Writing Center

Writing Tutoring at Fitchburg State

Individual writing tutoring is available for all students at Fitchburg State University. Writing peer tutors work together with writers at all levels and in all areas of study. We support all stages of the writing process, including brainstorming, drafting, revising, and interpreting faculty feedback. We also help with many types of assignments:  papers, presentations, group projects, and more.

It's important for you to know that we do not write on your paper! You are the author. Together, we notice problems, but you make any changes once we have explained the issue, and you make the final decisions. We ask students to bring the instructions for the assignment to the session, any course materials that you'll need to use to write your paper, and a typed copy of your paper if you have a draft written already. We with a discussion of the assignment or writing project; our focus is on clear communication.

Walk-In Writing Center

Tutoring for writing is available Monday-Friday in the Tutor Center. For more information, please view the schedule of tutors and any additional courses/subjects they tutor.

Look for an online tutor available now, or reserve a time to work one-on-one with a writing tutor in SSC (follow the step-by-step guide). 

Writing tutoring is great for quick questions about issues like grammar, citations, and other topics that don't necessarily require a full session, as well as more in-depth writing support.

Please email tutorcenter@fitchburgstate.edu if you have any questions about writing tutoring.

One-on-One Writing Tutoring

You can make regular, weekly appointments using SSC (follow the step-by-step guide). You might look at our writing tutors' areas of expertise when choosing a tutor. You can also call 978.665.3499, stop in at the Tutor Center (Hammond 306), or email tutorcenter@fitchburgstate.edu to arrange a time to discuss your writing concerns and get help making appointments.

Are You an Online or Graduate Student?

Writing Resource Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an appointment?

Not for walk-in tutoring; we have writing tutors on staff throughout the afternoon and early evening available for walk-in help if they are not already booked with appointments. You can make an appointment with a writing tutor ahead of time in SSC. Making an appointment guarantees that your tutor will be able to work with you one-on-one for a full 30 minutes. If you have any further questions, stop by Hammond 306 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to talk with Tutor Center staff about writing tutoring options.

How much time should I schedule for a writing tutoring session?

Plan on 20 to 45 minutes, though it may be longer or shorter, depending on where you are in the writing process. You may not get through the entire paper or touch on all of your concerns in a single appointment. This is completely normal! We encourage students to return after doing some independent work to move on to the next step with a tutor's guidance. Writing is a process that takes time to complete.

Can I just drop off or email my paper and let someone fix it?

No. We do not make direct edits on your paper. You are the author and we want you to be actively involved in every step of the writing process! Instead, we explain writing options so that you will be able to improve your writing and the assignment.

The Writing Process

Writing is creative. Writers wander through several stages, moving from planning to revising to drafting, back to revising, and so on.

To develop your writing ability and enhance your writing spend adequate time on the planning and drafting stages. Focus on "big picture" or main ideas of the paper that address the thesis, organization and development of ideas.

Planning

  • Do my ideas fulfill the requirements of the rubric?
  • How do I best get across my main messages to the intended audience?
  • What is my thesis?
  • Do my ideas and evidence support my thesis?

Drafting

  • Does my outline or graphic organizer help me logically organize my ideas?
  • Does my draft clearly demonstrate critical thinking?
  • Does my conclusion summarize all my ideas without introducing new points?

Revising

Would my writing be better if:

  • I moved this information to another paragraph?
  • I rephrased the thesis to emphasize an idea?
  • I included a variety of support (research, examples, analogies, in-depth explanations)?
  • Are my arguments concise and do they make sense?

Editing

  • How well do my transition sentences help the flow of ideas?
  • Do I use any filler words and phrases?
  • Do I use confusing or overly complicated sentence structures? Do I use the passive voice?
  • How do I blend a quotation into the main argument?
  • Does my word choice strongly support my ideas?

Proofreading

  • Did I use spell check, grammar check, fix/replace functions and then re-read?
  • Do I repeat myself anywhere? Do I use the same words again and again?
  • Did I read my paper aloud to listen for mistakes?
  • Are my citations accurate?

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills Test includes a Reading and a Writing subtest. This state license exam is required for all prospective teachers in the state of Massachusetts.

Preparation Seminar

Register using your Web4 login, select the seat availability list, and select the section, day and time that you can attend all 6 sessions. Three sections are offered for the fall semester and one section is offered for the spring semester. For bulletins on tests and scheduling a test, check the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure website.