Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Click on questions for the answers.



1. Will you proofread my paper?

Hortense Parrish Writing Center consultants do not proofread papers nor do line- by- line editing; we do, however, discuss papers with you to help you improve as a writer. Proofreading implies editing for perfection.


2. Will you write on my paper?

In order for full ownership of the paper to stay with the student, consultants do not mark on papers.


3. What should my thesis statement be?

Consultants help students during all phases of the writing process, from brainstorming to the final draft. Because the thesis statement is a student's direct assertion, it is up to the student to form that assertion; however, consultants are here to help a student limit the selected topic and develop a workable thesis statement.


4. May I come back for another tutoring session?

Because consultants focus on tutoring, twenty minutes is enough time to cover two or three major problem areas; therefore, a student should apply what has been learned in the session before bringing the paper back to the center to be reviewed again.


5. I brought my paper to the Writing Center. Why didn't I get an A?

Because tutoring sessions last about twenty minutes, consultants focus on recurring problems with content and organization. Consultants do not assign grades nor guarantee that students will leave with perfect papers. The Writing Center is not a "quick fix" for writing, but if students use their time in the Writing Center wisely, they can improve their writing.


6. I'm supposed to write about this text, but I haven't read it (OR, I don't understand it). Will you help me?

If the consultant is able to establish that the reading passage is not part of an examination and that the student has tried to discern the passage, then the staff consultant may help guide the student to an interpretation by asking questions.


7. Will you count up my hours/visits/yellow sheets for me?

Consultants do not count the required one-hour per week visits for English 100 and 110 students; although the Writing Center visit record forms are filed daily, it is the student's (and the instructor's) responsibility to keep track of hours.


8. I don't go to UT Martin, but will you help me with my writing/speaking?

Consultants work with UT Martin students, faculty, and staff. However, we encourage any interested person to attend our weekly workshops at and/or browse our website.


9. May I leave my paper (or a friend's paper) for you to look over?

Consultants work only with students who bring their own papers to the center. However, if a student has a particular question about writing and cannot come to the center, he or she may submit that question to (See below for more information about OWL.)


10. May I submit papers electronically for online tutoring (The OWL)?

The Writing Center offers online tutoring through our email account, The OWL (Online Writing Lab) answers UT Martin students' questions about the writing process and considers paragraphs and short papers for review. To submit, follow the OWL guidelines, discussed in detail at Policy for OWL revised.pdf.


11. May I use my personal email account to send a question to OWL?

Consultants only answer questions sent from UT Martin accounts.




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What should you know?

Things to Know Before Conferring with a Writing Center Consultant

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