Center for Writing FAQs

Who can use the CAS Center for Writing?
Students who are currently enrolled in a WR course may use the center to get tutoring assistance with their WR course papers.

Some students in WR  equivalent courses are also eligible for tutoring.  Students in  HI 150, EN 120, EN 220, AH 150, or AM 250 may bring papers from those courses to the center. Core students should go to the Core Writing Center for assistance with their Core papers. Students in CH 111 and 112 should go to the Educational Resource Center or the COM Writing Center for assistance.

Students taking Kilachand Honors College  writing courses, and students seeking help with papers for CAS courses are welcome to use the center on a walk-in basis. Reservations are not accepted for non-WR CAS courses except for the equivalent courses listed above. Please come at the start of an appointment time to check if a tutor is available.

For tutoring for other courses and students, please visit the Educational Resource Center or the COM Writing Center.

What is the difference between the CAS Center for Writing, the Educational Resource Center (ERC), and the COM Writing Center?
The CAS Center for Writing mainly assists students enrolled in CAS WR courses or certain WR-equivalent courses (see above) with their WR course papers. These tutors have been trained to help with standard WR course assignments and are familiar with the Writing Program curriculum.

The ERC and the COM Writing Center tutors are available to assist students in any BU course with any type of paper. Those tutors usually recommend that students with WR course papers visit the CAS Center for Writing  instead, but they will provide tutoring for WR courses if a student is not able to book an appointment at the CAS Center for Writing. They allow any type of student to reserve appointments in advance and have tutors who are more familiar with the style and content of non-WR papers.

Does tutoring cost anything?
Tutoring is free.

How do I schedule or cancel an appointment?
For instructions on using our online scheduler, see the Using the Online Scheduler page.

How many appointments can I book?
Most students are allowed to  book one appointment a week in advance to meet about a paper from a WR course (or WR equivalent course).

Students in the intensive tutoring program are allowed to reserve one appointment a week in addition to their weekly intensive tutoring appointment for a total of two appointments a week.

Appointments for other CAS course papers that are not WR papers may not be booked in advance but are available on a walk-in basis during designated walk-in hours or any other time the center has open appointments (see “How do I get a walk-in appointment?” below).

There is no limit to the number of appointments you can book for the semester.

Why am I unable to book an appointment online?
Do you already have an appointment scheduled for the same week? You are only allowed to schedule one appointment a week in advance. You can try to meet a second time by coming for a walk-in appointment instead.

Did you schedule and then not attend an appointment earlier the same week? Because the online scheduling system counts this as an appointment and you are limited to one appointment a week, it will not allow you to reschedule your appointment online. Please call 617-358-1500 to have an administrator reschedule your appointment.

Did you receive two warning notices this semester? If so, you are not permitted to schedule any more appointments this semester.

Are you trying to schedule an appointment more than 14 days in the future? Students are allowed to schedule appointments up to two weeks ahead of time. The other appointments will become available for booking two weeks before the appointment date.

How do I get a walk-in appointment?
If you want a walk-in appointment, come to the center at the start of an appointment block and ask at the reception desk  if a tutor is available. If a tutor is open, you can meet with him or her.

For the best chance of getting a walk-in appointment, look for walk-in only  appointments on the schedule and come at the start of one of those times. Walk-in designated appointment are reserved for walk-in students on a first-come, first-serve basis and cannot be booked in advance by other students.

You must check in at the front reception desk for all walk-in appointments. The Senior Staff Assistant will give you a numbered walk-in pass and register you for the appointment at that time. You must have a pass to meet with a tutor. Please return the pass to the reception desk at the end of the appointment.

If more than one person tries to walk-in for the same walk-in appointment, the appointment will be given to the person who has the #1 walk-in pass.

I am not able to attend my entire appointment time. Can I arrive late or leave early?
You do not have to meet for the entire 45 minutes but be aware that the tutor will not be able to cover as much material with you if you meet for a shorter time.

If you will arrive late, please note the time you expect to arrive in the “What do you want to work on during your visit?” section when you schedule your appointment. If you do not, the tutor may assume you are not coming and give your appointment to someone else after 15 minutes have passed.

If you need to leave early, please tell the tutor at the beginning of your appointment so he or she will be able to manage the time more effectively.

