The USA Writing Center employs friendly, professional graduate students and undergraduate seniors from a variety of disciplines. The consultants have extensive writing experience, as well as comprehensive training in academic tutoring.
The USA Writing Center has two convenient locations on campus. The primary office is located in the Academic Services Center, Room 1390. Consultations are also available in the Marx Library, Room 206. Writing consultants cannot meet with clients outside of these two locations.
The USA Writing Center is a free service for anyone within the USA community, including part-time students, full-time students, faculty, and staff members.
Making appointments in advance is not mandatory. However, walk-in sessions are extremely limited, due to the large demand for the USA Writing Center's services. We strongly encourage clients to schedule appointments several days in advance.
The USA Writing Center seeks to improve writers, not specific papers. We are not an editing or proofreading service, and we do not “correct” mistakes with a red pen. Successful consultations are a collaboration between the writer and the consultant. Therefore, the client must be present for each session.
Sessions at the USA Writing Center are available in 30-minute and 1-hour increments. Clients' appointments may not exceed one-and-a-half hours per week. However, in an effort to serve as many clients as possible, we reserve the right to limit the number of appointments per client within one academic week, based on demand of services. This limitation is especially necessary in the later weeks of each semester, due to the heavy demand that results from final papers and projects.
First and foremost, a consultation at the USA Writing Center involves a personal, friendly conversation that focuses on the client's individual questions and concerns. The USA Writing Center believes in the writing process, and a consultation could include a discussion on any step within this process (i.e., brainstorming, organizing, researching, revising, etc.).
You should bring several things to the USA Writing Center in order to ensure a successful consultation. First, bring a copy of the assignment sheet or prompt (if possible). This allows the consultant to understand the requirements of the specific project to ensure the client meets all of the expectations of the assignment. Second, bring two copies of the current draft, unless the consultation will focus on pre-writing strategies. Third, bring any source materials associated with the assignment, especially if the focus will be on citation and style. For example, if you are writing a summary, bring the essay or article you are summarizing. Finally, bring a desire to actively participate in the consultation.
In a perfect world, the USA Writing Center would be available at the client’s convenience. However, since our services are in high demand, appointment availability is often limited. We recommend you schedule an appointment as far in advance as possible. In addition, we recommend you schedule the first appointment at least a week before the assignment is due. This allows you to address each stage in the writing process with the necessary attention and prevents you from rushing to make any major changes.
The Writing Center is not limited to English projects. We believe in the importance of writing strongly in every academic discipline. Because of this belief, we welcome writing projects from a variety of fields, including medical reports, business analyses, artist statements, lab reports, etc. The USA Writing Center can also assist with certain personal projects, such as applications, personal statements, recommendation letters, resumes, and many others. If you have further questions on your specific writing project, schedule an appointment, and we will gladly discuss the possibility of our involvement and collaboration.
To make an appointment for a writing center consultation, click on the “Schedule an Appointment” tab on the left side of our home page. It will direct you to our schedule. If you do not already have an account, you can easily create one by clicking the "Click here to register" link on the schedule's website. If you have problems accessing our schedule, you may also call (251) 460-6480 to schedule an appointment or check out the About the Writing Center section which contains helpful "How-To" videos. Finally, you can come by our location at the Academic Services Center, Room 1390, to schedule an appointment in person.
If you are running a few minutes late, you will still be able to see a consultant; the time will just be taken away from your scheduled consultation. However, if you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, you will be marked as a “no-show.” In this case, you may lose your appointment to a walk-in or the next consultation. After two “no-show” occurrences, your account will be placed on temporary hold, until you call the Writing Center to have your account reactivated.
We understand the occasional emergency, but if possible, we request that you give at least 24-hour notice about canceling an appointment, which you can do by simply logging in to the schedule, pulling up your appointment, and clicking “Cancel” at the bottom of the pop-out window. You can also call us at (251) 460-6480, and we will cancel the appointment for you. If you miss two appointments in one week without advanced cancellation, your account will be placed on hold, and you will have to call the USA Writing Center to have your account reactivated.
The USA Writing Center assists in every aspect of a written project, and citation guidelines are one of the most important. Consultants are experienced in various citation styles, including MLA, APA, and Chicago. Students will also have access to professional handouts and worksheets for future reference. If you need help with anything related to citations, make an appointment and specify the citation style.
If you are working with a group or plan to come with one, be sure to indicate so when scheduling your appointment. In this case, schedule your appointment for at least one hour; we can accommodate larger groups with a longer appointment time, if necessary. If you would like to request a longer time for a group appointment, call us at 460-6480.
The USA Writing Center does provide online tutoring. When scheduling an online appointment, be sure to indicate it at that time. You can do so by going to the "Meet Online" box in the appointment window, then clicking on the drop-down bar and select "Yes- Schedule eTutoring Appointment." After doing this, be sure to upload both the prompt and draft as .pdf files at the bottom of the pop-out window. Consultants will upload a new version of the document with comments and feedback. After they do so, you will be sent an email notifying you, and you can then access it by returning to your appointment on the schedule and downloading the new file.
The USA Writing Center does not speculate about grades. We are here to offer advice, not guarantee results. It is the responsibility of the client to implement the advice and notes from the consultation. Once again, the goal of the USA Writing Center is to foster a culture of writing throughout the university experience to improve academic writing skills, critical thinking and professional preparation.