Frequently Asked Questions
We are located on the 4th floor of the Lucy Scribner Library.
Go to our scheduler. The first time you visit, you’ll register using your Skidmore email address. Once you log in, you’ll see our schedule and can pick a time, day, and tutor based on availability.
The Writing Center is open 7 days a week starting in the 2nd week of classes and going through exam week. Our hours vary, so check the schedule.
If one of our tutors is free, they will work with you. But an appointment is always recommended, especially at busy times of the semester like midterms and finals week.
We welcome any student from any class: a 100-level Bio class, a 300-level poetry seminar, or a senior thesis in Psychology. We encourage everyone, whether they feel like they’re really strong writers or are really struggling, to come and see what we do.
All our tutors have been trained to work with English Language Learners as well as native speakers of English. ELL students are also invited to schedule their sessions with our ELL specialist, Thad Niles.
A session is one hour, which includes enough time for an experienced tutor to read your work and discuss the writing project in a relaxed one-on-one session. Some students don’t need the whole hour, and that’s fine, too.
The most important thing to bring to your session is a willingness to work on your writing! Other things that make a session successful are
- The assignment sheet
- Any class materials relevant to the assignment
- Any written work you have done so far
- Any research materials that might be relevant.
When the Writing Center is busy, students are limited to 2 appointments a week. During slower times, we may raise the limit to 3 appointments per week.
You can schedule an appointment up to 5 days in advance.
Our scheduling software maintains a wait list after all appointments are scheduled. Sign up for the waitlist, because people change appointment times often.
Writing Center tutors have completed EN 303H, a training course in Writing Center theory and practice. Writing Center tutors come from all academic disciplines and are sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Writing tutors have successfully completed EN 303H, which is offered each fall by instructor permission. Prospective tutors should be skilled, confident, and highly thoughtful readers and writers; they should be able to listen well and patiently, interact adaptively and productively with peers and instructors, maintain excellent work habits, and bring fresh ideas and approaches to their work. You can learn more and apply here.
No. Writing tutors are trained to work with a variety of writing projects, from lab reports to poetry analyses. If you especially want to work with someone in your major, narrow down the appointment schedule by focus.
No. You can come to the Writing Center at any stage of your writing project. In fact, some of our best sessions are brainstorming sessions with just an assignment sheet and a notepad or whiteboard! Some students come back at several stages of the same paper.
That’s a complicated question! If you’re here for help with grammar, our tutors will work with you to help you find and correct mistakes. But we are not an editing service, and you can’t drop off a paper and come back to pick it up with changes made by a tutor. Whatever stage of writing you’re at, your tutor can work with you to improve it. We don’t just make better writing: we make better writers.
That’s up to you. Our tutors write brief summaries of every visit. If you want, we can share that with your professor. (In our experience, professors really like to see students working hard by visiting the Writing Center!)
We have free handouts on MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles, and we have a take-a-book
/ leave-a-book shelf with lots of novels. Our Writing Center pens and bookmarks are
some of the best on campus.
Come see for yourself!