Faculty/Staff FAQs

What is the writing center?

The writing center is a tutoring service located in the Liberal Arts Building, room 5330. We provide individualized feedback for writers at any stage of the writing process.

Who are the tutors?

Our tutors are undergraduate and graduate students who are recruited on the basis of their writing skills and their ability to work with writers. Our tutors come from a variety of departments on campus.

We actively recruit tutors recommended by faculty. If you have a particular student you think would be an asset to the center, please contact Wayne Robertson with the student's information.

What if my student has special needs?

Our staff is prepared and eager to help all Towson students, including those with special needs. Because we work one-on-one with students, we are able to make accommodations and spend significant time making sure that the student's individual needs are met.

What happens during a tutoring session?

With your student, tutors review the assignment guidelines and talk with the student about where they are in their writing process. Often, this means looking over a rough draft, but some students come to the center just to bounce ideas off the tutor.

Tutors address a variety of writing concerns including helping students synthesize their ideas, examine evidence, organize their points, write more effectively to an academic audience, and develop their ability to better edit their own work. In addition, tutors often discuss the student’s writing process, and help the student identify his or her strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

How can I find out if my student went to the center and what they worked on?

If you would like to know if your students are using the writing center and what they are working on, encourage them to ask for a "Session Review Form" at the end of their Writing Center session. This is a form tutors fill out to help remind the student of the issues discussed while they were working together and to note any recommendations the tutor may have for the student.

If you have specific questions about the center or a particular student's experience, please contact our director, Wayne Robertson. He welcomes your calls and questions. You can reach him by e-mail (wrobertson@towson.edu) or by phone (410-704-5379).

Can you help my students with grammar skills?

Tutors work with students to learn to identify and correct grammatical errors in their own writing. Our purpose is to help the student improve his or her own editing skills. Often, this results in a piece of writing that is improved and has fewer sentence-level errors. However, it does not mean that the essay will be error free. After all, we are not editing papers for the student or rewriting their sentences. It also happens sometimes that the tutor will spend the entire session talking with the student about other writing issues (coherence, organization, evidence, integrating sources, unintentional plagiarism, etc.). and they might not have time to also discuss grammar even when it is also an issue in the text. In these situations, the tutor may recommend that the student return to the center to further work on their writing if time permits.

If you notice particular grammatical issues that one of your students is having, please feel free to also have them use our online writing support program. It has grammar-specific teaching modules that can help students improve some of the more common grammar errors. The Online Writing Support program is available here.

Hours, location, and contact information:

During fall and spring semester, our hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We provide additional writing support evenings and weekends in our Cook Writing Desk, located in the third-floor lobby of Cook Library. Tutors are available at the Cook Writing Desk Mondays through Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We make appointments for both locations via telephone (410.704.3426) or in person at our main location (LA 5330).

During summer semester, our hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.