Writing Center FAQs

Who can use the CAS Writing Center?
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 some WR  equivalent courses are also eligible for tutoring.  Students in EN 120 and EN 220 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 Writing Center, 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 Writing Center instead, but they will provide tutoring for WR courses if a student is not able to book an appointment at the CAS Writing Center. 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 when 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.

You must check in at the front reception desk for all walk-in appointments. The Senior Staff Assistant will give you an appointment cover sheet and register you for the appointment at that time. You must have a cover sheet to meet with a tutor.

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 111 or WR 112 course, you are required to sign up with a tutor who has your course level (WR 111 or WR 112) listed next to his or her name on the online scheduler.

If you are taking a WR 120 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 “(WR112, WR 120, WR 150)” listed next to his or her name on the schedule.

Where is my appointment?
Most appointments are located at the CAS Writing Center (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 Writing Center 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 Heather Barrett (heathbar@bu.edu), one the  Center Coordinators, and explain your situation to her.

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.

Book an Online Writing Consultation

Writing Consultants are available for online tutoring for all CAS WR classes. Appointments can be booked online. Appointments will be held online only until further notice.
Learn more

WR Transfer Credit

Did you take or are you planning to take a writing class at another school? You may be able to receive WR transfer credit for it.
Click here

Alumni Writing Awards

CAS is now accepting nominations for its annual Alumni Awards for Writing Excellence. This year alumni donors will recognize four outstanding student papers: two in the Humanities, one in the Natural Sciences, and one in the Social Sciences. Contest information