Writing Center

A writing specialist, peer Writing Center tutors, and other staff are available to help with writing skills and provide guidance with a variety of class assignments and projects.

Expectations

If you visit the Writing Center for help with a specific assignment, please bring:

  • The assignment
  • Notes and grading criteria
  • Your files, if you have begun your paper

Students can expect assistance with:

  • Brainstorming
  • Organizing and structuring your paper
  • Documentation and sources
  • Tips to avoid plagiarism
  • Revision and editing suggestions
  • Resources and exercises to help overcome grammatical and mechanical problems

Writing Resources

Busse Library

How to find, use, and cite resources, and so much more. For graduate students: citation help and graduate-level writing, including literature reviews and annotated bibliographies.

APA Tutorials

Resources and videos from the American Psychological Association about using APA style.

Capital Community College—Hartford, Connecticut

Guide to Grammar and Writing: Word & Sentence Level; Paragraph Level; Essay and Research Paper Level. Most lessons include self-checking quizzes.

Grammar Bytes: Grammar Instruction with Attitude

This site has it all: instruction, interactive quizzes, videos, and a MOOC.

Purdue OWL

Especially valuable for citation guidelines.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Center for Writing Studies

Grammar handbook, citation styles, ESL resources, and writing tips. 

University of New Hampshire

Citation Styles; Elements of a Paper; Grammar and Usage; Types of Writing. 

Western Washington University

Strategies for Starting; Strategies for Revising; Strategies for Proofreading; Strategies for Studying; Grammar; Punctuation; Documentation.  

The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill

Over 100 links/handouts on everything from commas to writing in specific academic fields.

The Writing Center at The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Handouts/links in the following categories: Improving Your Writing Style; Stages of the Writing Process; Common Writing Assignments, Grammar and Punctuation; and Citations.


Other Sites

studyandexam.com

The Basics of English Language. These handouts/links are been written for ESL students, but they will be helpful for everyone needing to brush up on grammar. (Has pop-up ads.) 

thepunctuationguide.com

Punctuation-only site with lots of good examples. 

grammarly.com

Grammar, punctuation, mechanics, sentence style and clarity, basics of writing, academic writing, organization and development, revising and editing, and research and documentation. 



@APA_Style, @APAStyleCENTRAL, @WUWritingCenter, and many other writing-related Twitter accounts offer daily tips and links.

FAQs

The way we interact with students has changed for the time being. We will be writing to you or speaking over Skype, instead of sitting across from each other at the Writing Center table. We will not be able to see one another’s body language, check understanding in the same ways we’re used to, or provide a supportive smile. We know that many students come into ACE for general support and camaraderie, not only for writing or academic assistance, and we will need to find new ways to provide these.

Our commitment to you as a student-writer will never change, no matter what. This commitment begins with you telling us what you want to work on, what your goals are, and how we can best help you. Our commitment to your continued growth as a writer won’t ever change, either. This is why we will be as instructional as possible when we give you feedback, as opposed to “fixing” your paper. In addition, our schedule hasn’t changed. The writing center will still be staffed Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 6:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.

Begin by sending an email to ACE1@mtmercy.edu. Attach your paper, the assignment description/rubric, and your specific questions. We’ll respond as soon as we can.

Absolutely! If you want to set up a Skype appointment, begin by emailing ACE1 and asking for a specific day and time (during regular drop-in hours). The tutor will send you instructions.

That will depend on a few details. Remember to include all the information we need (the assignment description/rubric and your own questions) in your original email. Otherwise, we’ll get in touch to have you send this information, and that will add some time. The tutor may also have other questions that they will send through email, so if you send your initial email during drop-in times, watch for a return email. You can also let us know when the paper is due so we can prioritize. It does often take longer to give feedback in writing (although this is valuable for you, since you’ll always have the feedback to refer to later), so please allow for this when planning when to send your paper to us. Generally speaking, you should be able to expect to receive feedback within a couple of hours (as long as that falls within our drop-in schedule).

If you work with Ben, email him directly at bthiel@mtmercy.edu. He is also working through email, and can schedule Zoom meetings as well.

We can absolutely help with that. That might be a good time to set up a Skype meeting. You can also email ACE1 to say you need to brainstorm and set up a live back-and-forth email conversation.

We certainly can, but remember that we won’t edit or “fix” your paper. We will first look for patterns, and give you guidance about how to address those errors. If it seems as if you haven’t proofread, we may send the draft back and ask you to proofread on your own before we give you assistance.

As far as APA, we refer to the Busse Library APA Guide and can give some general instruction. Remember that many aspects of APA formatting are a matter of instructor preference, so it’s always a good idea to check with your instructor about whether they want, for example, a formal cover page. If you have an odd or unusual source to cite, check with your instructor or the Busse Library staff, all of whom know a great deal more about APA than we do.

There are a few different ways we can provide written feedback. First, we will give you some general information about your paper: the strengths we see, any patterns we suggest you address, and whether you are meeting the expectations of the assignment/rubric. We may highlight certain words, phrases and add notes within the draft, and/or use the Microsoft Word commenting feature.

This happens a lot—maybe you’re writing up a lab report and it needs to be in a very specific style that we might not be familiar with. Or maybe your instructor needs you to present information in a template that we might not be familiar with. In these cases, we will connect you with a content- area tutor who is familiar with that style or requirement. You can send the question to ACE1 and we can find someone to help, or you can check the tutoring schedule (stay tuned) and find the tutor who can help. Note that new email addresses have been set up for content-area tutors.

That’s completely up to your professor, and it’s a great idea to ask them ahead of time. If you send an assignment that has the word exam in it (i.e. Take-Home Exam; Essay Exam), we will need to know that your professor has given permission for us to help.

Please email Ben and he will consult with the professor. It might even be possible to have a Zoom meeting between you, the professor, and Ben, to be sure we’re all on the same page.

Please email Ben. He’ll answer your question and add it to the next version of FAQs.