Frequently Asked Questions

If the questions below don't apply to you, please email writinghelp@usask.ca with your questions or concerns.

1. How do I find the Writing Help room (Murray 142)?
2. Do I have to make an appointment to get help with my writing?
3. Do I have to be an Arts and Science undergraduate student to receive help?
4. What happens in a tutoring session?
5. Do you have any writing guides or sample papers for loan?
6. What can I do if I'm unhappy with the tutoring I receive?
7. I'm unhappy with how long I had to wait for help.
8. I tried to register for a workshop, but it was full. Will you run the workshop again?
9. I really enjoyed a Writing Help workshop. Can I register for it again?
10. I would like more intensive grammar instruction. Is there a course I can take?
11. I'm a professor/tutorial leader/sessional who would like to arrange for a classroom visit. How do I do this?

 

1. How do I find the Writing Help room (Murray 142)?
ULC Writing Help can be found on the first floor of the Murray Library (a.k.a. the main library). When you enter the library, choose the stairwell or the elevators, and go up one floor. At the top of the stairs, or upon exiting the elevator, turn right. You will see a big, busy area full of computers. In the corner of this area, next to the Math Help room, you will see Murray 142, Writing Help. Pop in to say "hello."

2. Do I have to make an appointment to get help with my writing?
ULC Writing Help is offered on drop-in basis only. You don't make an appointment; simply drop in to Murray 142. If in-person tutoring times are inconvenient, you can receive help through our online tutoring system (also free and confidential).

3. Do I have to be an undergraduate student to receive help?
No! We are here to serve all U of S students, from any college. Many students coming for help are from colleges such as Arts and Science, Education, Commerce, Engineering, Agriculture, Grad Studies, and Nursing, but all students are welcome.

4. What happens in a tutoring session?
A tutor will sit with you at a desk, fill out a short form with you, and ask if you have brought an assignment question and/or draft. You do not need to present ID or a student number. You do not have to bring an assignment question or draft to receive help, but if you do, the tutor will first respond to your specific questions and concerns, and then, if there is time left, he or she will read some of your draft to see what other comments can be made toward strengthening your work. If you don't bring a draft or assignment, the tutor can still answer your writing questions. For example, you might want to know about formatting in MLA documentation style, or you might need a clear explanation and examples of how to write a strong thesis statement. Maybe you have a quick grammar question. You're free to come in for a short or a full session. We are here to help you!

5. Do you have any writing guides or sample papers for loan?
Come by Murray 142 to have a look through our extensive library of writing guides, sample papers, and reference books. We have guides for writers in most disciplines, and most of our books have copies for loan through the Murray Library. The sample papers not only help you to see and understand formatting and documentation styles across the disciplines, but also give you an idea of the tone, style, and rhetoric of a particular type of writing. You will need your student card if you want to borrow a book or paper. If you are looking for documentation guides, such as for MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, you can also get help from the Reference Desk in the library (also on the first floor).

6. What can I do if I'm unhappy with the tutoring I receive?
You may want to try working with another different tutor. There are more than twenty tutors employed with ULC Writing Help, and each tutor has a different background. If you would like a recommendation based on your subject area, please email writinghelp@usask.ca or use the online service. If you would like to your comments, questions, or concerns addressed, please contact the coordinator at writinghelp@usask.ca or 966-2771. It's important for us to get feedback on our services to students.

7. I'm unhappy with how long I had to wait for help.
At certain points in a term (Oct./Nov. and Feb./March), the drop-in centre gets busy. You are welcome to wait in one of the comfortable chairs to keep your spot, but we recommend that you bring some reading or a laptop to keep you occupied while you wait. Laptops can be signed out at the Circulation Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library. Also, there is an extensive library of writing guides in our waiting area. If waiting is still inconvenient for you, please drop in at a quieter time (mornings and evenings), or submit your paper online. Of course, it is important to get your drafts done well ahead of time so that you have time for a tutoring session or two!

8. I tried to register for a workshop, but it was full. Will you run the workshop again?
If a workshop is popular, we try to run it again. Extra copies of the workshop handouts may be available. Sometimes the presenter's slides can be forwarded via email.

9. I really enjoyed a Writing Help workshop, but now I'd like to re-attend for review. Can I register for it again?
Yes!

10. I would like more intensive grammar instruction. Is there a course I can take?
Yes. You can register for the excellent non-credit STM course "Writing for Academic Success." It runs in terms one and two, and costs only $120. Relying on Writing Help tutors for ongoing grammar instruction is not practical, though, since different tutors approach the teaching of grammar and composition differently; also, we exist to serve the entire U of S student body, so too many visits by individual students takes tutoring time away from other students who are entitled to receive help. Search the USSU tutor registry or contact the English department if you'd like a private tutor for ongoing grammar instruction. The Writing Help Coordinator also has a list of editors and tutors for hire, but they are not employees of the ULC, and you will have to do your own investigating into payment and qualifications. If you'd like a copy of this list, email writinghelp@usask.ca.

11. I'm a professor/ tutorial leader/ sessional who would like to arrange for a classroom visit. How do I do this?
Please email writinghelp@usask.ca to request a classroom visit. Visits take about five to ten minutes. The Writing Help Coordinator will tell your students how to use the Writing Help services on campus, and she will answer your students' questions. The graduate student liaison, a professor, can give workshops to groups of graduate students.