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Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do writing tutors have?

To be a writing tutor, one must complete a three-credit, full-semester course called English 377 Peer Tutoring and Composition Theory which is usually  offered every fall semester.  Eligible candidates must complete this course with an A or a B, must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their subject area, and a 3.0 GPA overall.  Additionally, they must secure a letter of recommendation from a member of the English faculty and complete an interview with the Writing Specialist.  In addition to the hours of training they complete during their Peer Tutoring class, they also receive continued training at tutor meetings as well as writing tutor meetings throughout their employment.

Why can’t the tutor just edit my paper for me?

It is very important to understand that we are not an editing service. We will not make corrections for you.  Our goal is to make you a better writer.  To do that, we will ask questions about your writing.  We will make suggestions about a sentence.  We will challenge you to see new relationships between thoughts or paragraphs.  Through these questions, suggestions, and challenges, and lots of other similar queries, we will help you to see new ways to think about your paper—and how to improve it!

How much does this service cost?

Tutoring through the Academic Support Center is a very valuable service—both the online tutoring and face-to-face tutoring. As a Shepherd student, this service is provided to you at no cost.

What if I do not have all of the information I am being asked for?

While the information we ask you to include with your essay is important and useful, we can still help you if you do not have everything.  Please include as much information as you have.

Why does it take so long to get my paper back?

We have a very small staff of writing tutors, and scheduling is tight.  We recommend that you send your essay as soon as possible.  We try to maintain a 48-hour turnaround, but it cannot be guaranteed. However, we guarantee that you will get your essay back within 72 hours.

What if I don’t know how to use Sakai to use online tutoring?

You can refer to THIS handout on how to add the Sakai page ShepOWL to your Projects and then refer to the instructions on the homepage on how to attach your essay.