Writer’s Center FAQs for Students

What to Expect

You will sit down with a tutor for no more than 30 minutes to have a conversation about your writing. You will be asked for a copy of the assignment sheet (please bring this with you along with your draft or a laptop if you prefer to work digitally) and what you’d like to work on during the session. Depending on how far along you are in the writing process, either you or the tutor will read your paper aloud and then discuss strengths and weaknesses in your writing. Tutors are not editors and will focus on grammar and punctuation only if that is what the student needs, but the goal will be to encourage students to see their own grammatical errors and, instead, tutors will focus on larger content and structural issues that are more likely to impede successful communication of ideas.

Who does the WC serve?

We welcome all students currently enrolled in courses at Coastal Carolina Community College and students enrolled in other programs on Coastal’s Campus. This includes CCCC curriculum and continuing education students, as well as UNCW extension students and Onslow Early College High School students.

Where is the WC located?

The Writer’s Center is located on the second floor of the Learning Resource Center (LRC), which is in the center of campus.

When is the WC open?

Our regular semester hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 3:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Hours are subject to change during exam weeks.

When I register for WCOnline to make an appointment, it asks for my Curriculum Code. How do I know what that is?

You can find your Curriculum Code here. Your Curriculum Code helps up keep track of which students visit us the most, which ultimately helps us improve our services.

What can I expect during a tutoring session at the WC?

You will sit down with a tutor for no more than 30 minutes to have a conversation about your writing. You will be asked for a copy of the assignment sheet (please bring this with you along with your draft or a laptop if you prefer to work digitally) and what you’d like to work on during the session. Depending on how far along you are in the writing process, either you or the tutor will read your paper aloud and then discuss strengths and weaknesses in your writing. Tutors are not editors and will focus on grammar and punctuation only if that is what the student needs, but the goal will be to encourage students to see their own grammatical errors and, instead, tutors will focus on larger content and structural issues that are more likely to impede successful communication of ideas.

How often can I come to the WC?

We encourage you to visit the WC frequently throughout the semester, at any stage of your writing process. However, you may only make one appointment per day. You may come back for walk-in visits up to two more times after your original appointment if at least half an hour has passed since your previous session. This policy is designed to ensure that you work independently to revise your essay from the previous session before you return to the WC.

Can I work on my paper independently in the WC and ask questions as I go?

No. Writer’s Center tutors are not roving; they are scheduled for one-on-one sessions with individual students. When your tutoring session is complete, if you feel you need more help, we encourage you to use the computers available in the LRC and return to the WC after you have made more progress on your draft.

Is there a fee to use the WC?

No. The Writer’s Center is a free resource.

What kinds of writing can I bring to the WC?

Tutors will work with any kind of writing for any course—not just English courses—such as assigned essays and research papers.

What should I bring when I come to the WC?

Please bring a copy of your class assignment as well as any writing, including notes, preliminary thoughts, an outline of ideas, a first draft, or a polished later draft. Please also bring any relevant textbooks and/or outside sources that may be useful to refer to during the session. While we have a few desktop computers, you might want to bring your personal laptop to use during the session. We strongly encourage you to print at least one hard copy of your draft. It’s much easier to take notes on paper than on a laptop.

Will my instructor know that I have visited the WC?

Yes. Your instructor will receive an email notification that you have visited the Writer’s Center, including a brief description of what was covered in the session. Instructor notification emails are sent out at the end of the week.

Do I have to make an appointment to visit the WC, or may I just drop in?

Both. Making an appointment is strongly recommended. Walk-ins will be accepted, but all sessions will begin on the hour or half-hour. Appointments have priority over walk-ins. Click on the “Appointments” tab for more information about making an appointment.

How long are tutoring sessions at the WC?

30 minutes are allotted for each session. We cannot guarantee that tutors will be able to help you with every aspect of your paper within the 30 minute time period; however, once your 30 minutes is up, you may return later the same day as long as a 30 minute window has passed and you can prove you worked on your paper during that time. The maximum number of visits per day is three, including the initial appointment.

