Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule an appointment?

You have several options:
1) use our online scheduler,

2) stop by, and we'll do our best to assist you, or

3) email us at apheatwole@smcm.edu for assistance or additional availability. 

E-mailing or stopping by are the best options if you can't make any of the posted hours.

More FAQs

Meet the Tutors:

Hannah

 

Hannah Myers

Major: English

Minor: Music & WGSX

 

Click here to see all of our peer tutors!


Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

Use the links below to view answers to frequently asked questions. If you don't see your question/answer, please e-mail Mandy Taylor at apheatwole@smcm.edu.

FYS-Related Questions:
-I'm teaching an FYS. What resources can you offer?

-Is the Writing and Speaking Center just for first-year students? 

-How can my Writing and Speaking Center liaison assist my FYS?


Speaking/Presenting/Filming Questions:
-Can students practice a presentation and record it?

-How do students make an appointment to work on a speaking assignment or presentation?

-How do I know if my students came in for a speaking tutorial?

-Can I require my entire class to use the Center for a speaking assignment?


Writing and Speaking Center-Related Questions:
-Is the Writing and Speaking Center just for first-year students?

-Are all the tutors English majors?

-Can you help students with formatting and citations?

-How can I find out if my students used the Writing and Speaking Center?

-Can I require my entire class to visit the Center?

-How do students schedule appointments?

-Can students schedule repeating appointments?

-Can students use the Writing and Speaking Center if they have not started writing yet?

-How do I arrange for a tutor to visit my class and explain how the Center works?

-How do I schedule a workshop? 

-What kind of training do the Writing and Speaking Center tutors receive?

-How do I encourage students to use the Writing and Speaking Center?

-What do I need to do when I refer a student to the Writing and Speaking Center? 

-I referred a student to the Writing and Speaking Center, but I haven't seen much improvement. Why is that? 

 

 

 

 

I'm teaching an FYS. What special services and resources do you have for that?

We offer many resources to help support FYS instructors and their students: 

  1. We offer class visits and workshops
  2. You can also check out our Oral Expression Resources page, which has resources for students but also a faculty section with instructional techniques and pre-made activities.
  3. We assign each FYS a Writing Center liaison.
  4. You can consider Required Visits for a Whole Class.
  5. You can ask for Assignment Feedback to get an idea of how your assignments will be read and interpreted by students. 


How can my Writing Center liaison assist my FYS?

The complete outline of liaison responsibilities is available here, but the main idea is that liaisons serve as an ambassador for the Writing Center to your FYS. If you schedule a class visit, your liaison will probably be the tutor who visits. If you schedule a workshop, we will try to have your liaison attend. You can also work with your liaison if you have additional ideas of how they might participate.

Can students practice a presentation and record it?

Yes.  Our full camera setup was installed in January 2014, so students can now practice presentations in LI115 (when no classes are using it) and use the camera system to record their presentations. They can then save the recording to a flash drive or e-mail it. Students can also make an appointment online to work with a tutor on presentations during any of our regular hours. 


How do students make appointments for speaking tutorials?

Students make appointments online just as they would for writing tutorials. If students need to film (or if they need a full classroom to practice), they need to make sure to make to schedule their tutorials when LI115 is not being used for classes (generally after 6:00 PM). If students want to practice a presentation independently and/or film it, they do not need an appointment, but they still have to find a time when LI115 is not in use.


How do I know if my students came in for speaking tutorials?

For any tutorial, the student can request that the tutor e-mail you the contact report (appointment summary). We unfortunately cannot verify whether or not a student only uses LI115 to practice independently (as opposed to working with a tutor).


Can I require an entire class to use the Center for a speaking assignment or presentation?

Yes, but please read about Required Tutorials for an Entire Class. Also, if you are requiring students to film, use LI115 (as opposed to a tutoring room), and/or visit in groups, availability is extremely limited due to the constraints of our current setup. If you would just like students to work individually or in small groups with a tutor in a tutoring room, we are better able to accommodate that. 


Is the Writing and Speaking Center just for first-year students?

No. Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, MAT students, and some Staff use the Writing Center as well. Some of the tutors even use it.


Are all the tutors English majors?

Some are English majors, some double major in English and another subject, and some are completely outside the English major. To meet the tutors, click here.


Can you help students with formatting and citations?

We can help to some extent. The tutors come from all different majors, so we don't necessarily have first-hand or exhaustive knowledge of every style manual, so we can't simply check papers to make sure they follows certain guidelines. However, we can usually assist students with things like deciding when to credit a source, paraphrasing, etc. For specific formatting and citation rules, we can look at style manual and other resources with students and discuss some examples to get you on the right track. If we can't answer your questions, we will probably refer students to the professor or a reference librarian for assistance.


How can I find out if my students used the Writing and Speaking Center?

If a student has a Writing Center tutorial, he or she can request that the tutor e-mail you the contact report (appointment summary).

Can I require my entire class to visit the Writing and Speaking Center?

Yes, but please read about Required Tutorials for an Entire Class.


How do students schedule appointments?

Students schedule appointments online. They can select the time they'd like, and they fill out an online form to let us know what class they are in, what assignment they are working on, and what they would like to address in the tutorial. Once their appointments are scheduled, they receive an auto-confirmation e-mail, and they can cancel, reschedule, or modify their appointment online. 


Can students schedule repeating appointments?

Sure. When students schedule an appointment, they can select an option to "Repeat Appt." They can choose how often to repeat it (weekly, monthly, etc.). Students may choose to do this for a few weeks to work on each step of an ongoing project (outline one week, reading over a draft the second, proofreading the third, etc.) or they might choose a repeating appointment to work on whatever writing assignments they have each week.


Can students use the Writing and Speaking Center if they have not started the assignment yet?

Of course. The tutors are happy to help with all stages of the process. Students need an idea of what they want to work on (brainstorming, outlining, formulating a thesis, etc.), but they do not need to have started writing yet.


How do I arrange for a tutor to visit my class and explain how the Center works?

For information about class visits, click here.


How do I schedule a workshop?

For more information about workshops, click here.


What kind of training do the Writing and Speaking Center tutors receive?

All Writing Center tutors complete a 1-semester tutoring practicum course with either Dr. Click or Dr. O'Sullivan. As part of this course, students learn about the theory and purpose of writing centers, how to provide effective feedback, and how to address common concerns. Tutors in training also observe veteran tutors and practice tutoring on their own. The semester after taking the practicum, students officially begin work as tutors. 


How do I encourage students to use the Writing and Speaking Center?

Students get the most out of tutorials when they visit of their own accord, but there are several things professors can do to help. Class visits and workshops help acquaint students with how the Center works and how it can help. Professors can also show that they value student effort on and improvement in writing by allowing students to revise and resubmit assignments. 


What do I need to do when I refer a student to the Writing and Speaking Center?

If you advise a student to visit the Writing and Speaking Center, please give him or her an idea of what to work on in the tutorial. For example, you might suggest a student visit the Center to work on organization, avoiding passive voice, transitions between paragraphs, etc. For speaking or presenting, you might suggest that the student visit to work on rate or volume, eye contact, use of visual aids, etc. If students come to the Center with an idea of what to work on, the tutors are better able to assist. 


I referred a student to the Writing and Speaking Center, but I haven't seen much improvement. Why is that?

We strive to make better writers instead of better writing and better presenters instead of better presentations. In other words, the student you referred probably benefitted from the experience of the tutorial, but that benefit may not be immediately reflected in his or her writing or speaking. Tutors also only give suggestions, so students may choose not to follow our advice. It's also possible that we addressed a skill other than the one you had in mind.