths and goals for the work. Writers will be asked to share their work, often by reading aloud, and tutors will use introductory questions about the writing process to open the conversation. Tutors will then guide writers through a series of activities geared toward their writing goals. We welcome all writers and the differences in language, identity, and perspective they bring to each tutorial.
Instructors wishing to prepare students for tutoring can encourage them to bring assignment sheets, class notes, instructor and peer feedback, and any research involved in the project. Tutors will work with students seeking grammar assistance by helping writers to develop independent editing strategies, greater knowledge of idea development, and sentence construction and clarity. In addition, students can request a Contact Report describing their tutoring session to be emailed to instructors for review.
Writing Tutoring Services
Writing @ Penn State Learning offers drop-in and appointment hours, as well as online tutoring by appointment or through our asynchronous submission form. All tutoring is peer-to-peer and free of charge.
All in-person writing tutoring happens in 220 Boucke or The Search Bar (in Pattee Library's Sidewater Commons). To get tutoring through drop-in hours, all you need to do is come by 220 Boucke or the Search Bar and sign in. Shortly thereafter, a writing tutor on duty will assist you. It's possible that during drop-in hours you'll experience a short wait before a tutor becomes available to help. If you want to guarantee a particular time, we recommend scheduling an appointment on Starfish.
In-person appointments are available in 220 Boucke throughout the semester. To schedule an appointment, please use the appointment scheduler in Starfish. You will see a list of available appointment times; when you pick a time and move to the following screen, you will be able to check the Boucke Building location.
Appointments are 30 minutes long. You can schedule up to two appointments in a row.
Online synchronous appointments are available throughout the semester. To schedule an online appointment, please use the appointment scheduler in Starfish. You will see a list of available appointment times; when you pick a time and move to the following screen, you will be able to check the Online Writing location. You will receive a Zoom link with your appointment confirmation.
Asynchronous tutoring allows students to submit a writing project for review, and receive virtual tutoring feedback in response. Our tutors will provide both a video tutorial, as well as written commentary and questions about the submitted materials. You may submit no more than 6 pages of writing by filling out the Asynchronous Tutoring Submission form. Please record all the necessary details of your project for the most useful feedback.
Asynchronous requests are assigned to the first available tutor. Please allow 1-3 days for a response.
At the request of instructors, writing tutors will visit classrooms to conduct workshops that are tailored to the writing projects in the course. During an extended class visit, several tutors might spend the entire period assisting students with their writing. In addition, the Writing Center can create custom workshops for writing-oriented events. To request a workshop for your class or program, please fill out our Workshop Request form.