Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of documents can I bring to the Writing Centre?
You are welcome to submit any writing relevant to your academic, professional, or personal growth at MacEwan. This includes writing for academic coursework, scholarship applications, creative writing, etc.
What can I expect during a writing consultation?
During a consultation, you will meet with a peer tutor to have a conversation about your writing. The focus will be your written document, with the goal of helping you (1) to revise and improve the document and (2) to become a more effective communicator.
In our consultations, you are the disciplinary expert; we don’t give advice on content, but we do help you to navigate academic writing tasks with greater self-awareness.
How long do writing consultations last?
You can book synchronous appointments online or in-person in either 30-minute or 1-hour increments. You can also book an asynchronous appointment for which you upload your paper digitally and it is returned to you with written feedback.
NOTE: If you are submitting your paper for asynchronous written feedback, it takes 1-3 business days (weekdays, excluding weekends and holidays) to receive a response, with longer response times during peak times of the semester. Make sure you plan accordingly and submit early!
Are writing consultations confidential?
Yes. Writing centres are impartial spaces on campus; we don’t grade your work and we won’t discuss your work with your instructors, peers, etc.
Is the Writing Centre only for “bad writers” or people who need “help with their writing?”
No. Writing centres are spaces where any and all writers are welcome to join in meaningful conversations about writing. Our goal is not to find deficiencies or problems in your writing; we want to help you not only to improve your specific documents, but also to become a more confident, experienced writer. Any writer at any stage of their career can benefit from being in community with other readers and writers.
Will you proofread my paper? Do you help with grammar?
Our writing consultations are not an editing service; likewise, to us, proofreading means going through your paper line by line and making corrections to your grammar. Tutors won’t make direct changes to your document, but they can advise you on the use of standard English grammar. Keep in mind, however, that effective written communication is about more than the placement of punctuation or the syntax of sentences.
How early in the writing process can/should I come to the Writing Centre?
Our tutors can help you at any stage of the writing process from outlining to final drafts, as long as you bring something you’ve written to your appointment. If you haven’t started writing yet, you can expect to start during your session. It’s always advisable to be proactive; the earlier you come to the Writing Centre, the more frequently you can return to discuss your document.
Can I submit a take-home exam?
You are permitted to submit a take-home exam if you have the explicit permission of your instructor.
Can I bring grad/professional applications or scholarship applications to the Writing Centre?
Students writing either (1) graduate or professional school applications or (2) Tri-Council scholarship applications (for SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR) should contact Liam Monaghan, Writing Centre Programs Specialist, to discuss their documents.