Frequently asked questions
Who can use the Writing Center?
Any enrolled UTRGV student can use our services. Alumni of UTRGV are also welcomed to use our services as well as anyone who is applying to enroll at UTRGV.
What are your hours?
Edinburg: Monday-Thursday 9 am-5 pm; Friday 9 am-1 pm;
Brownsville: Monday-Thursday 9 am-5 pm; Friday 9 am-12 pm
Limited weekend (asynchronous) sessions: Friday after 1 pm -Sunday 5 pm
Are you open on the weekends?
Although both Writing Center locations are closed, one tutor is available to provide feedback for asynchronous online submissions from Friday 1 pm- Sunday 5 pm.
When is the best time in the semester to submit a paper for immediate feedback?
Our slowest times tend to be approximately the first 3 weeks of school. Up to now, our busiest times fall around mid-term and final exam days. We highly encourage our students to use our services with enough time to receive feedback and apply any necessary revisions, preferably at least 3 to 4 days before the assignment is due.
What should I expect during the week of mid-terms or finals?
Since we typically have a surge of students requesting our services during these times, you may receive a message indicating that we cannot provide feedback the same day and encouraged you to submit your paper the following day. Plan accordingly for these periods by using one of our online services as soon as you receive your assignment or at least 3 or 4 days before it is due.
Who are the Writing Center consultants (tutors)?
Writing Center consultants consist of UTRGV graduates and undergraduates from different disciplines and classifications. They are strong, experienced writers who undergo weekly trainings to effectively act as peer tutors and to help students learn better strategies for revising their writing.
Do I have to come in person to have a session?
Do I need to make an appointment?
If you are submitting a paper online through our asynchronous “Send Your Assignment” service, you do not need to set an appointment. However, if you would like to have a Zoom consultation or on-campus appointment, then you must schedule an appointment through our Zoom link.
What happens during a Zoom appointment?
Students are sent a link before their appointed time which they will click to join the session. Typically, the Share Screen function on Zoom will be used to read and discuss the paper together. Consultants will comment on the higher concerns of writing first such as clarity of thesis or purpose statement, organization, and elaboration of ideas. Students should either take notes, make comments, or revise their paper as it is being discussed. In addition, students will be made aware of any grammar error patterns that are occurring in their papers and will be instructed on how to revise these errors. Students may need multiple sessions, depending on the number of issues that need to be addressed.
How do I cancel an appointment?
If you are unable to attend your scheduled Zoom consultation or on-campus appointment, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to notify the WC.
What do I need for a session?
Provide your assignment’s instructions (i.e. prompt, length, citation style) and any writing for which you would like feedback. You do not need to present a draft of your writing if you need help with brainstorming or planning. In addition, you will need to provide your student ID and UTRGV email address.
Is there a limit to the number of sessions and submissions I can have?
Yes, there is a limit of 4 total sessions or submissions per week, including the weekend. You may have any combination of session submission you wish (for example two Zoom sessions, one online submission, and one in-person session). Number of sessions per day depends on the availability of consultants.
Can I submit a paper anytime during the day?
Yes, but the paper will be addressed between business hours 9 am-5 pm.
Can you proofread or edit my paper?
No, we do not proofread or edit writing. Our feedback is intended to respect a student’s voice and encourage independent revision. We provide students with feedback rather than proofreading because proofreading is simply telling you what to fix and delete while receiving feedback allows you to learn and apply these concepts to future assignments.
What kind of feedback should I expect?
Our feedback in initial sessions mostly focuses on the higher-order concerns (HOCs) of writing related to purpose, audience, genre, and organization. Feedback about grammar is addressed in later sessions by making students aware of patterns of errors occurring in the writing and providing grammar rules that students can apply when revising.
How long will it take to get some feedback?
Zoom consultation or on-campus appointments will provide immediate feedback while online asynchronous sessions may take from 24 to 48 hours for feedback.
Will you be able to provide feedback for my entire paper?
This depends on the length of your assignment. Since we only have 30 minutes to respond to a student’s submission, we encourage students to submit their drafts multiple times in case we are not able to provide feedback for your whole paper in one 30-minute session.
How can I prove that I used the WC services?
We provide proof of attendance in the form of a stamp for walk-in sessions and an official email for online sessions which indicates the time date of your asynchronous or synchronous session.
Can you help with writing that is not related to a class?
Yes, we can help with personal writing, including personal statements, resumes, appeals, blogs, emails, cover letters, creative writing/projects, etc.
How can the WC help me avoid plagiarism?
We can help you locate credible sources, provide appropriate citation formats such as APA, MLA, and Chicago styles, and instruct you on how to paraphrase properly.
Do you work with group projects?
Yes, you can schedule a Zoom consultation with your entire group to receive immediate feedback on the entire paper or send in your individual writing section for partial feedback. If submitting an asynchronous online submission, keep in mind that we can only provide feedback for your section of the paper.
Can you help with essays that are considered mid-term or final exams?
We cannot provide written feedback on an exam or quiz without written permission from your professor or indicated on your course syllabus.
Is the WC available between semesters?
More often than not, we do offer limited tutoring between semesters. Check our social media pages or website for updates on holiday hours or availability between semesters.
Can I use WC services after I graduated?
Yes, you can use our services if you are alumni, especially if you need help with a personal statement to apply to one of our UTRGV programs.
What safety precautions is the WC taking to protect students and tutors during COVID 19?
Should the campus re-open fully, we have implemented several safety measures such as increased cleaning, limited capacity, Plexiglas dividing the middle of our tables, and continued online services.
Can I require my entire class to receive feedback from the Writing Center?
Considering that the WC serves the entire campus if professors are requiring all of their students to receive feedback from the WC, we ask that they contact us ahead of time to provide us with any relevant assignment information and to discuss how we can coordinate appointment times for their students. Although we appreciate their support, professors should be mindful that at high-peak times during the semester, some students may still have to be turned away.
Is there a statement from the Writing Center that I can post on my syllabus?
Yes, we encourage professors to include the following statement on their syllabus:'
The Writing Center is here to help! UTRGV's Writing Center is dedicated to empowering students through their writing, regardless of their prior experience or stage in the writing process. Our team of peer tutors consists of UTRGV students from different disciplines, who are trained to provide free and accessible writing tutoring (face-to-face or online, synchronously and asynchronously) to all UTRGV undergraduate and graduate students. Tutors are available to help students implement revision strategies for a variety of writing-related concerns including content, structure, organization, effective use of reliable sources, and citation formatting.
Go to schedule an online session or an in-person appointment.
Questions? Contact the Writing Center at email@example.com or visit our website for more information.
Can the Writing Center conduct presentations or workshops for my classes?
Yes, the WC offers class presentations on essential writing topics such as citing correctly to avoid plagiarism, organizing ideas, and improving thesis statements among others. We also offer presentations on our services, and we can create presentations or workshops on topics requested by professors.
Plagiarism Workshop FAQs
Do I need to schedule my plagiarism workshop through the website?
How are the workshops held?
How many sessions will I need to attend?
You are required to attend at least two sessions, but the total number of sessions will be determined by the staff member you work with.
How long will it take to finish all the workshops?
Each individual workshop will last one hour. The scheduling of all workshops will depend on both our staff member's and your schedule.