Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching FAQs

How do I make an appointment?
Do you offer drop-in hours?
What else can I do at the CWLT?
What happens during a writing conference?
Help! I need an appointment but the writing advisor in my major is all booked for weeks! What do I do?
I am in a First-Year Seminar and my professor recommended one person specifically. What do I do if s/he is booked for the week?
I am working on a personal statement for a graduate or professional school or a fellowship application. Whom should I contact?
Do you work with alumni?
What should I bring to my writing appointment?
What if I can’t think of a way to start writing? Do I need to have a draft to bring to an appointment?
Will you proofread or edit my paper?
How do I make the most out of my tutoring appointment?

How do I apply to work in the CWLT?
Everything at the CWLT seems fantastic. Can I afford it?
Does the CWLT proctor exams?

How do I make an appointment? 
The Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching offers many kinds of appointments to support faculty in their teaching and to provide opportunities for all Puget Sound students to achieve their academic goals.

There are several ways for students to make an appointment to meet with a writing advisor or subject tutor. The fastest ways are to stop by the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching (Howarth 109) or to call 253.879.3404. Students can also request appointments by using the form to request an appointment. Before requesting an appointment, it is helpful to consult the schedules for writing advisor and subject tutor hours.

Do you offer drop-in hours?
In addition to scheduled appointments, writing advisors and peer tutors also offer many drop-in hours for quick questions and for group work sessions. Spring 2018 writing drop-in times are S-Th 3-4 p.m., and subject tutoring drop-in times vary by discipline.

What else can I do at the CWLT?
Students may also make an appointment to discuss topics such as study skills, test taking, time management, textbook marking, and note taking; we call these Academic Consulting appointments. To make an academic consulting appointment, please call the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching at 253.879.3404.

To make an appointment with someone from the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations or for questions about the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations, please send an email message to saa@pugetsound.edu, visit Howarth 105, or call 253.879.3399.

For other kinds of appointments, or if you're unsure what kind of appointment to make, please call 253.879.3395; we're happy to help.

What happens during a writing conference?
The typical writing conference is a fifty-minute long, one-to-one session in which the student and a peer or faculty writing advisor engage in focused conversation about the student's writing. Sometimes we brainstorm; sometimes we work on organization; sometimes we work primarily on sentence-level revisions. In all cases, the session will offer advice that's designed to be helpful to both the paper and to the student as a writer.

Help! I need an appointment but the writing advisor in my major is all booked for weeks! What do I do?
All of our advisors are trained to help you with your assignment, no matter the subject.

I am in a First-Year Seminar and my professor recommended one person specifically. What do I do if s/he is booked for the week?
Your writing liaison is just one of many great advisors available to help you. All of our advisors have been trained to work with papers from across the disciplines, and any one of them will be able to make helpful suggestions.

I am working on a personal statement for a graduate or professional school or a fellowship application. Whom should I contact?
Please contact the Writing Center by phone at 253.879.3404, by form, or in person at Howarth 109, clarifying that you are working on a personal statement or fellowship application. You will work with one of our faculty advisors. Make your appointment in advance, as these appointments tend to fill quickly.

Do you work with alumni?
We frequently work with alumni who are working on personal statements for post-graduation opportunities like fellowships and professional/graduate school applications. First priority for appointments goes to current students, but if you contact the Writing Center by phone at 253.879.3404, by form, or in person, clarifying that you are an alum working on a personal statement, we can usually get you an appointment for a Skype or email session within two weeks.

What should I bring to my writing appointment?
Bring your notes or the working draft of your paper, along with a copy of the prompt your professor gave you. If your paper uses sources, it may be helpful to bring those as well. Try to be prepared with some ideas of what you would like to work on. Also, the most productive appointments are those scheduled in advance, so try to avoid last-minute, day-it's-due appointments.  You don’t have to have a draft to have an appointment; we’re ready to help you brainstorm or talk through a prompt.

What if I can’t think of a way to start writing? Do I need to have a draft to bring to an appointment?
Writing advisors will be happy to help you develop ideas for your paper. In that case bring the prompt and any sources you might be working with.

Will you proofread or edit my paper?
Writing advisors do not copy edit papers. Rather, they work with you on developing your argument, organization, and ideas. If you have specific technical concerns (i.e. citation styles, proper grammar, appropriate punctuation), advisors will of course work through any problem areas with you and can introduce you to our many helpful handouts.  While we won’t “correct” your paper, we’ll help you become a better proofreader of your own work.

How do I make the most out of my tutoring appointment?

  • Prepare for your tutoring session. Know what you want to cover. Bring pertinent texts, notes, assignments and—most of all—your questions. The more specific your purpose, the more on target a tutor can be.
  • Be on time. A tutor will wait for 15 minutes. After that, the appointment is cancelled.
  • If you are unable to keep an appointment, please call 253.879.3404 and let us know whether you will be late or wish cancel altogether. Sometimes another student is waiting.
  • Do not expect a tutor to do your assigned work. A tutor can increase your understanding and support your problem solving efforts, but a tutor cannot do tasks for you.

Our tutors are eager to conference with you. Let's work together to make the most of your learning experience at Puget Sound.

How do I apply to work in the CWLT?
Working at the CWLT is more than just a job; it is a fantastic professional development opportunity. Anyone who's come to work with a tutor or writing advisor knows how useful that can be. But not everyone knows that studies of writing advisors and peer tutors around the country have shown that engaging in peer-to-peer learning not only helps peer tutors and writing advisors to hone their own academic abilities but also teaches valuable interpersonal skills. The application process itself is a professional growth opportunity that includes a written application and a panel interview for finalists. We hope to see your application to become a writing advisor or a tutor. For the 2018-19 academic year, applications are due February 9 for writing advisors and for subject tutors.

Everything at the CWLT seems fantastic. Can I afford it?
The CWLT is fantastic, and the services here are free to current students! Many services are also available to Puget Sound alumni and faculty/staff members.

Does the CWLT proctor exams?
No, this isn't a service the CWLT usually provides. We do proctor the foreign language proficiency exam, which sometimes confuses people, but we aren't a testing center and don't proctor other exams for other purposes (such as make up exams for classes, exams for classes taken off campus, certification exams for alumni, etc.). Puget Sound students and alumni in need of a proctor for an exam should contact the department where the credit from the test is going or where the requirement is being fulfilled to request a faculty member to proctor the exam. If the faculty are unavailable or unwilling to proctor the test, we suggest that students contact Tacoma Community College's Certification & Testing Center, which is open to the public and provides proctoring for a small fee.