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A visit to the Drew University Center for Writing Excellence is helpful at all stages of the writing process. We hope to answer some of your questions about our services and sessions below.
- What sort of services do you offer at the CWE?
- What can I bring to the CWE to work on?
- Oh, no! You’re booked on the date/time that I really need!
- I’m a Caspersen or Theological School graduate student. What services are available for me at the CWE?
- Why should I go the CWE?
- Where is the CWE, and when is it open?
- Do I need an appointment? How early do I need to sign up?
- How long is a conference?
- Can I request a particular staff member?
- What should I bring?
- Can I drop off a paper and pick it up later? Or send it to you by email?
- Can you help me with grammar?
- Will my instructor know that I have come to the CWE?
- How can I become a writing consultant?
- What if I have a complaint or a suggestion about the CWE?
Q: What sort of services do you offer at the CWE?
We offer students from all schools and programs of the University generalized support in the following areas:
- Overcoming writer’s block
- Brainstorming and idea generation
- Planning, outlining, and organizing
- Developing thesis statements and arguments
- Drafting, revising, and editing strategies
- Using and citing sources
- Coaching on grammar, punctuation, and style
Please Note: The CWE is not an editing and proofreading service. While we do offer feedback as readers and seek to support your long-term growth and effectiveness as a writer, we cannot promise instant “results.” Our role is to help you come to recognize and correct your own errors and become a better reader of your own work.
Q: What can I bring to the CWE to work on?
Our writing specialists are happy to work on all types of writing:
- Papers written for all CLA courses
- Honors undergraduate theses
- Theses and dissertations for Caspersen School and Theological School students
- Papers written for graduate and seminary classes
- Resumes and cover letters
- Essays and Personal Statements for graduate school applications
- Business and professional letters
- Articles for publication
- Abstracts and proposals
- Speeches and presentations
Q: Oh, no! You’re booked on the date/time that I really need!
Don’t panic! You may put your name down on our waiting list. If we have a last minute cancellation or no show, we will call you to let you know. We also strongly encourage you to e-mail the Center requesting more tutors be made available during the date/time you need. If we get enough requests for more tutors on a specific day/time, we will try to add one or more tutors to the schedule permanently as their schedules and our budget allow!
Q: I’m a Caspersen or Theological School graduate student. What services are available for me at the Writing Center?
We recognize that graduate-level writing is often more demanding and greater in scope than undergraduate writing. A 50-minute session may not be long enough to provide graduate students with the intensive feedback that would be most helpful. If your paper is longer than 8-10 pages, we may not be able to get through it all in one sitting. We recommend coming to a session prepared to focus on only 1 or 2 concerns in your draft.
Please note: Because requests for our services have increased, we cannot currently see any student more than 2 full hours a week.
If you are working on your M.A. thesis, dissertation, or an article for publication and need specialized tutorial assistance on a regular basis, please e-mail the Writing Center directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, department, a synopsis of your writing project, and the specific writing and/or research needs you have. We will seek a qualified graduate level tutor to work with you on your project.
Also, if enough graduate students from your school or class are interested, we could develop a “tutor-moderated” writing group as well.
Q: Why should I go the Writing Center?
Because all writers deserve excellent readers! The CWE is a safe place to ask questions about writing and to try out your work on a friendly, responsive reader who will help you find answers to your questions. Working with a fellow writer can give you an edge, boosting your confidence and your performance as a writer.
And, it’s free!
Q: Where is the CWE?
The Writing Center is located in the Center for Academic Excellence, 1st floor of the Library.
Q: Do I need an appointment? How early do I need to sign up?
Yes. We cannot ensure that students who drop in without an appointment will be seen! Signing up for an appointment is the only way to ensure that you’ll be guaranteed to see a tutor of your choosing at a specific day/time. Please register and sign up for sessions at our:
Online Scheduling System (easy access, 24/7).
That said, if you need writing assistance and are unable to make an appointment, we recommend you drop into the Center to see if we have had any unexpected cancellations or openings. If someone who has scheduled an appointment is over 10 minutes late, you might get their spot. For more information about our drop-in policies, please call or e-mail the center at email@example.com.
Q: How long is a conference?
Conferences are scheduled for 25 minutes or 55 minutes, but the real length of a session depends on the length of your paper, the questions that you have, and what you’d like to talk about in your session.
Q: Can I request a particular staff member?
Absolutely; as long as that person is on the schedule and not already booked with another writer at the time you want to come in.
Q: What should I bring?
It’s helpful to your tutor to learn from you as much about your assignment as possible. So, bring the prompt you’re responding to, any handouts or readings that you’re using, and drafts or work-in-progress at any stage. Bring your questions and your positive energy, too!
Q: Can I drop off a paper and pick it up later? Or send it to you by email?
No. We want to discourage you from thinking that we are here to “fix” your work.
That’s because we are all about conversation. In a typical session, you and your consultant will be asking and answering questions, reading your paper together and engaging in a dialogue about your writing. We work with YOU to identify solutions and explore a variety of options together.
If what you have in mind is just getting your paper proofread, you should know that we don’t provide that service. We’re happy to help you do a bit of “supervised proofreading”—that is, to assist you in recognizing and learning how to correct persistent or repeating errors in your work—but you have to be here for that conversation to occur.
If all you are looking for is a professional proofreading service or editor to do it for you (e.g., to help with the final polish), please email us to ask for referrals. We may be able to help you to look for “editors-for-hire” in the area.
Q: Can you help me with grammar?
Yes. As readers, we understand the importance of correct grammar and usage. However, every CWE session requires you to set priorities around the most important questions you have about your writing. Sometimes grammatical issues will be the most pressing of your concerns, but if the structure, organization, or key ideas in your work are not yet clear, then it will be best to save the fine tuning and polishing for another day and another draft.
Q: Will my instructor know that I have come to the CWE?
Many instructors are impressed when a student is conscientious enough to spend extra time on her/his writing at the center. If you or your instructor requests a record of your visits, we can send an email confirmation of your work with us.
Q: How can I become a writing consultant?
We are always on the lookout for undergraduate and graduate tutors. Please feel free to e-mail your resume and a short writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org or to send inquiries about job openings with us. We welcome and encourage applicants from all disciplines.
Q: What if I have a complaint or a suggestion about the CWE?
The Director of the Drew University Writing Center would love to hear from you. Please send us an e-mail at email@example.com.