Writing Center FAQs
What can I expect from tutoring?
- Your tutor will shape their feedback to suit your goals and to suit your deadlines.
- Your tutor will use strategies that help you make your writing more effective. Some of the strategies our tutors most often use are:
- Taking notes on your ideas as you speak them
- Asking clarifying questions about your motivations, audience, and more
- Asking questions that help you generate new ideas or perspectives
- Reading your work aloud
- Identifying patterns in your writing that you may not be aware of
- Modeling new sentence options
- Talking through the five-stage writing process
- Researching answers to questions about grammar, style, and usage together
- Your tutor will only read your work during the session (they cannot read your paper before the session) and they can only meet on-campus or online for your appointment (they cannot meet off-campus).
- To guide the session, your tutor will ask you questions. It's not required, but you can prepare for those questions by reviewing or completing an Author's Note
What can you work on with a tutor?
Tutors are trained to work on any kind of writing at any point in its development—they can work with you on brainstorming ideas even before you have a draft, they can help you understand where to cut down or rewrite what you have, or they can help you identify common grammar issues and typos in your final drafts.
What accessibility accommodations do you offer?
The Writing Center can offer alternative tutoring arrangements, such as longer or more frequent sessions, on a case-by-case basis.
Tutors can also meet with you in the Assistive Technology Lab, where one can access screen readers, dictation software, and other technological resources. Tutors can meet in other locations in Evans Hall such as Academic Computing or the computer bays in the Library proper.
Other arrangements may be able to be made. What do you need?
Alternative arrangements are best made ahead of time and must be agreed to by all involved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
What kind of writing can I bring in?
- Academic Writing: You can bring your academic writing—essays, seminar papers, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, citations, and more.
- Creative Writing: You can also bring your creative writing—plays, novels, short stories, cartoons, memoir, poetry, and more.
- Professional and Graduate Writing: You can also bring your professional writing—cover letters, resumes, one-pagers, white papers, personal statements/statements of purpose, and more.
- Multimodal and Beyond: Finally, you can also bring your work that you may not think of as writing—podcast scripts, documentary film scripts, presentation slides, website copy, infographics, posters, toasts for a wedding, and more.
Do I need to bring a draft to my appointment?
You can work with a tutor on brainstorming, mind mapping, or just generating ideas even before you have a draft.
Once you have started a draft, you can work with a tutor on the order of your paragraphs, the readability and flow of your sentences, and correcting any errors in your text.
Your opinion and sense of style are important in the session. Your tutor will ask you many questions to find out how to support what really matters to you about your writing. We can help you find your voice.
How many pages do we cover in a tutoring session?
Keep length in mind that a long draft may need more than one session. A good rule of thumb is 3-5 pages per 50-minute session. If you are working on a draft that is longer than that, your tutor may ask which areas are most important to focus on.
What if one appointment isn't enough?
If you are passionate about exploring yourself as a writer, and you have time in your schedule to dedicate to your craft, consider making weekly appointments for a quarter. You are likely to discover a great deal about your process, style, and strengths. You can set up a recurring appointment by talking with your tutor.
Weekly appointments are great for students doing Independent Learning Contracts. Meetings with your tutor can give you that added support to help you thrive while you work independently on your academic goals.
How do I use the Resource Library?
You can come to the Writing Center to ask questions and review writing websites, writing books, and writing guides alongside an undergraduate peer tutor who can support you along the way.
Academic Statement Guide
Writing an Academic Statement is a challenging and complex undertaking. That's why we wrote a comprehensive, 70-page guide on it.
This guide to writing your Academic Statement will help you understand how to do the research, brainstorming, drafting, revision, and proofreading needed to create a finished draft.
Explore our tried and tested strategies, recommended essay styles, prompting questions, word banks, style guide, and example paragraphs. Get your questions answered about which information to include to write an Academic Statement that helps your undergraduate journey shine.This guide was written by the Writing Center peer tutors and administrative staff in March 2021.
We welcome you to use this guide with peers and with us at your Writing Center sessions. You are not in this alone!
Example Final Academic Statements
Example 1: Myron Avalos—Final Academic Statement (pdf)
Example 2: Lauren Roberts—Final Academic Statement (pdf)
Example 3: Virginia Quintero—Final Academic Statement (pdf)
Example 4: Lorenzo Scott—Final Academic Statement (pdf)
Example 5: Samantha Todd—Final Academic Statement (pdf)
Example 6: Sarah Lester—Final Academic Statement (pdf)
Essential Reflective Writing
Writing About Your Evergreen Education
This is an overview of all of the writing you do about yourself as part of your Evergreen journey—from your Orientation Essay to your Final Academic Statement.
Narratives: They Tell a Story
Evergreen is unique as a college in that it uses a narrative system to assess student learning and achievement rather than letter or numerical grades. “Narrative” is another word for story—a written account of events.
Some parts of your academic story are published in your final transcript. So instead of having a GPA and a list of courses, you will have a list of course and program titles and a set of narrative evaluations to view and share with future employers and graduate schools.
Benefits to Writing Narratives
- Telling your own story helps you gain self-awareness.
