Get help with your papers and writing assignments for free
The Writing Center provides one-on-one drop-in tutoring with trained writing tutors, and also offers for-credit Writing Skills classes with instructors. We help students with writing assignments in any subject area and at any stage in the writing process, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing.
Spring Quarter 2021
Since the physical Writing Center is closed due to COVID-19, we now offer you multiple ways to work with writing tutors online. Read below to see the options that fit with how you want to work with tutors.
If you want to live chat with a writing tutor:
We can talk to you about any writing-related questions you have using Zoom! These 30 minute, one-on-one sessions are all drop-in (no appointments). It's a great idea to chat with a writing tutor while you're trying to understand your assignment and figure out what you want to write about, when you're brainstorming ideas or outlining your papers, or once you have several paragraphs or a full draft and want to hear what someone else thinks about it.
You can drop-in with a really quick question ("Hey, does this citation look right to you?") or something that might take a little longer ("I'd really like someone to read these 3-4 pages and talk to me about if my organization makes sense."). You can have multiple sessions in a day, but we do keep each session at 30 minutes (or less) so that we can work with as many students as possible, in the order that they have entered our virtual waiting room.
Our writing tutors can help you with writing you're doing in any class you're taking at Edmonds College.
It is helpful if you already have a Zoom account or have Zoom downloaded to your computer, but you *do not* have to have Zoom on your computer OR a Zoom account to participate in these sessions! You can easily join using your web browser.
If you want to receive written comments on your writing from a tutor:
If you are not able to live chat with a tutor or would just prefer to receive your feedback in writing, you can use eTutoring this quarter. The tutors at eTutoring will help you with questions related to your thesis, organization, analysis, use of quotations, citations, grammar, and more.
If you want help with a personal statement for applying to a university:
We ask students to use eTutoring for help with personal statements. Their tutors are trained to give feedback on personal statements and you can send a draft of your statement for feedback up to 3 times. This is a very helpful way to refine your work on your personal statement!
If you mainly want help with grammar-related questions:
If you feel that the content of your writing and its organization is already in a good place, but you would really like to ask some questions about your grammar, then you should use Grammar Corner this quarter. There are options both for live chatting with a Grammar Corner instructor AND receiving written responses to your questions.
If you are a student in ELA (formerly ESL) levels 5 and 6 and want help with your writing:
Please note: Writing tutors only work with ELA (ESL) students who are currently enrolled in levels 5 and 6. We cannot work with students who are enrolled in classes at levels 1-4.
Our tutors will help you only *after* you have already received comments back from your instructor, just the same as in our in-person writing center. The best options for you to receive help this quarter are live chatting with a writing tutor using Ask a Tutor: Live OR working with a Grammar Corner instructor.
We do not recommend eTutoring for students in ELA levels 5 and 6.
The FAQ below refers to our in-person services, but is also relevant to working with a writing tutor online.
What can I expect at the Writing Center?
Our goal is not only to help you improve your current paper, but also to help you learn strategies for revising your writing on your own, without a tutor present. Our aim is to help you become a more confident, purposeful writer. Below you will find answers to more frequently asked questions about how the Writing Center works.
Do I need an appointment?
No. All of our free tutoring is on a drop-in, first-come, first-served basis. Stop by whenever you need help and we’ll have Writing Assistants ready to work with you (though at peak times, there may be a wait).
How often can I have a writing conference?
While we are operating online, there is not a limit on the number of tutoring sessions you may have per day. But we do ask that you try to stick to no more than two, 30 minute sessions.
At our in-person space, you may have 1 conference with a Writing Assistant per day. If you want to work on the same paper more than once a week, please make sure that you’ve done significant work on your own between sessions.
What should I bring?
Make sure to bring your assignment sheet from your instructor—we can help you best if we know exactly what you’ve been asked to do in your paper. You should also bring any writing you’ve completed so far—notes, outlines, a partial draft, or a full paper. (Though we can also discuss the assignment and help you brainstorm ideas, too!) Finally, bring some questions and concerns about your writing. Have something in mind that you want to discuss with the Writing Assistant.
How long are tutoring sessions?
When we are tutoring online, our sessions last no more than 30 minutes. You can have multiple sessions, sometimes even back-to-back, but each individual session is 30 minutes or less so that we may help as many students as possible.
When we are in-person, typically, between 20 and 40 minutes. They range in time depending on the questions you have about your writing and what you want help with, so a conference could be shorter than 20 minutes, but it will never be longer than 40 minutes. We don’t want to overwhelm you with information, so we like to stick to that time limit.
Who will I work with?
Most of our Writing Assistants are students here at Edmonds College, while others are enrolled in other nearby universities, or already have undergraduate and graduate degrees. Our Writing Assistants have a variety of educational backgrounds and interests and are strong writers with friendly, supportive personalities.
Can I get my paper edited or proofread?
Not exactly—our Writing Assistants won’t edit or proofread your paper for you, but they are happy to model and teach you strategies for finding grammar errors and typos so that you can fix them on your own.
What will we talk about?
Your concerns about your paper will help to set the agenda. That said, Writing Assistants will want to discuss the thesis, organization, evidence and support, and overall clarity of your paper before moving into discussions about grammar. It’s best to make sure the ideas and examples in your paper are clear and strong before focusing entirely on grammar—if your sentences are grammatically perfect but don’t help support a strong thesis, then you’re going to have to rewrite them anyway!
I’m finished with my conference—now what?
Now that you’ve worked with a Writing Assistant and have made some plans about how to revise your paper—go and start those revisions! After every writing conference is finished, there’s still plenty of work left to do on a paper; leave yourself enough time to adjust your paper before turning it in. Writing conferences are starting points for revising, but the bulk of the work will be left up to you after a conference is finished.