Frequently Asked Questions
Is your question not answered here? Give us a call at (406) 994-5315, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the Writing Center, and we would be happy to answer your question for you!
The Writing Center has two locations on campus. The main Writing Center location is in Wilson Hall, Room 1-114. We also have a satellite location on the First Floor Commons in Renne Library, near the IT Service Desk--and within sight of the Brewed Awakening. When you schedule an appointment online, you can determine where you are meeting your tutor by looking at the far left-hand column. If the tutor’s initials are followed by “@ Library,” then you will meet in our library location. Otherwise, we will see you in Wilson 1-114.
All students who are currently enrolled at Montana State University and Gallatin College have free access to the MSU Writing Center. Writing Center sessions are not limited to those enrolled in writing classes. Writing Center tutors meet with students of all abilities, backgrounds, and fields of study and can help with any kind of writing, including group projects and multimedia projects. We offer face-to-face and online tutoring sessions to allow all MSU students, even those not on the Bozeman campus, to access our services.
Most often, a writer schedules an appointment in advance and comes in to work one-one-one with a tutor on a particular writing project. But, that can vary. Check out peer tutor Tyler Barton’s blog post to learn more about what you can expect when you show up for your first Writing Center session.
You aren’t required to make an appointment to visit the Writing Center, but we do recommend it. Reserving an appointment with one of our tutors through the Writing Center’s online appointment scheduler guarantees a 45-minute, one-on-one session at a time that works for you. We also try to accommodate walk-in appointments; however, we work with a high volume of writers, especially around midterms and finals weeks. Our schedule fills up quickly! We cannot always guarantee walk-in availability.
Bring any writing you have so far, whether it’s scribbled notes, a rough draft, or a sixth draft. If you don’t have any writing yet, that’s okay. You can still bring your assignment sheet or prompt, any notes you’ve taken, and relevant course information that will help your tutor to understand the prompt and your ideas so far. Also, bring any feedback you’ve received so far.
How you bring in your writing is up to you. We can work with printed hardcopies. You can also bring in your personal laptop, or you can use one of our desktops.
MSU Writing Center tutors are fellow MSU students who come from a variety of academic disciplines and personal backgrounds. In other words, they are writers, too. And, each tutor brings their unique set of experiences and knowledge to a tutoring session. All Writing Center staff participate in weekly tutor development meetings--workshops, writing groups, training sessions, etc.--and pursue relevant scholarship within the field of Writing Center studies. Check out our tutor bios to learn more about our current roster of excellent tutors!
Yes! We offer 45-minute and 90-minute online sessions with tutors who are scheduled in the library. You can schedule an online appointment just as you would any other appointment; when you open the appointment scheduling window on WCOnline, you’ll see a menu bar that asks, “Meet Online?” From there, you can select the option, “Yes--Meet Online.”
When it is time to start your online consultation, click on your appointment and then click the red text that says, “Start or Join Online Consultation.” This will take you to your online appointment where you can chat with a tutor and upload or copy and paste your writing. See our Online Tutoring Guide for more detailed instructions.
You can always access your session after the session to revisit what was worked on and talked about.
Definitely! We are happy to read through a prompt with you, talk through your plans for the assignment, and develop strategies before you even begin to write. An early conversation or brainstorming session can be a rewarding and productive experience for many writers. The tutors tend to enjoy them, too.
It’s never too soon to come into the Writing Center! We can help you with your assignment when you are still facing the blinking cursor in a blank word document. If you are coming in for a prewriting or brainstorming session, bring anything you do have so far: your assignment sheet or prompt, any notes you’ve taken, relevant course information, etc. From there, we can help you brainstorm new ideas while discussing any ideas you already have.
Though we are happy to help you work through final revisions, we are more than proofreaders. You can expect your tutor to be an active, curious, empathetic reader who will take the time to talk with you about your writing and any particular concerns you might have about your writing. In other words, tutors work collaboratively with the writers who visit the center.
To cancel an appointment, return to our online scheduler (WCOnline), log in, and click on your scheduled appointment--it should appear in yellow. From there, simply click “Cancel Appointment.” If you are having trouble cancelling an appointment, just give us a call. If you don’t cancel your appointment and you miss the appointment, the missed session will be counted as a “no-show.” After two no-shows in a single semester, your access to our scheduling system will be blocked. You will still be allowed to visit the Writing Center as a walk-in, but you will not be allowed to schedule appointments in advance. So, please let us know if you can’t make it.
The Writing Center considers our primary relationship to be with the student; we are here to serve you. Because of that, we allow you to decide when you will or will not let your professor know of your visit. At the end of each of your sessions, your tutor will email you “session notes.” Session notes describe what you worked on with your tutor, what you plan to do as you continue writing, and any other information that is helpful to you, as a writer. If you need to let your professor know that you met with a tutor, you may forward your session notes to the professor, or print them off and give them to the professor.
Yes, you can schedule an appointment with a tutor of your choice as their availability allows. Your tutor can always help you to schedule a follow-up appointment, and they may also recommend another tutor who they think would make a good match for both you and your writing project.