- By writing about your academic interests, strengths, challenges, and triumphs—from your admissions process until you graduate—you will be able to document your evolution as a learner.
- While you build self-awareness through writing, your faculty will also be able to gain insight into how to best offer you mentorship through reading your reflective writing on my.evergreen.edu.
Multiple Authors Tell your Academic Story
You and all of your faculty participate in generating these narrative assessments. In other words, you and the people who supported your learning get to tell your academic story through a series of essays.
- Admissions Essay
- Orientation Essay
- Student Evaluations of Faculty
- Faculty Evaluation of Student Achievement
- Annual Academic Statement
- Final Academic Statement
All of the reflective writing you do at Evergreen is important, but not all of it ends up published in your transcript. The narratives that are published in your transcript are:
- Self-Evaluations that you have selected to put in your transcript on purpose
- Faculty Evaluations of Student Achievement for each of your courses or programs
- Final Academic Statement
See Hacking Your Transcript: How to Intentionally Shape Your Transcript So It Will Serve You by Caryn Dudley for a peer-tutor’s overview of what goes in your transcript.
The Writing Process
Don't forget to reach out to the reference desk for help finding materials, using citation software, and much more! Evergreen Research Librarians
A Research Strategy (pdf)
Using Your Sources: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing (pdf)
Conducting Research (Purdue OWL)
Writing with Statistics (Purdue OWL)
Avoiding Plagiarism (Purdue OWL)
Guides tailored to specific areas of research made by Evergreen librarians (LibGuides)
Revisions & Editing
Citations for Academic Writing
Understanding Citation Styles (YouTube)
Why We Cite (pdf)
On-Cite Construction: Properly Using Citation to Build a Sound, Critical Essay (pdf)
Writing in the Disciplines - Sacramento State University. Your citation style will differ depending on if you are writing in science, history, art, literature, psychology, and more!
English Language Learners (ELL)
Each of these links takes you to a page where you can choose the grammar area in which you want additional practice. Try practicing the same grammatical rule on each of the sites over the course of a week, focusing on a different rule each week.
1-language.com: ESL Quizzes - This site provides several quizzes on different grammar rules. Simply click the link and take the quiz. Also available on another area of the site are whole texts of various works of literature, accessible by clicking "ESL Reading Library" on the main page.
The Grammar Aquarium: EFL/ESL Grammar Notes and Exercises - This link provides many quizzes for ELL students and you can either take the quiz online or print the questions out so you can write on it. Along with many of the quizzes the site provides links to notes on the grammatical area you're practicing.
eslgold.com: Grammar - This site has tons of quizzes which are divided by level of English proficiency. A student may have to search for a bit, but the abundance of quizzes on various subjects makes this a great resource. The link provided takes you to the "Grammar" area, and from there you can either take quizzes or do exercises.
What's in a Sentence? Getting to Know the Parts of Speech (pdf)
Tenses and Conjugation (pdf)
Sentence Patterns I: Locating Subjects and Verbs (pdf)
Sentence Patterns II: Locating Objects and Complements (pdf)
Commas 101 (pdf)
The Complex Sentence: Correcting Fragments (pdf)
The Compound Sentence: Correcting Run-Ons and Comma Splices (pdf)
The Compound-Complex Sentence (pdf)
Parallel Structure (pdf)
Using Articles - Purdue OWL
A Research Strategy (pdf)
Researching a Scientific Topic: Finding and Using Sources (pdf)
Strategies for Critical Reading of Technical Writing: Primary Literature (pdf)
Technical Language (pdf)
Standard Format of Primary Scientific Literature (pdf)
Title and Abstract: Your Paper in a Nutshell (pdf)
Putting Scientific Work in Context: Introductions (pdf)
Methods: A Recipe for Science (pdf)
Results and Discussion (pdf)
References and General Format (pdf)
Peer Review Form for Scientific Writing (pdf)
The following resources can give some broad guidance. The conversations around preferred language change rapidly. In many cases, it is best to ask the person/people you are writing about how they like to be referred to. This is so that you stay up-to-date and because as personal preferences vary!
Diversity/Inclusivity Style Guide — Cal State
Guidance for Reporting and Writing About Racism — Syracruse University
Who is APIDA? Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans — APIDA
Gender-Neutral Pronouns 101: Everything You've Always Wanted to Know — Them.us
Graduate & Professional Guides
Annotated Bibliography Samples (Purdue OWL)
Literature Reviews (The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Professional/Technical Writing: White Papers (Purdue OWL)
How to Think Like a Data Scientist in 12 Steps - James Le (Medium)
Introducing a Data Mindset (O'Reilly)
State of Washington Plain Talk Guidelines
How to Craft a Great One-Pager - Sarah Sunu, Heather Mannix, and Meg Nakahara (Compass)
American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide Introduction
Not seeing what you need?
Let us know how we can better provide the needed resources by contacting the Writing Center.
- Olympia Campus
- Mailstop LIB 2300
Monday-Thursday, 12pm-7pm in-person or virtual Friday and Sunday, 12pm to 4pm virtual only