About the Writing Center
Our tutoring sessions take place in our main location at Merion Hall 162 and at our library satellite in the Post Learning Commons (room 128). Our main location is on the first floor of Merion Hall, just off the atrium, next to the vending machines, not too far from the elevator and the Merion Hall Print Station.
The Merion Hall location is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
The Post Learning Commons location is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday.
Yes, we are open during both summer sessions. Summer days and hours are posted at the end of the spring semester. In the past few years we have been open Tuesday thru Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. We also allow all students to do online appointments during the summer.
Any student, staff, or faculty member at Saint Joseph’s may use our services. We help writers in all colleges, at any level of expertise, in any stage of the writing process. We also assist local alumni who are still in the area and need help with, for example, graduate school or employment applications.
Our services are free.
Our staff is primarily made up of undergraduate students representing majors from across the university. All of our undergraduate peer tutors have successfully completed ENG 345: Writing Center Theory & Practice. We also have a coterie of graduate students from various disciplines who tutor for us as well. All of our tutors are excellent writers who share a love for writing and a desire to help others.
Yes. We have six Macs and four PCs available for use in our Merion Hall center. Come in and create!
The printer in the Writing Center is for staff use only. All other writers may use the printers at the Print Station run by IT, located across the hall from the Writing Center in Merion Hall or in PLC.
Stapler Outreach is a popular component of our mission. By all means, come in and staple.
If you are an undergraduate student who desires to work as a paid tutor, you first need to take ENG 345: Writing Center Theory & Practice, a course that is offered every fall. To secure a space in the course, you must apply. Applications for the course are available for download from our website beginning in late January each year, prior to the start of the registration period for the following fall’s classes. There are generally far more applications than available seats in the course, so the process can be highly competitive.
The Writing Center also employs undergraduate students who serve as receptionists. These students must have federal work study awards. All receptionists are generally hired by the end of the previous semester or within the first week of the new semester. If interested, please contact Dr. Jenny Spinner, Director, at (610) 660-3272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate students in the Writing Studies program at St. Joe’s may be eligible for assistantships. Please contact the Writing Studies Program Director. Other graduate students who are interested in tutoring should contact Dr. Jenny Spinner, Director, at (610) 660-3272 or email@example.com.
Our Marketing Team members generally come from our current staff of tutors and receptionists. If you are interested in serving in any of these paid positions or receiving internship credit, please contact Dr. Jenny Spinner, Director, at (610) 660-3272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making an Appointment
We encourage you to create an account online, which then enables you to make, change, and cancel appointments in the Writing Center using our online scheduling system. You may make appointments by calling the Writing Center during our business hours. For the Merion Hall location, you can reach us at (610) 660-1341 or in room 162. For the PLC location, you can reach us at (610) 660-1920 or in room 128.
In order to serve as many students as possible, we permit you to work with a tutor up to 120 minutes per week. Appointments are either 30 minutes or 60 minutes in length, and you are only permitted one appointment per day.
Most writers find 30 minutes is adequate for addressing their concerns, but writers working on more advanced projects or needing additional time may reserve 60-minute appointments. Please be advised that all writers are limited to 120 minutes total per week at one or a combination of our locations. For counting purposes, our week begins on a Monday and ends the following Sunday.
Yes, if you found working with a specific tutor particularly helpful, please feel free to return to that tutor. Likewise, sometimes writers and tutors don’t click. If you felt that a tutoring session wasn’t as effective as you had hoped, please try another tutor the next time you make an appointment.
Well, if you’re like most of us—busy, over-scheduled, too much on your plate—you may tend to squeak in with very little time before your writing is due. We get it. The problem is, often times writers come to the Writing Center for a quick check only to discover that major revision is in order. Please come as early as possible in the writing process so that we have time to help and you have time to implement our suggestions, or even to return again with another draft. If you do come with just a few hours (or minutes?!) to spare, please know that we will do our best to assist you under less-than-ideal circumstances.
We appreciate as much advanced notice as possible.
Your appointment will be marked as a “No-Show.” If you have two No-Show appointments in a semester, your account with the Writing Center will be disabled for the remainder of the semester, and you will not be able to make any other appointments.
