Questions Students Frequently Ask about WTS

  1. Is there a fee for tutorials at WTS?
  2. Is it necessary to make an appointment for tutoring? Do you accept walk-ins?
  3. What is a “tutorial”?
  4. “Conversation about writing”—does that mean that WTS tutors don’t proofread or edit papers?
  5. What should I bring to a tutorial? Do I have to have a completed paper to make an appointment?
  6. Will you send a report to my instructor telling them about my tutorial at WTS?
  7. Who are the tutors?
  8. What sort of writing resource materials are available at WTS?
  9. Can the tutor show me how to use footnotes? I don’t need help with my paper, I just need to know how to cite my sources.
  10. Can I use your computers to work on my paper?
  11. I’m an international student, and English isn’t my native language. Do you have any tutors who specialize in helping students like me?
  12. I’m working on a group writing project. Can my whole group meet with a tutor?
  13. How do I apply to become a tutor at WTS?

1. Is there a fee for tutorials at WTS?

No; WTS is free to any student at IU Bloomington.

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2. Is it necessary to make an appointment for tutoring? Do you accept walk-ins?

WTS is located in the Learning Commons (IC) on the first floor of the Wells Library. If you plan to work with a tutor at our primary location, it is best to make an appointment in advance by calling 855-6738 or stopping by our front desk. Setting up an appointment ahead of time allows us to schedule you with a tutor whose interests and background best match your particular needs and the demands of the course for which you are writing. It also ensures that you will have a full 45-50 minute session to work with your tutor.

When our schedule permits, we will do our best to accommodate walk-ins in our primary location, but sometimes we are just too busy (especially around mid-term and near the end of a semester). If you cannot schedule in advance, you may want to visit one of our satellite locations:

Tutorials at our satellite locations operate on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll find a sign-up sheet when you arrive, so it’s best to come early.

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3. What is a “tutorial”?

It’s a one-on-one conversation about a writing assignment—one student, one tutor, one paper. WTS tutors will try to be a source of feedback on any kind of writing assignment and at any stage of the composition process, from brainstorming to polishing a final draft. Tutorials are scheduled for one hour.

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4. “Conversation about writing”—does that mean that WTS tutors don’t proofread or edit papers?

Tutors at WTS don’t proofread and they don’t edit. They won’t make corrections as they read your paper. They will, however, talk with you about how you can improve any aspect of a paper, ranging from punctuation to overall organization—depending on what you ask for. The aim of tutorials at WTS is to make you better able to evaluate your own writing, and to revise it accordingly.

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5. What should I bring to a tutorial? Do I have to have a completed paper to make an appointment?

Tutorials at WTS deal with specific papers written in response to specific assignments, not with instruction in the overall process of “how to write.” With this in mind, it’s a good idea to bring a copy of the assignment when you come to a tutorial at WTS, as well as a copy of your paper. You do not need to have a completed draft in order to come in. Some students like to talk with a tutor in the earlier stages of the writing process, to brainstorm ideas or, perhaps, work on an outline.

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6. Will you send a report to my instructor telling them about my tutorial at WTS?

The content of the conversation between you and your tutor is confidential as far as we’re concerned. We will inform instructors that you have or have not visited WTS and the date(s) of your visit(s)—but only if they ask; we don’t supply this information automatically.

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7. Who are the tutors?

About half of our tutors are graduate students from a variety of different disciplines. Students seeking tutoring are assigned to the tutor whose interests and background provide the best match with the demands of the course and the student’s needs. For instance, a student in a history course could be matched with one of our tutors who are not only students of history themselves, but have served as AIs in history courses at IU Bloomington. Likewise, we have an entire group of tutors who focus on Freshman Composition courses. Many of these tutors have taught W131 or L141–142 and other courses through which writing requirements are met.

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8. What sort of writing resource materials are available at WTS?

We have a small “library” of handbooks, style manuals, and reference books which you are welcome to use while at WTS, including copies of the MLA and APA publication manuals, the Chicago and Turabian style manuals, and assorted dictionaries and thesauri. We also offer free hand-outs for you to take with you on a wide variety of writing situations. They're available on-line, too; check out this link for a complete list.

The IUB Libraries maintain web guides to citing sources.

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9. Can the tutor show me how to use footnotes? I don’t need help with my paper, I just need to know how to cite my sources.

WTS tutors can help you solve problems like these, but first you should check with your instructor. Different disciplines use different styles of citation, and some instructors have specific models they want you to follow, which the tutor may not know about. In general, the humanities prefer the MLA style and the social sciences favor APA. You should, however, always ask your instructor for further clarification.

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10. Can I use your computers to work on my paper?

You are more than welcome to use our computers to print a copy of a draft before your tutorial. You may also print from one of the computers in the LC if that is more convenient. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the resources to offer our computers to students in the process of composing a draft. Because WTS is not a UITS computing cluster, we cannot answer computing questions or solve problems with lost files or damaged disks. For more information on computing clusters or help with computing problems, contact the UITS help desk at 855-6789 or the 24-Hour Student Computing Consultation Service at 855-3802.

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11. I’m an international student, and English isn’t my native language. Do you have any tutors who specialize in helping students like me?

WTS tutors can help non-native speakers of English better understand the rules and conventions of writing academic papers in English. We even have tutors who specialize in helping international students, and all of our tutors have attended training sessions on how to help people who speak English as a second language. Our tutors are happy to read drafts for clarity and discuss ways to communicate your ideas more clearly. We can’t proofread, correct, or edit your paper for you. We can, however, help you become a better proofreader of your own writing by pointing out consistent mistakes and suggesting strategies for correcting and avoiding those kinds of errors in the future. We don’t offer lessons in English grammar or practice with conversational English. Our focus is on helping students with specific writing projects.

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12. I’m working on a group writing project. Can my whole group meet with a tutor?

Absolutely. Writing as a group poses unique challenges. Often, groups are looking for help with transitions between paragraphs or sections of the paper that have been written by different group members. Tutors can also read through the paper for clarity and make suggestions about organizational issues. We do make one request in this situation: if you are working on a group project, all the members of your group must be present at the tutorial, so that the tutor can talk with each group member about his or her portion of the project.

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13. How do I apply to become a tutor at WTS?

Graduate students can send a resume, a letter of application, and a writing sample to Jo Ann Vogt / Writing Tutorial Services / Wells Library E250. Be sure to highlight any teaching, tutoring, and/or counseling experience you may have. Likewise, be sure to include information on various disciplinary or interdisciplinary experience you may have in addition to your current focus as a graduate student. We see students from many different disciplines. As such, applicants with broad backgrounds and diverse interests make especially successful WTS tutors. Follow this link for further details.

Undergraduates can apply for training as tutors. Follow this link for details of the application and training process.

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