Frequently Asked Questions
We've attempted to answer some common questions here. If, however, you don't see your question in the list, please feel free to contact the Coordinator of Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services, Brandy Grabow. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Common questions from students:
Q: Who can use WSTS?
A: Any NCSU undergraduate student.
Q: Do I need an appointment?
A: Appointments are available for your convenience, but are not required. Drop-in services are available in the afternoon at our Park Shops location, and in the evening at residence halls around campus. Please see the WSTS in the Residence Halls page for a table of times and locations. All drop-in services are first come, first served.
Q: How long is an appointment?
A: Appointments are made in 30 minutes blocks. You may make 1 hour worth of appointments in a day, and 2 hours worth of appointments in a week.
Q: What is the difference between an appointment and a drop-in session?
A: Making an appointment guarantees that you will see a consultants at the appointed time. Making an appointment helps some students plan their schedules to make sure they do not procrastinate.
Drop-in sessions operate on a first come, first served basis. Also, the length of a drop-in session can vary. If there are other students in line, your drop-in session may be limited to 25-30 minutes.
Q: I don't live in a residence hall, may I still visit one of those locations?
A: Yes, you may.
Q: What should I bring to an appointment or drop-in session?
A: Your session will be most effective if you bring the following items with you:
Your assignment sheet. - To help us understand what your instructor might want.
A printed copy of the writing on which you would like to work. - It's easier, and faster, to mark up a paper copy then make the changes later. We want to get as much done in our session as possible! If you would like to brainstorm ideas, just bring a clean sheet of paper.
A pen or a pencil. - You will be doing all the marking on your paper.
Q: Can I bring my group paper to WSTS?
A: Yes. However, all members of the group must be present.
Q: May I get help with a take home exam?
A: Only if you have a completed Exam Permission Form from your instructor. We will not work on any exam without one.
Q: Will you edit my paper?
A: Our goal is to help you become a better writer. With that in mind, when you bring a piece of writing in we look at it to make sure it says what you want clearly. During that process we make make editing suggestions that will help you identify patterns of grammatical error. We will also give you tips to help address those issues when you find them. This process helps you to become a better editor of your own work.
Q: Why can't I work for longer than an hour?
A: All sessions are limited to one-hour (50 minutes) in order to ensure that the session remains productive. As with any task, when reviewing writing it's good to work in time chunks that allow you to maintain focus. In a one-hour session it is typically possible to work through 3 - 5 pages of text. If your paper, or presentation is longer, you should plan ahead for multiple sessions.
Q: Does it have to be a paper from class?
A: No. Many students bring in application essays for graduate school, professional school, or scholarships. We can also help with cover letters and resumes, but you may find the Career Development Center more suited to your needs in those areas.
Q: What happens if I come at closing time?
A: WSTS is staffed by your fellow students, who also need to write and study for their own classes. Closing times are firm.
Common questions from faculty:
Q: May I require my entire class to use your services?
A: Please encourage your students to take advantage of our service; however, we ask that you do not make it a requirement. WSTS is already a very limited resource, and when a class is required to come they quickly overwhelm the service, making it unavailable to other NCSU students.
Also, students who have been required to visit Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services often become resistent to working on their writing and do not get as much out of a session as they might otherwise.
Q: Can a student get help with a take home exam?
A: We will not work with students on a take home exam without your permission. Should you grant your students permission to come to WSTS for a consultation on their take home exam, consultants will follow standard WSTS procedure by emphasizing feed back on clarity, organization, and focus, with attention to patterns of grammatical error. Please complete an Exam Permission Form for your student(s).
Q: How do I know a student attended?
A: To respect a visitor's privacy we do not automatically send visit reports to instructors. If they need documentation of their visit students may request a session report from the consultant.
Q: What happens during a session?
A: A WSTS session is primarily a conversation. Consultants are trained to ask questions about the assignment,the student's goal for the draft, and the student's experience with writing, or giving presentations. Reading through the draft aloud with the student allows the consultant to provide feedback about clarity, organization, and focus with the goal of giving the student choices to make about the work. The writer is responsible for making any notes or changes on the paper, so he or she will understand the notes when going back to revise the paper. If the consultant sees a pattern of grammatical errors, he or she will help the student to identify the error, and provide tips for correcting it.
Q: Will someone come to my class?
A: Absolutely! Whether you would like to provide your students with a brief introduction to WSTS or develop a more in-depth workshop on writing process, revision, peer review, or anything else you might need, someone would be happy to come to your class. Please contact WSTS Coordinator Brandy Grabow at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit or workshop.