The Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) is located on the third floor of the library and offers free peer tutoring and writing consultations. Our subject tutors strive to help students understand course material, apply concepts on assignments, and perform well on exams, while our writing consultants work closely with students to enhance their writing. We’re out to bust some myths and misconceptions about the services we offer. Read on to see what the CWAA can do for you!
- Myth: You need to be doing poorly in a course to seek help.
Fact: It can be beneficial to attend a tutoring session simply to maintain a consistent understanding of the material. This might mean coming in even if you’re doing well in the class to stay on the right track.
- Myth: You need to have a completed paper in order to work with a writing consultant.
Fact: We encourage students to come in during any stage of the writing process. Whether you are still working on developing ideas, focusing on incorporating evidence, or fine-tuning your thesis, we can help alleviate your concerns and suggest new methods to better prepare you for the next paper.
- Myth: Group tutoring sessions are not as productive as individual sessions.
Fact: Sometimes learning from your peers is just as effective as learning from a tutor. Having a conversation about the material can create a clearer understanding of the content, and may even offer a new perspective.
- Myth: If you come to the CWAA, you can get answers to your homework or an A on your paper.
Fact: We emphasize comprehension over getting the answers. Our goal is to encourage the learning and writing process. We want to help students understand critical concepts so they can apply them independently in the future. Therefore, the tutors will not give you answers, but instead help you develop the necessary skills to reach the answer on your own. Likewise, meeting with a writing consultant will not guarantee you an A on your paper, but rather will empower you to communicate efficiently and become a more confident writer.
- Myth: All Writing Consultants are English majors.
Fact: Our staff consists of consultants from all disciplines, including political science, biology, religious studies, and economics. Each consultant enrolls in a semester-long course prior to working in the center to develop a skillset for assisting students with writing in any subject.
- Myth: Attending a subject tutoring session can serve as a replacement for going to class.
Fact: Tutoring should be used as a supplement to lecture material, not as a replacement.
- Myth: You can only meet with a writing consultant on a paper for a course.
Fact: Writing consultants are also trained to help with nonacademic writing, such as scholarship essays, personal statements, and cover letters.
- Myth: You need to set up an appointment in order to meet with a writing consultant.
Fact: Writing consultations are on a walk-in basis, so making an appointment is not necessary! However, if you’d like to meet with a professional tutor, limited appointments are available through the CWAA website.
Students who come to the CWAA know the benefits of tutoring. As one student said, “Walking into the CWAA, I was thoroughly confused on the material, but when I left I felt as though I had a much clearer understanding, and felt significantly more confident walking into class the next day.” Another student commented on an experience with a writing consultant, stating that “the [consultant] really made me think about… what would make the paper stronger, instead of telling me what to do.” Ultimately, the goal of CWAA subject tutors and writing consultants is to facilitate learning and encourage confidence. Our schedule for writing and other subjects can be found on the CWAA website. We hope to see you soon!
Your CWAA Mythbusters are Senior Tutors Joe Conti, ’18, Cassie Daisy, ’18, and Olivia Peterson ’18.