Which tutors should I select if I want extra help with ESL-related writing issues?
If you are taking a WR 097 or WR 098 course, you are required to sign up with a tutor who has your course level (WR 097 or WR 098) listed next to his or her name on the online scheduler.

If you are taking a WR 100 or WR 150 course and you would like to meet with a tutor who has more familiarity with ESL-related writing challenges, please sign up with any of the tutors who has “(WR 097, WR 098, WR 100, WR 150)” or “(WR 098, WR 100, WR 150)” listed next to his or her name on the schedule.

Where is my appointment?
Most appointments are located at the CAS Center for Writing (100 Bay State Road, 3rd Floor), but there are some appointments at Mugar Library (771 Commonwealth Avenue). Appointments at Mugar Library are held on the first floor in Alcove 2, next to the Reference Desk.

The location of your appointment is listed at the top of the New Appointment pop-up window that appears when you click on your appointment time on the main scheduler page.

Appointments at Mugar Library will also be noted on the left side of the main schedule page next to the tutors name (“Bob @ Mugar Library”).

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please bring your assignment sheet and a hard copy of your current draft. You may also want to bring your paper sources and any notes, earlier drafts, or instructor comments that you think might be useful. It is also helpful if you can tell your tutor the specific areas of the paper you would like to discuss or improve.

I have not finished writing my paper. Should I still go to my appointment?
Tutors are available to help you with any stage of the writing process. You do not need to have a complete draft to attend a tutorial. The tutors can also help you brainstorm paper ideas, work on an introduction or thesis, or assist you with a partial draft.

Can I print my paper for my appointment at the center?
The center does not have any public use printers. Please print your paper before arriving at the center whenever possible.  If you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from printing, your tutor can print your paper for you.

When can I cancel or change my appointment?
You can cancel or change your appointment before 9 hours ahead of the appointment, any cancellations or changes after the 9 hour mark, will result in a warning notice. After the second warning in a semester, you will not be allowed to make any more appointments at the CAS Center for Writing that semester.

Can I change my appointment to a different time on the same day?
You can change your appointment, but the normal cancellation policy will apply if you are canceling your original appointment the day of the appointment to book a new appointment at a different time.

I received a warning or was prohibited from using the center. How do I appeal that?
Please contact David Shawn (dshawn@bu.edu), one the  Center Coordinators, and explain your situation to him.

I really need an appointment, but none are available at times I can attend. What can I do?
You can put your name on the waiting list by clicking on the clock icon above the date you want the appointment. The scheduler will send you an email notification if someone cancels his appointment that day during the times you entered. If you want to book the open appointment, go online or call the center as soon as possible. The appointment will be given to the first student who books it.

You can also check the Educational Resource Center or COM Writing Center for available appointments. Both centers provide tutoring for all BU classes.

How does the waiting list work?
When you put your name on the waiting list, you will receive an email or text message when someone cancels an appointment that day during the time period you selected. Messages are sent to everyone on the waiting list at the same time. Open appointments are given to the first person who reserves them, so if you want an appointment listed in a waiting list email or text, go online or call the center as soon as possible after you see the message.

What is the intensive tutoring program and how do I sign up?

Students in the intensive tutoring program are scheduled for weekly appointments at the same time with the same tutor. The program lasts six weeks and usually begins about a month into the semester.  Students are recommended for the program by their WR course instructors and selected to participate by the Writing Program Coordinators. If you feel that you are struggling in your WR course and would benefit from extra weekly tutoring help, please talk with your instructor at the beginning of the semester and ask him or her to consider recommending you for the program.

Will my instructor be informed about my tutoring appointment?

The center does not notify instructors of tutoring appointments or inform them of what was discussed in an appointment unless a student is participating in the Intensive Tutoring Program. You will receive a Tutorial Form at the end of your appointment with the appointment details and a summary of what you discussed with the tutor.  You are welcome to show the form to your instructor if you wish to inform them about the appointment.

Transfer Credit

Did you take or are you planning to take a composition course at another school? Apply for WR transfer credit.

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Fall 2014 Course Catalog

Visit the Course Catalog page for instructions on how to view the Fall 2014 WR Course Catalog.

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Book a Tutoring Appointment

Tutors are available for all CAS WR classes. Appointments can be booked online.

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