Since we work in half-hour increments, you might not receive your full 30 or 60 minutes of tutoring. After five minutes, we will cancel your appointment and mark it as a “No Show.”
We help writers at every step of the writing process, from pre-writing to revising. In addition to writing that is related to a class assignment, we assist writers with a variety of things, including resumes, cover letters, application letters for scholarships or graduate school, as well as personal statements.
It is always helpful if you bring your assignment sheet with you. If you have already begun writing, please bring a draft as well. If you are looking to revise a paper that has already been evaluated, it is helpful for us to have the paper that includes your instructor’s feedback. Some writers like to work directly on their laptops or tablet devices. That’s fine, too—whatever works for you!
Once you enter the Writing Center and have checked in with the receptionist, you will be introduced to your tutor at the start of your appointment. Your tutor will begin by asking you what you wish to work on during your tutoring session. If you have a draft with you, the tutor will then skim that draft, most likely asking you to read it aloud. Your tutor won’t correct your work or write it for you; instead, the tutor will read your work with care and give feedback on elements that are working well and those that could be working better. Your tutor will talk to you about the content of your work, helping you to expand your ideas or to articulate them more clearly. If you need assistance with citations, your tutor will help you with that. If you need help with grammar, your tutor will help you with that, too, by pointing out patterns of errors and working with you to identify those errors so you can fix them yourself in future writings.
You may decide whether or not to have a record of your tutoring session sent to your instructor. There is a question on the appointment form that allows you to choose this option. Most students do so as they want their instructors to know that they have made the effort to seek additional help for their writing. Included in the report is a description of the writing issues that you addressed during your tutorial, written by your tutor.
If you are working on a take-home mid-term or final exam, we can assist you but you must allow us to send a Client Report Form to your instructor, detailing our work together. It’s best to make sure ahead of time that your instructor permits students to seek outside assistance on exams.
For students working on group projects, we strongly encourage all writers who contributed to the document be present for the tutorial. If only one group member attends the tutorial, we can only work on the part of the project that that group member composed.
Absolutely. Sometimes students visit us who are working on writing that isn’t for a class, perhaps a scholarship application or a personal statement, or a cover letter and resume for a job
Rather than meet with a tutor face-to-face in the Writing Center, writers who request online appointments meet with their tutors online through our WCOnline portal. It works (and looks) like an online chat. There is no audio or video.
During the regular academic year, we offer online tutoring to SJU students who are studying abroad or who are enrolled in the Co-op program, to students in the Professional & Liberal Studies (PLS) program, to students enrolled in online courses or programs, and to graduate students. All other students must appear in person in the Writing Center in order to receive assistance. During the summer, online tutoring is available to all students, no matter their status. Please note that we encourage all writers, when it is possible for them to sit down with us on campus, to sign up for a face-to-face appointment. We–tutors and writers alike–generally find such tutorials to be more effective.
In the appointment form on WCOnline, which you fill out to schedule an appointment, you will be asked whether or not you wish to meet online in a drop-down menu. Select “Yes – Meet Online.”
A few minutes before your appointment is scheduled to begin, log back into sju.mywconline.com and click on your appointment box to pull up your appointment form. In that form, you will see the following words in red: Start or Join Online Conversation. Click on the words in red. A new window will open. On the left-hand side of your screen, in the largest portion of the window, paste the document that you would like to review with your tutor. On the right-hand side of your screen, you will see the chat space. Your tutor will begin the chat by greeting you and, if it is your first time doing an online appointment, the tutors will also help you navigate the online tutoring process.
For ESL Writers
Yes. We welcome students for whom English is not their first or home language.
All of our tutors are trained to assist ESL students.
Unfortunately, no. The financial arrangement between the university and the ELS Language Center does not include access to the university’s Writing Center.
For Writers with Autism
Yes. We work closely with the Kinney Center for Autism and Education Support here at Saint Joseph’s to provide writing assistance to students in the ASPIRE program–as well as to other students who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder but who may not be a part of ASPIRE.
We have a satellite location in the Kinney Center where we offer writing help just for students in the ASPIRE program, once a week, during their study hall.