What to Expect

What To Expect

Making An Appointment To Use The Writing Center

Students may schedule appointments at any Madison College campus Writing Center by signing up online for a specific Writing Center location, or by telephone at (608.243.4289).

What To Expect At a Writing Center Appointment On Campus:

In a typical 30-minute writing center appointment, your tutor will:

  • Review the writing assignment. The tutor will ask you about the purpose of the piece of writing you have brought in. If you are working on an assignment for a course, please remember to bring the assignment prompt.
  • Set your goals for the tutoring session. Your tutor will ask you questions about your assignment and what specifically you'd like to work on. It is helpful if you arrive with an idea of what you would like to work on, be it organization, your argument (sometimes called a thesis), or smaller sentence-level concerns. Once you've reviewed the assignment and read through the piece of writing it might become clear to the tutor that something requires attention that you had not mentioned.
  • Read any writing you've brought. It is our preference to have either you or the tutor read the assignment aloud. Reading out loud will help catch areas where the ideas are less clear as well as help you to discover smaller errors. If you have signed up for a session to help you brainstorm ideas for a paper, your tutor may work on prewriting, outlining, or simply answering your questions.
  • Work on strategies for effective writing. Your tutor might recommend strategies or provide resources for you to take with you to help you both with the assignment at hand and with future work. We aim to improve you as a writer, not just the current assignment. This way you walk away from the session with some helpful skills and strategies you can practice on your own at home.

Remember that in each session, you and your tutor will probably only be able to focus on one or two main issues.  Don't expect to be able to tackle bad organization, incorporation of research, and improving grammar, all in half an hour.

How to Prepare For Your Writing Center Appointment:

In order to get the most out of your Writing Center conference, please prepare the following:

  • Know Your Student ID number (OneCard) or your Madison College username.  You'll need it to sign in.
  • Bring The Assignment Guidelines. Read your assignment carefully and bring all written assignment information along with you to to the session.
  • Bring Your Writing. Bring along all drafts, notes, and research material you're using to write the paper.

We track all appointments at the Writing Center using software called TutorTrac, which verifies your student status, retrieves your individual course information, and tracks your Writing Center usage, should your instructor need documentation from us.