Writing Center FAQ

  • How long is a writing tutoring session?

    A writing tutoring session is 30 minutes.

  • Are writing tutoring sessions 1-on-1 or shared with other students?

    All writing tutoring sessions are 1-on-1 between a student and peer tutor; you will receive personal attention and advice.

  • What's the difference between writing labs and by appointment?

    The duration and style of the tutoring session does not change.

    • An appointment can be made at any time during the regular semester schedule. Your tutor will have 30 minutes set aside just for you.
    • A Writing Lab (ENGL 1115) is a series of regular, weekly appointments (on a set day/time) with the same tutor that earns you 1 unit of credit. See below for how to sign up!
  • How do I make an appointment?

    To schedule an appointment, please call the ARC at or come in person to the office in Daum Hall.

  • Can I have more than one 30 minute appointment a week?

    You may schedule up to two sessions per day, three times per week, for a maximum total of six sessions per week. If you need additional support, please see the ARC Administrative Coordinator.

  • What should I expect in a writing tutoring session?

    After greeting and introductions, your tutor will ask you about your paper and about the specifics of the assignment and your concerns. Depending on where you are in the drafting process, you'll work on generating ideas, or you'll be asked to read your paper out loud to the tutor. Next, the two of you will discuss your paper, and your tutor will then address your concerns and offer advice. If your paper is in its early stages, you might find yourselves working on its thesis, organization, development, or a variety of other issues. If it's in its final revision, sentence-level concerns such as style or grammar can be addressed. At the end of the session, your tutor will encourage you to come back if you feel the paper needs more work, or if you want to bring in the next draft. We hope you make the ARC a regular stop for all your papers.

  • How do I register for a Writing Lab?

    More information about the current or upcoming ENGL 1115 lab is available on the Writing Lab page.

    Two Steps to Complete Registration:

    • Step 1:  Register on PROWL as you would any other class. If you are NOT registered on PROWL by the end of the first week, you must do the following:
      • Print a General Petition form
      • Make an appointment with the ARC Writing Programs Coordinator, by contacting the Academic Resource Center (Daum Hall, 2nd floor). Bring your form to the appointment.
      • After receiving a signature, take your General Petition to your dean's office.
      • After receiving a signature from your Dean's Office, drop off the completed form at the Registrar's Office (VDA 150).
    • Step 2:  Once you are registered in the class, call or come in to the Academic Resource Center (Daum Hall, 2nd floor, ) to set up your weekly appointment time with a writing tutor for the semester.

    Prepare to set your appointment by:

    • Reviewing your syllabi to determine when your drafts are commonly due; for example, drafts in your philosophy course may always be due on Mondays. We suggest setting your lab appointment one or two days before your regular draft deadlines.
    • Looking at your weekly schedule to ensure you are able to arrive on time and stay the entire 30 minute appointment.

    Writing lab appointments begin the third week of the semester, so you must have your appointment set by the end of the first week of classes.

  • Can I take the University Writing Lab (English 1115) more than once?

    Yes, you can take ENGL 1115 up to 3 times.

  • Do I need to make an appointment for help with research or documentation?

    You decide. We believe it would be worthwhile to have a full tutoring session: you can discuss research and documentation along with other concerns during your meeting. We also know you're busy.  That's why you can use our writing tools online at the Writing LibGuide.  If you need a quick resource for thesis statements or APA formatting, for example, we've got you covered.


  • Can I pop-in or submit my paper online to be edited for me?

    In a nutshell – no, we don’t proofread papers. BUT, we will teach you strategies to identify your errors. The tutor will ask you to read your paper out loud and will point out grammatical, mechanical and stylistic problems and then explain the concepts behind them. If similar problems appear later in the paper, the tutor will ask you to correct them. If your paper is long, there usually is not enough time to finish it. The emphasis at the ARC is on teaching you strategies to become a better writer such as developing your thoughts more clearly and forcefully and advancing your writing style. If you come a few days before the paper is due, we can better work our magic.

  • Who are the writing tutors? What are their qualifications?

    Writing tutors are students at LMU who have proven academic success and have been recommended by LMU faculty for their writing skills. Additionally, each tutor must go through a 1-unit, semester-long training course to become accredited jointly by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) and the National Tutoring Association. In addition, writing tutors must complete 10 more hours of training in their second year of tutoring.

Still have questions? Call us at 310-338-2847, or email us at arcrecep@lmu.edu