Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Everything you might ever need to know about the Graduate Writing Center.

How do I schedule an appointment?

We recommend that in order to get the full benefit of a session that students schedule an appointment at least 24 to 48 hours in advance.

You can easily schedule an appointment online. Note: The link will not work when the writing center is closed for breaks. Be sure to note who your tutor is so you can send your paper to them in advance.

    When is the Graduate Writing Center Open?

    The GWC is open Monday – Thursday 4:00pm – 8:00pm. We are available only for pre-scheduled appointments. 

    How come my writing tutor said my paper was great, but my content area professor gave me a low grade?

    Your tutor looks at your paper as a process of drafts not as a final product. Moreover, tutors look primarily at the structure, logic, and linguistic elements of your paper more than the content. It’s a good idea to get feedback from your content area professor before you submit the final draft.

    Where is the Graduate Writing Center?

    The GWC is located in the Simoneau House next to the Student Affairs Office. Students can access the center through the side door.

    Is there anything my writing tutor will not help me with?

    The tutors will not read more than one paper in one session. Also, tutors will not work on documents that you bring from outside of MIIS (i.e., documents that have not been assigned by a MIIS professor or that are not a part of a degree course). Lastly, the tutors will not edit, proofread, or “fix” your English.

    If I have a quick question about grammar do I need to schedule an appointment?

    If you have a quick question on grammar or style (e.g., using footnotes), you may drop by the center and ask a tutor if he or she is not already working with another student.

    What If I am late to my appointment?

    If you are late for your scheduled appointment, your tutor will wait for you for ten minutes before your time slot will be given to another student.

    What If I cannot make my appointment?

    If you are unable to make your appointment, please call (831) 647-6412 or e-mail the writing center at writingcenter@miis.edu as soon as possible!

    Will my writing tutor edit or “fix” my English for me?

    Never. Writing tutors will help you become independent, resourceful writers. By editing or “fixing” your English you will not learn how to become a better writer, rather you will just become dependent on having someone else do your work for you. You can expect your instructor to discuss organization and give you strategies for structuring your paper. They will also help you with grammar, word choice, cohesion, paraphrasing, and citations. In certain cases, your tutor might model several different ways you might rephrase an idea.

    What does a typical session look like?

    A typical tutorial begins by your tutor asking you what you need help with. In many cases, your tutor will ask you to explain what your paper is about, your professor’s expectations, and what stage of the drafting process you in (e.g., are you brainstorming topics, working on a first draft, or trying to compile citations). In certain cases, your tutor will even ask you to bring the assignment guidelines to determine exactly what you are expected to do.

    Once your tutor has learned more about your paper and your professor’s expectations, s/he will read your paper along with you. Each tutor has a different approach to tutoring, so you can expect some variation. Some tutors will ask you to read your paper aloud as they follow along while others might choose to read silently. Keep in mind that your tutor will not edit or “fix” your English. S/he will help you identify those sections that are unclear and guide you through the revision process.

    How can I prepare for my tutorial?

    For walk-ins, please bring two copies of your paper, the assignment guidelines, and a copy of the writing feedback form. The feedback form is available on the Writing Center News Conference.

    For pre-scheduled appointments, please send your paper, assignment guidelines, and feedback form (see Writing Center New conference) to your tutor 24 to 48 hours in advance. This will allow your tutor to read your paper ahead of time and learn what you want to discuss during your session. On the day of your session, bring a copy of your paper. If this is a second or third session on the same paper, please bring along any notes or comments form your previous session, if possible. What if my paper is too long to discuss in a 45 minute session?If your paper is 15+, it may not be possible for your tutor to read your paper a day ahead of time or  to discuss with you within your 45 minute session. In this case, we recommend that you submit your paper well in advance of your appointment and to schedule even a series of two or three appointments to discuss your paper.

    What is the teaching methodology?

    The GWC takes a process approach to teaching writing. Tutors don’t look at a paper as a final draft. Rather, they see a paper as evolving over multiple drafts. Tutors will help students brainstorm ideas, compose outlines, structure their papers, improve the fluency of their ideas, and adhere to stylistic conventions of their field (e.g., APA or Chicago, etc.). The structure of the session always focuses on the student’s needs. Tutors expect, however, that students will take full responsibility for their learning and work with the tutor to improve their writing.

    Who are the tutors?

    GWC tutors are highly qualified writing instructors who are able to help both native and nonnative writers improve their writing skills at the graduate level. Their area of content expertise varies from tutor to tutor, so it’s best to ask.

    How much does a session cost?

    Use of the GWC is free of charge!

    How long is a tutoring session?

     A walk-in tutoring session is 15-30 minutes.

    A tutoring session made by appointment is 45 minutes.