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Writing Center

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Writing Center FAQs

What is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is a place for students to work one on one with peer tutors on their papers.

Where is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is in 402 Neville.

Who is the Writing Center for?

The Writing Center is here for all University of Maine students, including undergraduate and graduate students.

English is not my first language. Can you still help me?

Yes. Our tutors have received training and have a lot of experience working with ELL (English Language Learner) students. In addition, we have an ELL specialist, Jane Morse.

Do I have to pay for a tutorial?

No, tutorials are free of charge.

Do I have to schedule an appointment?

No, walk-ins are always welcome.  The Writing Center is open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Monday through Friday, but there may not always be a tutor available to meet with walk-ins.  As long as there is no one scheduled for that time we would be happy to help you. However, scheduling an appointment is the best way to guarantee a time you can meet with a tutor.

How do I schedule an appointment?

We encourage you to use our online booking system at, which lets you see all times available in order to find the best fit into your own schedule.  You can also either walk into the Writing Center and talk to a tutor, or you can give us a call at 207-581-3828.

What kind of assignments can I bring? Can I bring in things that are not for a class (like creative writing)?

You can bring in any piece of writing, even if it is not for a class.

What do I need to bring with me?

You should try to bring everything related to the assignment. This includes books, outlines, drafts, and previous feedback.

I haven’t started writing yet, but I have some things I’d like help with. Can I still come in?

We can help you at all stages of your writing. If you’d like to discuss some ideas before you start a paper or have some questions about citations once you’ve finished, we’re here to help you feel more confident about your writing.

What happens during a tutoring session?

It depends on the current progress of your paper. A typical tutorial involves the writer sitting down with a tutor, reading the paper together , and discussing it in a process called collaborative learning.

What is collaborative learning?

Collaborative learning is a process in which the tutee and the tutor engage each other in a discussion centered on the tutee’s paper. This discussion allows the tutee and tutor to share their knowledge with each other, so by the end of the tutorial, both have learned something new.

Do I meet with the same tutor every time?

We schedule appointments based on available times and will try to place you with a specific tutor if you want, but all of our tutors are more than happy to work with you, and we think that getting feedback from various tutors is valuable.

I have a busy schedule and cannot come in during your normal hours. How can I schedule an appointment?

We apologize, but we can only conduct tutorials during our normal hours.

I need an appointment, but I can’t make it to campus. Do I have any options?

Yes. If you are unable to come to campus, we can conduct phone sessions (only during our regular hours).

Are all of the tutors English majors?

No. Our tutors come from a variety of majors and each of them bring their various skills to the Writing Center.

How are peer tutors selected?

A member of the faculty first recommends potential peer tutors. The director of the Writing Center, Harvey Kail, then meets with the potential peer tutors and interviews them. Selected individuals then enroll in English 395, English Internship, which is limited to 15 participants.

What type of training do peer tutors have?

All of our tutors have taken ENG 395, a 3-credit course designed to prepare them for working in the Writing Center. In addition to teaching peer tutors how to be a peer tutor, the class also teaches them the different forms of arguments. Towards the end of the semester, the peer tutors in training intern at the Writing Center to further develop their skills.

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Contact Information

Writing Center
402 Neville Hall
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: 207-581-3828E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System