Below are some frequently asked questions about WTS tutoring. For instructor questions, please see the instructor FAQ.
Frequently asked questions
No; WTS is free to any student at IU Bloomington.
WTS is located in the Learning Commons (LC) on the first floor of the West tower Wells Library. If you plan to work with a tutor at our primary location, it is best to make your appointment online in advance at https://wts.indiana.edu/schedule. Setting up your appointment in advance allows you to select a tutor whose interests and background best match your particular needs and the demands of the course for which you are writing. You can do this by using the drop-down menu and selecting a focus option on mywconline. Scheduling in advance also ensures that you will have a full 50 minute session to work with your tutor.
When our schedule permits, we will do our best to accommodate walk-ins in our primary location, but sometimes we are just too busy (especially around mid-term and near the end of a semester). If you cannot schedule in advance, you may want to visit one of our satellite locations:
WTS at the ASCs—Academic Support Centers at Briscoe, Forest, and Teter—Sunday through Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 11:00pm.
Tutorials at our satellite locations operate on a first-come, first-served basis. You'll find a sign-up sheet when you arrive, so it's best to come early.
It's a one-on-one conversation about a writing assignment—one student, one tutor, one paper. WTS tutors will try to be a source of feedback on any kind of writing assignment and at any stage of the composition process, from brainstorming to revising a final draft. Tutorials are scheduled for 45-50 minutes.
WTS tutors will talk with you about how you can improve any aspect of a paper, ranging from punctuation to overall organization—depending on what you ask for. The aim of tutorials at WTS is to make you better able to evaluate your own writing, and to revise and edit it accordingly. Rather than proofreading, correcting, or editing your paper for you, our WTS tutors will work with you to help you become a better proofreader of your own writing. We can point to consistent mistakes, and discuss skills and strategies for identifying, correcting, and avoiding those kinds of errors in the future.
If you need assistance with editing, WTS maintains alist of paid editors.
Tutorials at WTS deal with specific papers written in response to specific assignments, not with instruction in the overall process of "how to write." With this in mind, it’s a good idea to bring a copy of the assignment when you come to a tutorial at WTS, as well as a copy of your paper. You do not need to have a completed draft in order to come in. Some students like to talk with a tutor in the earlier stages of the writing process, to brainstorm ideas or, perhaps, work on an outline.
The content of the conversation between you and your tutor is confidential as far as we're concerned. We will inform instructors that you have or have not visited WTS and the date(s) of your visit(s)—but only if they ask; we don't supply this information automatically.
Our tutors are undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of different disciplines. We encourage students to schedule with tutor whose interests and backgrounds provide the best match with the demands of the course and the student’s needs. If you need a tutor for a specific subject or writing task, please use the "Limit to" menu at the top of the WCONLINE scheduling page to select tutors by focus option.
All of our tutors are trained to help students in first-year composition courses.
We have a small "library" of handbooks, style manuals, and reference books which you are welcome to use while at WTS, including copies of the MLA and APA publication manuals, the Chicago and Turabian style manuals, and assorted dictionaries and thesauri. We also offer free hand-outs for you to take with you on a wide variety of writing situations—visit WTS writing guides to view or download our hand-outs.
The IUB Libraries maintain web guides to citing sources.
WTS tutors can help you solve problems like these, but first you should check with your instructor. Different disciplines use different styles of citation, and some instructors have specific models they want you to follow, which the tutor may not know about. In general, the humanities prefer the MLA style and the social sciences favor APA. You should, however, always ask your instructor for further clarification.
Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to allow student use of our computers. We encourage you to print your materials before coming to the library, or to use one of the computers in the Learning Commons.
Because WTS is not a UITS computing cluster, we cannot answer computing questions or solve problems with lost files or damaged disks. For more information on computing clusters or help with computing problems, contact the UITS help desk or the 24-Hour Student Computing Consultation Service at (812) 855-3802.
All WTS tutors can help students for whom English is a second (or third, or fourth) language. We even have tutors who specialize in assisting international students, and all of our tutors have attended training sessions on how to help multilingual students. Our tutors are happy to read drafts for clarity and discuss ways to communicate your ideas more clearly. Instead of proofreading line by line, correcting, or editing your paper for you, we aim to help you become a better proofreader of your own writing by pointing out consistent mistakes and suggesting strategies for correcting and avoiding those types of errors in the future. Because of our identity as a writing center, our tutors are not able to offer in-depth lessons in English grammar (please see the Department of Second Language Studies) or practice with conversational English (please see the PET program). Our focus is on tutoring students with specific writing projects.
Absolutely. Often, groups are looking for help with transitions between paragraphs or sections of the paper that have been written by different group members. Tutors can also read through the paper for clarity and make suggestions about organizational issues. We do make one request in this situation: If you are working on a group project, all the members of your group must be present at the tutorial, so that the tutor can talk with each group member about their portion of the project.