Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Frequently Asked Questions

* What is the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is a university-supported facility that serves students, faculty, and staff in all disciplines. Our main goal is to aid you in your writing projects.
The Writing Center seeks to improve your writing by targeting your specific areas of writing concern. Our aim is to teach you strategies that you can use in all writing projects. You can visit the Writing Center at any point in a writing assignment: writing consultants can help you do everything from exploring topic ideas to putting the finishing touches on a final draft.

The Writing Center also has an extensive collection of reference materials including textbooks, style guides, grammar books, dictionaries, ESL sources, and of course, our website, which has links to lots of helpful online resources.

* Who does the Writing Center serve?
The Writing Center serves the entire university community. Students, faculty, and staff from every college and department on campus visit the Writing Center, as well as Millikin alumni.

* Who works in the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is staffed by skilled tutors with extensive writing experience who receive ongoing training. There are both faculty writing consultants and peer tutors ready to help you with your writing questions and concerns.

* What is a Writing Center appointment like?

First, we are glad you decided to visit us.

A tutor will introduce her/himself and ask for some information from you. If this is your first visit, we will ask for information that we enter into our computer database (name, local address, year in school, etc.). We will also ask you about the reason you came to see us: What are you working on? For what class? When is this due? What are you worried or concerned about with this assignment? How can we help you? We will then begin work on your writing project. Your appointment may be for 1/2 hour or an hour, depending on which length of time you requested (if your draft is more than 8 pages, you'll need an hour). Afterwards, your instructor will receive an e-mailed copy of your completed visit form so he/she will know what you've worked on.

* Do I have to have my writing project finished to come to the Writing Center?
No--we can help even if you haven't started it. We can help you discover a topic for any writing situation, develop ideas and an outline, set up library research strategies, and revise your work. We can also help you develop research skills by helping you navigate the library search system. We all have difficulty putting our thoughts on paper, but the writing consultants in the Writing Center can help, whether you need to map out an unwritten paper or revise a draft you have ready for us to work on..

* Will you proofread my paper?
No. The Writing Center will not proofread or "correct" your paper. However, if you know you have a tendency to make specific errors, a tutor will help you read your paper for those problems and help you learn to fix them on your own. Students often request that a tutor read their papers for common errors such as comma mispacement, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, appropriate word use, and spelling.

* Can you tell me, gradewise, how my paper is looking?

No. We can help you recognize what is working well in your paper as well as help you recognize and work on areas that are not as strong. However, we do not know the expectations of each instructor and are not equipped to award a "grade" to your draft. Only your instructor can do this.

* May I ask to work with a specific consultant or tutor?
Of course! You can request a specific consultant/tutor and every effort will be made to allow you to work with that person. If you do not request a specific consultant, you will work with one of the consultants on duty. All of the Writing Center consultants and tutors are skilled, trained, professional, and knowledgeable.

* How can I make an appointment?
Terrific--you're coming to see us! You may visit the Writing Center by appointment or on a walk-in basis. We recommend making an appointment, as we get very busy and may not be able to see you otherwise. You can make an appointment by calling or coming by the Writing Center (Staley Library, Room 203: 217-424-6353) or emailing us at If you stop by to make an appointment and we are busy, you can fill out an appointment request form located on the door of the Writing Center. Generally, you should try to work with the Writing Center at least a week before your writing project is due. For more information, see our How to Get Help Page.


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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL