Frequently Asked Questions For Writers 

Questions About Our Services 

Does the Writing Center offer face-to-face tutoring sessions?

We offer synchronous, face-to-face sessions online. Online tutoring is a lot like in-person tutoring. You’ll see and speak with a tutor via video chat while reviewing your writing together on the screen. You can ask questions, respond to the tutor’s questions, read sections of your paper aloud, discuss the choices you might make for your writing, and make a plan for moving forward. To use synchronous online tutoring, you’ll need a good internet connection and a device with a camera and microphone. You’ll also need to be available during our regular hours, which you can find on the homepage of our website.

I can’t make it the writing center during synchronous hours. Do you have other options?

Yes! We offer asynchronous e-Tutoring. For e-Tutoring, you submit your writing and the tutor reviews it and sends it back to you within 24 hours. Although you won’t interact directly with your tutor, you can still let them know your main concerns when you submit your paper. E-Tutoring is a great option if you’re not available during our hours of operation, if your camera and microphone don’t work well, you’ve experienced technical difficulties with other video platforms, or you’re working from a different time zone.

Who will I work with when I visit the writing center?

When you visit the writing center, you’ll work with a Writing Associate or a Writing Professional. Writing Associates (WAs) are tutors who are also undergraduate or graduate students at the CSU. Writing Professionals (WPs) are tutors who also teach writing courses here at DH. All tutors are trained to work with you at all stages in your writing process. 

Should I see the same WA or WP every time I visit the Writing Center?

We encourage students to work with various WAs and WPs. Just as you have your own unique approach to writing, each of our tutors has a unique approach to tutoring. You can learn a lot from working with different tutors. If you find that you work well with a particular WA or WP, you can certainly try to schedule your next appointment with that person. Keep in mind, however, that they may not be available every time you schedule an appointment. 

Can I come to the writing center if I haven’t finished my paper?

You can come to the WC at any point in your writing process. Our tutors are trained to work with you at any stage in your writing process, from the first inkling of an idea to the final draft. This means that you can visit the writing center once you’ve completed a full draft or when you’ve only got a paragraph on the page. In fact, you can make an appointment with us even if you haven’t started your paper yet. 

Can the Writing Center work with me if my assignment is from a field other than English?

Of course! Writing tutors are, by training, flexible and eager to work with writers from any discipline. Our Writing Associates and Writing Professionals can assist you with the writing you’re doing for virtually any class or writing assignment, from analytical essays for English and research papers for sociology to scientific lab reports, multimedia projects, and graduate theses. We can even work with you on personal statements and cover letters. Our staff includes tutors from various fields of study, all of whom are also educated in Writing Center theory and practice.

I’m a graduate student. Can I visit the Writing Center?

We welcome graduate students in the Writing Center! Graduate school comes with additional, particular writing challenges – and successes. All of our tutors have experience working with graduate students and are specifically trained to work with you on graduate theses. Many WAs are current graduate students familiar with the writerly concerns of graduate students and Writing Professionals all hold graduate degrees. 

English isn’t my first language. Can the Writing Center help me with my writing process?

Of course we can! Writing tutors take a holistic approach to student writing, which means that they can work with you to express yourself using the rhetorical tools and English language practices you know or want to learn. Our staff includes tutors who are fluent or conversational in multiple Englishes as well as languages other than English. Check our Meet the Staff page for more information.

I receive accommodations in my classes. Can the writing support me?

Students who receive certain accommodations documented through the Student disAbility Resource Center (SdRC) may make back-to-back 60-minute appointments. We recommend you book well in advance to ensure you are able to reserve the full time you need. You must be registered with and receiving accommodations from the SdRC to access this service. If you have any questions about how to book this appointment and receive your accommodations, email us directly at WritingCenter@csudh.edu

How can I learn more about writing center services and events?

Check out our website and feel free to email us anytime: WritingCenter@csudh.edu. For regular updates, follow us on social media! You can find us on Twitter: @DHWritingCenter and on Instagram: @writingcenter_dh. 

Questions about Our Approach

How should I expect WAs and WPs to help me with my writing?

Writing Associates and Writing Professionals will take a holistic approach to student writing, working with you to address your rhetorical, global, stylistic, and mechanical concerns.

Can the Writing Center proofread my essay before I turn it in?

