How to Use Our Services

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  • Writing Centre policies

    1. Every two hours, at 10am, 12pm and 2pm, you can sign in to see a Writing Mentor. For example, if you arrive at 10am, you can sign in to see a Writing Mentor at 10 or 10:30 or 11 or 11:30. For another example, if you arrive at 2pm, you can sign in to see a Writing Mentor at 2 or 2:30 or 3 or 3:30.

      We will continue to allow students to sign in until all the time slots are filled. That means, if you arrive at the Writing Centre at 10:30 or 11, you may still be able to claim a slot if they haven't already been filled. If there are more people than slots available, we will prioritise first year undergraduate students. Whether or not you claim a half an hour time slot, do ask one of your Student Mentors for their advice on academic writing and study skills.
       
    2. You can only sign in 2 times in one week. You are not allowed to see a Writing Mentor more than 2 times in a week.
       
    3. You can only sign in for yourself. You cannot sign in for a friend.
       
    4. If you want to work on a group assignment, we can only look at the parts that you have written yourself.
       
    5. If you speak in an aggressive tone to any of the Writing Mentors or Student Mentors, you will be barred from using the Writing Centre for the entire semester.
  • How can you best use the Writing Centre service?

    • We are critical readers of your work. We are called Writing Mentors, and we serve as such: mentors. We are experienced writers who can support you as you become more experienced writers yourselves. Think of us in this way. We are going to ask you questions. We are going to tell you how a reader reacts to your work, and what a reader expects from your writing.
    • Visit us well before your assignment is due.
    • Be open to ideas to strengthen your writing. If you see us hours before your assignment is due, and are just looking for someone to reassure you that it is ‘ok’, we cannot do that for you. Our job is to help you become a better writer, not just to make you feel good about one particular assignment.
    • Have specific questions about your writing ready for us when we see you.
    • We don’t cut words for you. You have to decide for yourself the most important words to include and exclude in order to meet your word count. You can also look at our guide how to cut your word count (concise writing) to learn more about how to use less words, or ask a Student Mentor for some tips.
    • We are not a grammar checking service. We are happy to discuss sentence structure and word choice with you. But we want you to know that grammar is not just a right or wrong proposition. It is a set of choices that can strengthen or weaken your writing. You need to do the work of understanding subjects, verbs and objects, and how they should best combine to communicate your ideas. Look at the resources within the guide helpful websites and books to improve your English, and make a daily practice of learning about the grammatical choices open to you.
    • Take ownership over and pride in your writing. This is your chance to communicate your ideas. They are yours and only yours. We want to help you learn how to better express your own ideas.
  • How can student mentors help you?

    • Your Student Mentors can help you with referencing and can provide general study tips based on their own successful experiences, and they can show you and explain to you the writing resources we provide on our website.
    • Student Mentors can take a look at your assignment task and provide advice based on their own experiences as successful students.
    • Student Mentors cannot comment upon your writing.
    • Get study advice from your Student Mentors. Ask Student Mentors questions, like: What’s a good strategy for cutting words in an assignment? How do you avoid procrastination? How can I use sources well in an assignment? Do outlines really work when planning an assignment? This is my first time in the Writing Centre. How does this work?