Tutoring Services at Writing Center

Tutoring Services

The Writing Center is a friendly, informal place where students may work with tutors on any writing assignment or task. We’ve been operating for over 25 years on the DCC campus, and in that time have helped countless students become stronger and more self-assured in their writing.

Here are some typical questions about the Writing Center asked by our students:

What happens during a tutorial session?

  • Students review with a tutor their ideas for topics, outlines, brainstorming notes, rough drafts, and finished papers needing revision.
  • Students and tutors talk about ideas for theme and analysis, organization, style and audience, and grammar.
  • Students and tutors talk about effective reading and study habits and exam preparation.
  • Individual sessions might call primarily for conversation that enables a student to work with a clearer sense of purpose; they might require a review of principles of grammar and mechanics, which leads to a focus in revision; or they might suggest the need for quiet reflection and directed writing activity during the tutorial.

In all circumstances the tutor is a careful reader and listener who aims to help students better understand their own writing processes and effectively manage their college writing requirements. We respect our students' desire to learn, and our aim is to help them feel confident about managing their academic work.

Is tutoring offered only for English papers?

  • No, we offer assistance for writing in all courses. In fact, about 45% of our visitors have assignments in business, history, biology, allied health, psychology, and other classes.

Do I need an appointment?

  • No, we welcome walk-in students, but we are often so busy that we can accommodate only students with appointments. You can make an appointment at the sign-in desk in Hudson 503 or call our phone number, (845) 431-8095. We generally have available a schedule that will allow you to make an appointment up to two weeks in advance.
  • We hold appointments for five minutes after the scheduled start time; after that point, an appointment will be given to any student waiting for an open session.
  • Students are allowed to make an appointment each day of the week, if they wish, but only one appointment per day.
  • Unless otherwise specified, tutoring sessions last 45 minutes. A student is not required to use up the entire 45 minutes, but it’s advisable to come prepared with at least half an hour of work.

Do I need to have a paper written when I come in?

  • No. Our tutors have all experienced the dread of not knowing how to start a paper and will help you overcome that feeling. They will talk with you about the assignment and discuss your ideas. Please bring your written assignment instructions to your appointment so the tutor can walk you through its requirements. And, of course, tutors will also work with you on your writing in the stages of outline, rough draft, finished copy, and revision.

Will the Writing Center help me improve my writing skills?

  • We emphasize long-term progress as you build confidence and develop more complex writing strategies. Over 70% of the students who work regularly with tutors in the Center receive As and Bs in the course for which they seek assistance. Over 90% receive at least a C. When you work in the Writing Center, it works!

Will I work with the same tutor each time I visit?

  • In any given semester, the Writing Center employs over a dozen student and professional tutors. Each tutor possesses distinct skills, knowledge, and experience, and many come from disciplines outside of English. Therefore, it’s advisable to check out our current list of tutors to identify who might be the best fit for the assignment you’re working on. You can also inquire for help pairing yourself with a tutor when scheduling your appointment in person or over the phone.
  • Students are welcome to choose one consistent tutor for their sessions if the schedule allows. Other students enjoy working with several tutors and benefiting from their diverse strengths. In all cases, students receive the close attention of the tutors, and we hope that students might develop friendships and a sense of a campus home in the Writing Center.

How can I achieve success on my writing assignment?

  • Our most important suggestion: visit the Writing Center several days before your assignment is due, so that you will have time to apply your work in the session to your paper. The tutor’s help will be limited if you come in an hour or two before the assignment is due.