Frequented Asked Questions for Students

Who can visit the Writing Center?
Any undergraduate or graduate student who is currently enrolled at Saint Francis University may visit the Writing Center.  

How much does each visit cost?
The Writing Center’s services and resources are absolutely free to all Saint Francis University students. 

What kinds of issues can you help me with?
Our peer tutors have helped students at every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and early drafting to revision and editing. Tutors also routinely help students with source integration and documentation as well as grammatical and stylistic matters. If you are experiencing difficulty at any point of the writing process, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with a tutor or simply stop by the Writing Center.    

When can I visit?
The Writing Center is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We also offer online tutoring on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via our link We are closed on weekends, holiday breaks, and the last few days of Final Examination Week. For more information on the Writing Center’s schedule, visit our Location and Hours page.   

How long is a tutoring session?
Tutoring sessions usually last between 15 and 60 minutes, depending upon what the student wants to accomplish. A session revolving around the verification of a grammar rule or a single source’s documentation may take only a few minutes. Sessions on more complex writing matters are considerably longer, especially if the student requires additional time during the session for individual writing. 

Is there a time limit for tutoring sessions?
We generally adhere to a sixty-minute time limit. If a student requests more time for a consultation, we encourage the student to use the notes and information from his or her session to finish drafting and/or revising the paper before coming in for another session.  

Is there a limit to the number of times I can visit the Center?
We impose no restriction on the number of times students may visit the Writing Center. If, however, it seems that a student is becoming overly dependent on our services (i.e., visiting multiple times for a single project), we will ask that student to do some writing and/or revision on his or her own before returning to the Center.  

What are tutoring sessions like?
For a detailed description of a tutoring session, please visit our Typical Tutoring Session page.  

Should I bring a print or digital copy of my paper?
You may bring either a print or digital copy of your work. If you prefer print copies, please bring at least two, one for you and one for your tutor.  

What else should I bring with me to my tutoring session?
Bring a copy of the paper’s assignment description and requirements as well as any reference materials that you used or plan to use to write the paper.

What if I’m working on a paper that’s longer than four pages?
If your paper is longer than four pages, choose a smaller section to work on with your tutor during your session and schedule additional sessions to work on other sections of your paper.  

Can I drop off my paper for someone to proofread, then pick it up later?
No. We are not a drop-off service. To receive assistance with your work, you must come to the Center and complete a session with a tutor.

Can you just proofread my paper during a session while I sit there and wait?
No. You, not the tutor, will be making changes and corrections to your paper. The tutor may show you how to find and correct certain types of errors or offer suggestions for improving the style and wording of a few sentences, but the tutor will not take the paper from you for any length of time, mark it up, and hand it back to you. You will be doing most of the writing during your tutoring session.

Can I e-mail my paper for you to comment on?
We provide feedback to e-mailed documents only to online students who are unable to visit campus. We also offer online tutoring on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via our link

Can I work with a tutor when the Writing Center is not open?
No. Students may work with Writing Center tutors only at the Center during operating hours. For more information on our location and schedule, visit our Location and Hours page.   

Can I still come in for a session if I’m just getting started on an assignment?
Yes. If you have just been given an assignment and aren’t sure how to begin, you are welcome to visit the Writing Center to discuss your ideas with a tutor. Understand, however, that your tutor will not do your thinking for you. You will have to brainstorm, develop, and organize your own ideas for your paper. However, the tutor will listen to your ideas and show you different techniques for elaborating on and arranging your ideas into a tentative draft.  

Can I talk to my tutor about a grade I received on a paper?
No. Our tutors will not discuss grades you have already received on your papers with you, nor will they evaluate any papers you might have yet to submit. A tutor will not look at a paper and say, “This is an A paper” or “This paper will easily pass.” 

Can I talk to my tutor about my professors’ teaching or grading?
No. We do not discuss professors’ teaching or grading methods with visitors. 

Can I work with a tutor on a writing assignment that isn’t school-related?
You may work with a tutor on non-school-related writing projects (i.e., a job application letter, a résumé, graduate school application materials, etc.,) only if you have permission to do so. Some employers and admissions boards do not accept writing that has received outside input. It is your responsibility to verify whether you are allowed to submit writing that you and a tutor have worked on together.

How does the Writing Center define “plagiarism”?
We define plagiarism as any act of intentionally copying or paraphrasing material from another source without acknowledging that source. Material contributed by an uncredited writer and material downloaded from an essay mill site are also forms of plagiarism. We do not view incorrect source documentation as blatant plagiarism. As long as the student has attempted to document outside source material, even if the student has done so incorrectly, the student has not committed plagiarism. However, the student still needs to fix the documentation errors. For more information on Saint Francis University’s policies regarding plagiarism and academic honesty, please consult the university catalog or your student handbook. Students should become familiar with these policies as well as their instructors’ policies on plagiarism.

What is the Center’s policy on plagiarism?
We assume that (1) any work you bring to the Writing Center is your own and (2) you are responsible for adhering to the university’s standards of academic honesty and integrity. Therefore, we will never openly accuse a student of plagiarism. If your work appears to contain plagiarized content, your tutor will remind you what plagiarism is and how to acknowledge source material so that you leave the Center with the understanding that you must remove any plagiarized content from your work before submitting it to your instructor. Also, we do not e-mail unsolicited reports of suspected plagiarism to students’ instructors. In cases where the tutor suspects the student has plagiarized, the tutor will notify the Writing Center Director and record his or her observations in the session’s summary report. A copy of this report will be submitted upon request to the student’s instructor if the student has given us permission to notify the instructor of his or her session.

Co-Authored by Wade Flickinger, Former Writing Center Peer Tutor, and Brennan Thomas, Writing Center Director