Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

There are no Writing Centre Tutorials available. What can I do?

Don't panic! Here are some options:  Check the intranet booking page regularly, especially the day before you want a tutorial. Many students book early and then have to cancel Come to drop-in hours Come to Writers' Space If you're hoping for an appointment today, check that we have appointments, and if we do, put your name on our same-day wait list. If we have a cancellation, we go to this list Use the handouts and seminars available on the website under Online Resources  

What if I need to cancel a writing centre tutorial?

You can cancel an appointment online up to 24 hours before the appointment. If you need to cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment, please call 416-287-7032 or send an email.

What if I had to cancel a tutorial but I still need some feedback on my work?

If you had to cancel a writing centre tutorial, please check the intranet to book a new tutorial, come to our drop-in hours, or come to writers' space.

When should I not book a tutorial but just come to drop-in hours?

Drop-in hours are good if you have questions about an assignment but haven’t started writing yet. They are also good for short assignments (1 to 3 pages) and for questions about citation.

Can someone at the Writing Centre edit my work?

Writing tutors focus on teaching you the skills you need to become a better writer. We can teach you to edit your own work, but we will not edit it for you.

Can I email my work to the Writing Centre and have someone correct it for me?

The face-to-face contact involved in writing tutorials is very important. You take the time to bring your work in and we take the time to sit down with you, read what you’ve written, and give you feedback on it. Our focus is on helping you to become a better writer, not on editing or correcting student work. It is the process that we engage in with you that helps you to understand how to improve your writing and become a better writer.

I know I have grammar errors in my writing but I don't know how to correct them. Can someone help me recognize my mistakes and teach me to fix them so that I don't make the same errors again and again?

Absolutely! Bring in a piece of writing and we will help you identify your errors and teach you to recognize and correct them. Remember that learning to write correctly takes time and dedication. We will focus on only one or two errors per appointment, so depending on the number of errors you may need more than one appointment. You will also need to work on your writing skills between appointments.  

Does the Writing Centre look at resumes and cover letters?

No: we focus on academic writing assignments. Academic Advising & Career Centre has specialized counselors and trained peers who will review your resume and cover letter. Go to Room AR 215 to sign up for an appointment. You might also have a look at the excellent advice on writing resumes and cover letters.

Can the Writing Centre help me with my personal statement for graduate school?

We are happy to help you with your personal statement during our drop-hours. Please do not book an appointment for a personal statement, as we reserve these for course assignments only.

Can I bring in my creative writing (fiction, poetry, etc.) to the Writing Centre?

For questions and appointments relating to creative writing, please contact Dr. Nancy Johnston. Note that UTSC has a creative writing journal, Scarborough Fair, which you might want to get involved in. And remember to submit your best work for the UTSC Creative Writing Awards.

Can I come in to work on my writing skills, even if I don’t have an actual assignment?

Our philosophy is that writing is an activity that always occurs within a discursive context. We don’t teach writing in the abstract; we teach based on work in progress. That being said, if you want to work on your writing but don’t have an assignment due yet, you can     bring in a copy of an old writing assignment for assessment and feedback;     draft a sample of the kind of writing you will be doing in your field and bring it in for assessment and feedback.

What is the difference between a writing centre tutorial and drop-in session?

The biggest difference is time. Writing centre tutorials are 50 minutes long and drop-ins are 20 minutes. Tutorials are good for long assignments, complex questions, and learning the details. Drop-ins are good for short assignments (less than 3 pages) and focused questions.  Otherwise, tutorials and drop-ins happen in the same space and with the same tutors. 

What happens in a writing centre tutorial?

You bring in a course assignment at any stage in the process and sit down one-on-one with a writing instructor. He or she will ask you questions about the assignment, may read all or part of your draft and will offer feedback and writing instruction tailored to your assignment, your discipline, and your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.   

What should I bring to my writing centre tutorial?

Come to your appointment prepared to talk, think, and yes, write. Bring a printed copy of whatever you have written so far, the instructions for the assignment, any research materials, a pen or pencil to write with, and your brain.