I’m a strong writer. Would I still benefit from tutoring?
All writers can benefit from talking about their writing. In fact, our tutors sometimes come in for tutoring, and faculty and staff occasionally use our services as well.
How do I make an appointment?
Just visit our online Scheduler. If it’s your first visit, please click the blue link that says “Register for an account.”
How busy is the Center? Is it difficult to get in to see a tutor?
The Center conducts roughly 1000 tutorials a year, but our weekly business fluctuates. For the most part, most students do not have to wait more than a day or two for an appointment. To view our current hours, please view our Scheduler.
Do I have to pay for tutoring?
No, our services are free to SMCM students, staff, and faculty.
I’ve never been to the Center. Where am I supposed to go if I have a tutorial?
The Writing & Speaking Center is located on the first floor of the main Library on the pond side of the building. When you enter the atrium of the Library, turn right through the doors. Turn left and then walk to the far end of the floor. The Center will be on the right. If you have an appointment, you can take a seat on the white bench to wait. If you need assistance, please visit Assistant Director Mandy Taylor (first office on the left).
How long are tutoring appointments?
Students can choose between 30-minute and 60-minute appointments. The amount of time needed varies depending on the length of your paper as well as the number and type of questions you have. Also, please keep in mind that the goal of tutoring is to help you with the process rather than to make sure you leave with a completed product.
Can I make more than one appointment per week?
Sure. We usually allow students up to 90 minutes of tutoring per week. The weekly limit depends on how busy we are, so it may fluctuate up and down during the semester, and our Scheduler automatically limits the number of appointments per student per. Walk-In hours also count towards your weekly total.
I made an appointment, but I no longer need it or cannot attend it. What should I do?
If you click on your appointment in the Scheduler, the appointment form will open, and there will be a button at the bottom you can press to cancel. Appointments can be canceled as late as 1 minute before the appointment is scheduled to begin, but we ask that you please cancel as far in advance as possible and avoid scheduling appointments you think you may not be able to keep. If we notice that you are canceling routinely or excessively, we may require that you visit the Center only on a Walk-In basis instead.
Your schedule is full. Is there still a chance I can get an appointment?
Yes, we sometimes have cancellations or are able to add extra hours when our schedule fills, so we offer a Wait List option. To join our Wait List and be notified of cancellations or openings, click the clock icon next to the day of the week on our Scheduler.
Do I have to visit the Center for tutoring, or can I just e-mail you my draft?
We are unfortunately not equipped for electronic tutoring at this time, so please make an appointment through our Scheduler.
I’m not done with my draft. Can I still visit the Center?
Sure! The tutors are happy to help with any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and planning to final revisions.
Can I visit the Center the same day my assignment is due?
Yes, but we strongly recommend that you schedule at least a day in advance in order to leave yourself enough time to revise before your assignment is due.
What if I run late for an appointment?
If you are significantly late, the tutor may mark you as a No-Show in order to make that appointment slot available to someone else. If you are only slightly late, your appointment will just be a bit shorter.
My professor wrote comments on my rough draft. Can you help me figure out how to incorporate that feedback?
Yes, we can usually help with that.
Can you check my citations?
We can’t check them for you, but we may be able to answer your questions or direct you to resources that can help. Our tutors come from different majors, so they do not necessarily have mastery of or even direct experience with particular style manuals.
I’m writing something that isn’t for a class. Can you still help?
Yes, we can usually help you with non-academic writing tasks, such as cover letters and personal statements.
I’m writing a paper for my French (or other language) class. Can a tutor still help me?
Maybe. Please check our “Meet the Tutors” page to see if we currently have a tutor who has experience with that language.
Can you tell me what grade I am likely to get on a paper or presentation?
No. The tutors are not graders, so they cannot predict scores or performance on assignments.
Can you help me with study skills? Can you help me with material for a particular class?
We can help with writing and speaking tasks in any discipline, but we do not offer subject-specific or study skills tutoring.
I know all the tutors have the same training, but what if I want to work with a tutor in a particular discipline?
