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Writing Area - Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the Learning Center?

The Learning Center serves any RCTC or WSU Undergraduate student at any stage in the writing process for any type of writing.

The Learning Center is designed for students in honors classes as well as developmental classes, students in English classes as well as history, psychology, or sociology classes, and students who just need someone to look over their writing. Students sometimes feel the need for an "objective" view of their writing, a view that is not from their instructor.

How does the Learning Center work?

After signing in, you will sit down one-on-one with a tutor who will typically ask for some detail about the writing project and any particular difficulties you may be having with your writing. The tutor may then ask you to read your writing aloud while he/she takes some notes. The tutor will then make a number of concrete suggestions for improvement of the overall writing project.

Who works at the Learning Center?

The Learning Center employs English instructors and tutors, all of whom have considerable experience in writing.

What time is the Learning Center open?

Hours will vary from semester to semester, but you can always find a current schedule posted in the Learning Center (AT306) as well as on the website.

Is it better to make an appointment ahead of time, or is it okay to just walk in?

Either way is okay. Please keep in mind that the Learning Center can become quite busy, and students who make appointments have a guarantee that they will be seen. Walk-ins have no such guarantee.

Do tutors proofread papers?

Learning Center tutors DO NOT proofread: they concentrate on larger problems in your writing, such as organization, evidence, and coherence. They will help you identify patterns of errors and learn how to improve. Tutors are, however, happy to look over a piece of writing to determine where the main sentence-level errors seem to lie and to recommend exercises (which your tutor will go through with you) to help strengthen these weaknesses.

What should be brought to the session?

Tutors ask that you bring a draft of the writing assignment (it's enormously helpful if this draft is typed). If you are responding to a particular assignment, you should bring all relevant handouts as well.

How long does a typical session last?

The amount of time spent with a tutor depends largely on how much time you need. Sessions typically range from 30-60 minutes. However, at busier times your tutor may not be able to devote this time to just one person exclusively.

Is it okay to work on a paper after a session at the Learning Center?

Because the Learning Center is equipped with computers, you are encouraged to work on your writing immediately after the session while ideas and advice are still fresh.

Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Celebrating 100 years!    1915-2015    www.rctc.edu/100th
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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