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Tutoring Frequently Asked Questions


How do I make an appointment?

To make a 50-minute appointment, call 918-594-8232, stop by Main Hall 2302, or email Because we try to serve as many people as possible, we limit appointments to one 50-minute block per visit and two visits per week.

Do I have to make an appointment or can I work on problems in the center alone until I have a question for the tutor?

Feel free to work on your assignment in our center at your own pace.  As long as a tutor is available, he or she will be happy to answer your questions as they arise.

Is Tutoring Services wheelchair accessible?

Tutoring Services is located in Main Hall 2302, which is on the second floor. An elevator is available in the center of the Main hall Commons. Main Hall has ramp entrances and automated doors.

What other resources are available from Tutoring Services?

Tutoring Services has a growing library of textbooks, supplemental resource books and writing style guides which you may use while visiting the center. Additionally, we offer a large variety of handouts on writing topics. 

When is Tutoring Services open?

View information on Testing Center and Tutoring Services hours here.

Where is Tutoring Services located?

Tutoring Services is located in Main Hall 2302, on the second floor of Main Hall.

Will my professor receive any notice that I visited Tutoring Services for writing tutoring?

In a typical tutoring session (50 minutes long), we begin by asking you to fill out a form that requests information regarding your assignment, the class, and whether you want your professor to know you are attending tutoring sessions.

Tutoring Services does not automatically send word to your professor, but if you would like, your instructor can be notified about your visit. We will send a conference summary which describes what you and your tutor worked on during your session. The summary does not evaluate you, your instructor or your assignment in any way. It simply summarizes the areas discussed in the conference. Many students and professors appreciate this service because it facilitates more communication between them, and it keeps the professor informed of the work that the student is doing to improve his or her skills.

Writing Tutoring

What do I bring to a writing tutorial?

For a session, please bring:

  • Whatever writing you have done so far.
  • A description of the assignment from your instructor or textbook.
  • A willingness to learn strategies that will help you become a more efficient and effective writer.
  • Questions, even if you don't have a draft yet.

You may want to consider the following:

  • What characteristics should your paper have in order to meet the requirements of the assignment?
  • Which sections of your draft are you unsure of? What questions do you have about those sections?
  • Can you outline what you have written so far? Do you have an organization in mind?
  • What comments and suggestions have been made on other papers you have written?

What happens in a typical writing tutoring session?

In a typical tutoring session (50 minutes long), we will read through your paper together, then discuss the paper's strengths and weaknesses. Together, we will brainstorm ideas and discuss strategies to improve on the areas that need strengthening. You can either request that we focus on an area that you are concerned with or let us determine the focus. We will typically focus on global issues first, such as audience awareness, organization, thesis and development. If there is time, or if you make multiple appointments, we will also focus on sentence-level concerns such as grammar, mechanics and word choice.

As the writer, you maintain responsibility for and control over your paper. Much of what writing consultants say is our own personal opinion and based on our own writing styles, so suggestions may be politely declined.

What kind of writing can I bring?

Papers from many courses besides English--such as biology, political science, communications and engineering--are welcome. You can come in to work on essays, research papers, Master's theses, dissertations, technical writing, poetry, fiction, scholarship essays, graduation applications or academic or personal writing projects.

What are the limits to what the tutors will do?

We will work with you one-on-one to help you improve your writing skills; however, there are some things we will not do:

  • We will not provide a proofreading service. However, we will be happy to help you develop your own editing and proofreading skills during a conference.
  • We will not venture a guess as to what grade a paper will receive.

Should the paper I bring be saved in an electronic format? Can I bring a handwritten paper?

You can bring an electronic version of your paper, but it is not necessary. Bring in whatever you have at the time, whether it is typewritten, handwritten or electronic. Student computers with access to the Internet and printers are available.

Can I drop a paper off 15 minutes before it is due for a consultant to "look over?"

No. We do not provide a drop-off proofreading service. In order to benefit from our services, schedule your appointment early enough to incorporate any changes into your paper before it is due.

Can I email or fax a paper to a tutor?

At this time, tutors only provide face-to-face conferences. However, in special cases, an exception may be made if schedules permit. Contact Tutoring Services to discuss this option.

Can tutors accommodate non-native English speakers?

Yes. Every effort is made to work with non-native speakers.

What is plagiarism and what happens if I am caught plagiarizing?

For information on plagiarism, consult OSU's Academic Dishonesty Policies and Procedures.

How can I improve my writing skills?

One of the most effective methods of becoming a skilled writer is to become an avid reader. Reading gives you a better feel for how other people use words and formulate arguments. However, the best way to improve your writing is to do lots of it. Every paper that you write gives you more writing experience and strengthens your writing abilities. To make the most of each writing task, you should plan to revise your paper several times. This is where the tutor comes in.

Think of writing as a process with many phases (for example, idea generation, draft writing, revision and editing) and allow one of our tutors to be your sounding board during one or more of these phases. The benefits of talking about writing are vast and can accelerate your skills as a writer. Some of the best writers are those who know how to take advantage of the resources available to them.