You should feel free to visit the Writing Center at any stage of the writing process: at the beginning, before you even begin to write; at the research stage, when you are increasing your knowledge on the subject; at the planning/outlining stage, to discuss your strategies; at the drafting stage, to go over any coherent portion of the paper you may have already written; at the finalizing stage, when the paper is close to its definitive shape. There is much that can be improved in your writing, if taken in stages and chunks, so don’t wait until you are nearly finished.
During the session, the student and the tutor work together to develop and improve the student’s ideas, plans, and arguments, with the tutor providing non-directive guidance. To get the most from each session, the student should be active, and aware of their needs.
While working on a writing project, plan on visiting the center multiple times, in the early, middle, and late stages of the writing process.
Remember that tutors are not editors and that students are fully responsible for their work, in both content and form. The mission of the Writing Center is to help students develop their skills in interaction with experienced writers. And since “Where You End Up Depends on Where You Start,” each session will help you start a little higher on your next project.
To benefit more quickly, pay attention not just to what the tutor says, but also to what the tutor does! You will notice that they look at a number of different aspects such as:
- the link between claims and evidence
- the relation between facts and interpretations
- the clarity of your summaries
- the strength of your descriptions
- the effectiveness of transitions
- down to spelling and grammar.