Frequently Asked Questions

1 . How Do Writing Center Tutors help students with their writing?^

Tutors help students by:

- Focusing on the strengths and weaknesses in their writing as a whole, as opposed to the writing demonstrated in one specific paper.

- Showing students how to find and correct their own errors, as opposed to correcting their errors for them.

- Advising students how to improve the following areas of their writing:

  • Thesis/controlling idea
  • Thesis support and development
  • Organization and logical transitions
  • Sentence structure and variety
  • Word choice, grammar, and punctuation

2 . If I stop in right before class, can you proofread my paper for me?^

The short answer to this question is "no, not exactly." We can assist you better if you bring your draft to us several days before a paper is due. Since we focus on two or three issues during the tutoring session, another session may be necessary to discuss everything in your paper.

Although we help you to discover and correct errors, we are not a proofreading service. We work collaboratively with you to help you become a better editor of your own work.

Students, not tutors, are responsible for the papers submitted to instructors.

3 . What happens during a tutoring session? How long does a session last?^

During the tutoring session, you'll work one-on-one with a tutor; you'll read your paper (perhaps aloud) and discuss parts of it with the tutor. The session will work best if you have some idea already about what parts of the paper you'd like to discuss and why.

Tutoring sessions usually last 30 minutes.

4 . What if I am going to be late for an appointment or need to cancel my appointment?^

 If you are more than five minutes late for an appointment, the session may be given to someone else. We appreciate your promptness. 

If you need to cancel an appointment, you can do so on WC Online by selected your appointment box and clicking "Cancel This Appointment." You can also call the Writing Center at (509) 313-6610 or email us at

5 . How can I tell if a particular tutor is on duty?^

You can call the Writing Center at (509) 313-6610 to find out who is on duty or look at our schedule on WC Online.

6 . Do you have any handouts or online materials available?^

We have a number of links to excellent sites on the main page of this site. By following those links you can find APA and MLA documentation styles, online dictionaries, grammar sites, and help with writing for ESL students.

Some of the writing center sites, such as Purdue's Online Writing Center, have excellent handouts available online. Since all Gonzaga students have a handbook that explains the same information, our site does not include additional handouts on writing, although handouts on creating web pages and on using Blackboard are available in the Writing Center.

You can also follow us on Facebook for daily writing-related tips and articles.

7 . I'm a distance learning student and can't come to the Writing Center. Is there an Online Writing Center or any way that I can receive help with my papers by sending them to the tutors?^

We currently do not have an Online Writing Center and are not equipped to handle papers submitted online--sorry.

8 . My question isn't covered here. How can I find out what I need to know?^

Stop by the Writing Center in the Foley Center Library during our regular hours and talk to a tutor, or call (509) 313-6610. Our tutors can answer most questions for you.

For more information about the Writing Center, please contact Dr. John Eliason, Director of the Writing Center.  Thank you.