Frequently Asked Questions

209 Andy Holt Humanities Building

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7277

Center Coordinators:


Dr. Kelle Alden

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Click on questions for the answers.



1. How long do sessions last, and how many times can I visit?

During busy times, sessions may be capped at thirty minutes because we want to give everyone a chance to have their most important questions answered. Thirty minutes is usually enough time to discuss two or three concerns, so we ask that students apply what they learned in their first session, then come up with additional questions for the consultants. You are always welcome to stay in the writing center while you work on your paper.


2. Will you proofread my paper? Can I drop it off and come back later?

Because our focus is on education, the Hortense Parrish Writing Center requires students to be present and attentive during sessions. We want to discuss the papers with you to help you improve as a writer. As a result, you retain ownership of your paper and retain what you learned from your writing center visit.


3. My friend/spouse/groupmate needs help with their paper. Can I bring it in on their behalf?

You are a good friend; however, we can only work on a paper if the author of the paper is present. Fortunately, we do offer several long distance methods for receiving assistance (see questions 4 and 5).


4. Can I email you with a quick question?

We can answer short questions by email at owl@utm.edu.


5. Can I work with a tutor long-distance?

Yes: we offer online Zoom sessions for distance learners and anyone working off campus. See this page to learn how to work remotely with a tutor.


6. Will you leave written feedback on my paper?

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


7. I am required to go to the writing center. How do I prove I went? Can you track my hours for me?

For students who are required to go to the writing center, such as ENGL 100-110 students, we collect your attendance records in a folder for your professor to see. Please make sure to fill out a yellow attendance sheet each time you go to the writing center. We do not count your hours or evaluate your attendance: only your professor does.


8. If I bring my paper to the writing center, will I get an A?

Our goal is to help students improve their writing, but we do not assign grades. Only your teachers can grade you. If you have questions about how your work is being evaluated, it is best to consult the instructor of your course.


9. I'm supposed to write about this text, but I don't understand it. Will you help me?

As long as the reading passage is not part of an examination, we can ask you questions about the reading, which is helpful when you need to process a difficult text. We also enthusiastically recommend the UTM Reading Center (http://www.utm.edu/departments/reading/).