You can see the tutors’ majors and minors on our “Meet the Tutors” page, and you can make an appointment with a particular tutor by visiting our Scheduler. Please keep in mind that selecting tutors by discipline or major may limit your appointment time options and that we cannot guarantee the availability of particular tutors.
I want to work with a particular tutor, but that tutor is already booked and/or the tutor’s hours don’t work for me. Can I e-mail the tutor to arrange an off-schedule appointment?
We do not allow off-schedule appointments. Instead, please join our Wait List by clicking the clock icon next to the day of the week on our Scheduler. The Wait List will inform you of openings.
I got an e-mail saying that I modified my appointment, but I didn’t modify it. What’s going on?
We sometimes have to modify your appointments, and the system will automatically notify you. We generally won’t change the focus, length, or time of your appointment, but we will occasionally have to change which tutor you are scheduled to see. Very rarely, we may have to cancel your appointment and ask you to reschedule.
How does the ”speaking” part of the Writing & Speaking Center work?
Our tutors can help with any stage of writing or speaking assignments. The process for both types of assignments is similar, so the tutoring process is also quite similar.
Are the tutor rooms also available as study rooms?
No, the tutor rooms are reserved strictly for Center use, so they are not available as study rooms. The Library has designated study rooms on the second floor.
I keep trying to log in to the Scheduler, but it won’t work. Why is that?
There are several possible reasons for this:
- If it is your first visit to the Center, you will need to create an account. Our Scheduler is run by an outside source, so your St. Mary’s credentials won’t work automatically. Just click the blue link on the log-in page that says “Register for an account.”
- If you have missed two appointments at the Center without canceling, the Scheduler will automatically lock your account. E-mail Mandy Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she can reactivate your account.
- If you have repeatedly tried to login to your account with an incorrect password, the Scheduler will temporarily lock your account. Wait a while, make sure you have the correct password, and try again. If it still doesn’t work, reset your password.
- If you have reset your password but it still won’t let you login, e-mail Mandy Taylor at email@example.com, and she can reset your password.
My professor is requiring my class to come in for tutoring. Is there anything in particular I should keep in mind?
Required tutorials generally work the same way as regular tutorials, but here are a few tips:
- Schedule an appointment as far in advance as possible. We try to extend hours to keep pace with demand, but we cannot always do that on short notice.
- Consider what questions you have and what you hope to get out of the tutorial.
- Consider any special instructions your professor may have provided.
- If you need us to let your professor know that you completed a tutorial, please let the tutor know or contact Mandy Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When are your walk-in hours?
We do not have separate Walk-In Hours as our Scheduler is designed for appointments. You can visit the Center at any time to see if a tutor is available, but we typically only have one tutor working at a time, and that tutor may already be in a tutorial when you stop by. The tutors’ shifts do not run back to back, so a tutor may not be on duty at all. The best way to ensure a tutorial is to make an appointment using our online Scheduler. If a tutor is not available during the time you want to come in, you can always follow the directions on the Scheduler to join the Wait List. Make an appointment now.
Can you proofread my draft?
We can’t proofread it for you, but we will be happy to guide you through the process.
I’m working on an SMP. Can I still come in for tutoring?
We do not have a service specifically for SMPs, but you can always bring in sections of your SMP to work on in regular tutorials. If you need to work on longer sections, we recommend you make multiple appointments.
Can you let my professor know I completed a tutorial?
Absolutely. We write appointment summaries after each appointment, so just ask the tutor to e-mail the summary to your professor. If you forget to ask the tutor, just e-mail Mandy Taylor at email@example.com, and she can retrieve the summary.
Are all of the tutors English majors?
No. All of our tutors are capable of helping with any writing or speaking assignment, but they come from a variety of majors. Click here to meet our current tutors.
How do I become a tutor?
We usually send out an e-mail in the fall semester with a link to the tutor application. Tutors hired in the fall will take a 1-credit training course the following spring. After completing the practicum and passing a proficiency exam, they begin working as paid tutors at the Center in fall. We only hire tutors as needed, so we do not necessarily accept applications every fall.
I have a question that I don’t see listed here. How do I get an answer?
Please e-mail your question to Mandy Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.