In short, no. Here’s why: The work of a proofreader is quite different from the work of a writing tutor. A proofreader’s work is to identify and eliminate errors in texts. A writing tutor’s work is to facilitate the development of effective writers and readers. That said, if you have what you believe to be a near-finished draft of a paper, our WAs and WPs can certainly review it with you from a more holistic perspective.

Can the Writing Center help me to better understand and engage with readings?

Certainly! We are happy to share strategies for engaging critically with, responding to, and effectively incorporating ideas and quotations from complex readings. 

Can the writing center help me with research?

We can! We offer guidance as you get started on your research, evaluate and interpret source texts, and incorporate source texts into your papers. 

Sometimes I’m uncomfortable sharing my writing with people. How can the Writing Center help me?

The Writing Center is committed to fostering a nurturing community of writers and readers, and a safe, equitable, and inclusive learning environment. Our tutors aim to facilitate writers’ growth and agency so they can express themselves with authority and precision. Of course, sharing your own thoughts and words can be intimidating at times. Our tutors are aware of this and everyone in the Writing Center will strive to make sure you’re comfortable during your tutoring session. 

What if I disagree with the tutor’s suggestions for my writing?

You are never required to do anything in your writing that doesn’t make sense for you. Remember, this is about your process and your writing. That said, if a WA or WP makes a suggestion with which you don’t fully agree, it might be useful to talk about it so that you’re both on the same page about your work. As writers, talking through complex issues (even when we may disagree) can help us build stronger arguments and become more effective writers.

Questions about Policies and Procedures

How should I prepare for my online tutoring appointment?

Though not necessary, it is very helpful if you bring printed copies of your prompt and your assignment to your in-person session, and if you have the same files open on your device for an online session. We also encourage you to have ready a short list of the specific concerns you’d like to have addressed during your session, whether it takes place in-person, online, or as an eTutoring consultation.  

What if I’m late to my appointment?

You have a five-minute grace period. If you arrive after that, we cancel the appointment and may offer it to a waiting student.

What should I do if I’m having technical difficulties during my session?

Connection and equipment issues do sometimes arise, and we appreciate your patience and flexibility on those occasions. If you are disconnected during your session, you should try to close your browser and log in to your session again, and your tutor should be waiting for you. If your tutor is not there when you reconnect, you cannot reconnect to your session, or if you have any other technical issues, you can contact us at WritingCenter@csudh.edu

Questions From Faculty and Staff

Can you visit my class to tell my students more about the writing center?

Definitely! We offer in-class visits to share some information about the Writing Center, answer students’ questions, and help students register for our online scheduler, WC Online. To schedule a visit, email us at writingcenter@csudh.edu.

Do you offer in-class workshops?

We offer workshops online and in the writing center (when we are on campus). If you have special workshop requests (such as for specific programs or events), please contact Dr. Sherwin Kawakahui Ranchez Sales: ssales2@csudh.edu

Are your tutors prepared to work with students in my discipline?

All of our tutors are disciplinarily trained to work with undergraduate and graduate students across the disciplines.

I’m thinking of requiring my students to visit the writing center. Is that a good idea?

We generally do not recommend mandating writing center visits. We’ve found that students are more engaged with their writing when they visit voluntarily. That said, we do recommend that you strongly encourage your students to visit the writing center by emphasizing the benefits of individual tutoring and out-of-class support.

Can you edit my students’ papers before they submit them?

We do not provide copyediting or “correction” services. We do, however, work with students to identify patterns of grammar usage and consider approaches for effectively addressing those patterns in their writing.


Do you provide services for faculty members?

We certainly do! We work with all members of the CSUDH community, including faculty and staff. Our Writing Professionals are themselves faculty members and are familiar with the types of writing required of researchers, teachers, and scholars.

I’d like to learn more about teaching writing. Are there any resources the Writing Center can provide to me?

Definitely! The CSUDH Writing Center is dedicated to supporting and collaborating with teachers of writing in all disciplines across the university. We plan to offer workshops specifically for teachers of writing. Check back for detailed information. You can also check out some of the resources available here on our website. 

How can I find out more about how the writing center can support me and my students?

If you’d like to chat one-on-one or as a program with Writing Center staff, please email Dr. Sherwin Kawahakui Ranchez Sales directly to set up a meeting: ssales2@csudh.edu.