Guidelines for Making Appointments and Using the Writing Center

Guidelines for Using the Writing Center

The Writing Center is open to all students at Alamance Community College  for help with any writing task. Writing centers do not focus specifically on remediation, but offer a service useful for writers at every level and in any subject.

Overall Purpose and Process

The Writing Center’s goal is to help you improve your writing by use of the revision process. A writing consultant will encourage you to explore ideas and ask questions about development, organization, grammar, and mechanics. After a Writing Center session, you should revise your own work based on that consultation. Viewing writing as a process will help you meet your own goals as a writer as well as to meet the requirements of a particular assignment. Over time, this process will improve your skill and help you achieve your academic and career goals.

Making Appointments

We strongly recommend that you make appointments in advance and that you arrange to come to the Writing Center at least three days before your assignment is due. Students may bring an assignment to the center twice, and if you plan to come twice, you also need to allow time for revision in between visits.

You can make an appointment online by going to and following the directions to register, log in, and set a time.  Half hour and hour long appointments are available, and you should choose on the basis of the length of your assignment.  A half hour session is appropriate for brainstorming sessions and assignments of less than three pages. You may also come directly to the Writing Center (Room 354 in the Main Building) or call 336-506-4190.

If you cannot come to the Writing Center in person, you may make an online appointment through the same system at Sign up with a consultant who offers online tutoring and attach your paper. Log in when it is time for your appointment and follow the directions that will allow you to chat with that consultant. If you would prefer to email a paper and receive comments back, see directions below.

Once you have made an appointment, please keep it, or, if you can't keep the appointment, go back into the online system to cancel. A writing consultant is waiting just for you, and missed appointments waste valuable time that other students could be using. Students who miss appointments without cancelling may lose the privilege of making appointments but may still use the Writing Center on a walk-in basis as available.

If when you come to the Writing Center there is time available, you may see a consultant as a walk-in. Walk ins are available whenever appointments have not already been taken or if another student misses an appointment.

What to Expect from Your Consultation

When you come for your appointment, bring your instructor’s directions for the assignment and a typed draft of your response if you have one. When the appointment begins, the consultant will ask what concerns you have about your work, so please have questions ready. The consultant will read your work, silently or aloud, or ask you to read it, and ask questions and offer suggestions.

The consultant will first read for content. If you still need to develop your content, he or she may recommend you return for a second visit if you want to discuss surface errors. You may visit the Center twice for any given writing assignment. Appointments for additional visits may be made with your instructor’s approval.

The Writing Center is not a proofreading service, but a learning experience that helps you improve your skill through the revision process. Consultants will not correct your errors throughout your paper, but will choose specific sentences for a review of grammar and mechanics and refer you to Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers[i] with the understanding that you will revise the rest of the paper and correct similar errors yourself.  We hope you enjoy using the Writing Center and are happy to hear your feedback.

[i] Rules for Writers is the handbook used for curriculum English courses at ACC. Consider keeping it throughout your studies.

Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2014, 4:57 PM