What if I miss my appointment?

If you have to miss an appointment, we would prefer that you cancel it through WCOnline or by calling the Writer’s Center; however, if you fail to notify us, then you may not schedule another session that day, but feel free to walk in that day, or you may make another appointment or walk in on any other day. An appointment is considered missed at 10 minutes after your scheduled appointment time, and you will be notified of all missed appointments via email. Three missed appointments in a semester will result in a suspension of Writer’s Center appointment privileges for the remainder of that semester, but you will still be allowed to walk in for sessions.

Can I email my paper to the WC or just drop it off to be edited?

No. The Writer’s Center works with the whole writer, not just the writing itself. We are not an editing service. You must be willing to work one-on-one with the tutor to discuss your needs and goals as a writer.

Who works in the WC?

All WC tutors are English faculty who are trained and experienced writing tutors. Meet the English Division.

Can I meet with my instructor in the WC when s/he is working as a tutor?

No, with exceptions. The WC is a non-evaluative environment. For this reason, we strongly discourage students from specifically meeting with their instructors while the instructor is working as a tutor. You have access to your instructor during his/her office hours; moreover, it will be to your benefit to seek feedback from another qualified tutor. While it may sometimes be unavoidable to have your instructor as your tutor depending on availability, WC coordinators reserve the right to assign a different tutor during your appointment time if you are scheduled to meet with your own instructor.

Can tutors help me with research documentation and formatting, such as APA and MLA?

Yes. While tutors are more experienced with MLA and APA documentation styles, they can help you with any documentation style that your instructor assigns.

Can tutors help me conduct research?

No. While tutors are knowledgeable about the research process and may be able to help with certain research-related questions, sessions are not intended (nor are they long enough) to spend time gathering research for your essay or project. We encourage you to make an appointment with a research coach in the LRC for help with the research process.

Can tutors help me use MS word or other word processing software?

Yes and no. Our tutors are not trained to help with computer issues or Word processing software questions; however, they are usually happy to assist you with basic questions if they feel comfortable doing so. If not, please contact Coastal Carolina’s Help Desk at (910) 938-6123 or helpdesk@coastalcarolina.edu.

Can the Writer's Center tell me what kind of grade I can expect on my assignment?

No. WC tutors cannot and will not guarantee or estimate grades. However, with regular visits to the WC and your dedication to the writing process, there is no doubt that you will see improvement in your abilities as a writer.

Can I share an appointment time with my peers, such as for a group assignment?

Yes. The Writer’s Center can accommodate small groups of up to four members for a 30-minute session with one tutor. However, you cannot schedule a group appointment on your own through our online software. Please contact the Writer’s Center for small group scheduling.

What is the 'Meet Online' option when I make an appointment?

If you are working on a writing assignment for an online course or a CLNC or MCAS course, you have the option of doing an online tutoring session. If you make an online appointment and you are NOT working on an assignment for an online course or a course located on base, your appointment will be cancelled. Online tutoring is not available for face-to-face classes on Coastal’s main campus. If you are enrolled in these courses, you may select the “Meet Online” option and attach your document for us to review during the scheduled appointment time. If you have questions about how to make an online tutoring appointment, please contact us.”

I really liked the tutor I worked with when I visited the WC. Can I work with the same tutor again?

Yes, if the tutor’s schedule permits, and barring any conflicts with WC procedures. When you make an appointment, tutors’ names are visible on the schedule, so you can select your tutor by name. If you don’t remember your tutor’s name, you can go back to the confirmation email from that appointment and the tutor’s name is included – or you are welcome to contact us and we can look it up for you.

However, The Writer’s Center administrators reserve the right to move your appointment to another tutor as needed in accordance with our policies (don’t worry, we will not change the time of your appointment). Therefore, if you would like to work with the specific tutor that you selected for your appointment, please let us know when you make the appointment by including your request in the appointment form under “What would you like to work on today?” and we will do our best to accommodate your request.