Frequently Asked Questions


What happens at a Writing Centre tutorial?

This depends on what you want to achieve during your session. The best Writing Centre tutorials are ones that are directed by the student. For example, coming in with a specific question such as “Do my topic sentences clearly relate to my thesis statement?” or “My teacher says that my writing contains a lot of comma splices; what is a comma splice and how can I avoid them?” leads to a much more productive and rewarding session than one that begins with a question such as “Can you tell me if my paper makes any sense?” (which is an unspecific question). If you’ve begun work on your writing assignment, your tutor may ask you to read your work aloud in order to identify recurring issues. If you haven’t begun work on your assignment, your tutor can help you make sure that you understand the assignment and/or utilize a number of very helpful prewriting strategies. In any event, once you and your tutor have decided on a specific writing issue that you’d like help with, your tutor will give you a customized one-on-one lesson and then give you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to your writing. Your tutor will never write on your work or come up with ideas or sentences for you, but he or she will definitely be there to support you and answer any questions you may have as you apply the skills you’re learning and developing to your writing.

Can the Writing Centre help me “fix” my writing?

Writing Centre tutors will never proofread or edit your writing. Instead, they will help you identify specific issues or areas for improvement in your writing and show you how you can improve your skills in these areas. Your tutor will then give you the opportunity to use these skills to improve your writing on your own (though they will certainly be there to help you if you have any questions during this process). This way, you will improve your skills as a writer rather than become dependent on someone else to proofread or edit your work for you.

How long is a Writing Centre tutorial?

If it is a normal school day, a one-on-one Writing Centre tutorial is 35 minutes long. If it is a shortened day or in the evening, an appointment is 30 minutes long.

When is the Writing Centre open?

The Writing Centre is open from the beginning of Period 1 until the end of Period 4 each school day. The Writing Centre is also open from 6:30–8:30 on Monday evenings.

How do I make an appointment at the Writing Centre?

It’s easy! Simply send an email to that includes your name and what you would like help with. You will receive a reply within 24 hours suggesting a day and time for an appointment that works with your class schedule.

What should I bring to a Writing Centre tutorial?

Bring the piece of writing that you are working on and the assignment that your teacher has given you (if applicable). Other than that, you don’t need to worry about bringing anything else.

Where is the Writing Centre?

The Writing Centre is located in Room 203, which is in the middle of the English classrooms on the second floor of the W.A. Johnson Classroom Block.

What can I do if I don’t have time to attend a tutorial at the Writing Centre but still want help with my writing?

You can access the Writing Centre's tip sheets on frequently encountered writing issues by either clicking here or by taking printed versions of these tip sheets from the Writing Centre's display board in Room 203.