Tutoring FAQs

Summer 2020 Real-Time Appointments in Zoom 

What can I expect during a Zoom session and what should I have ready?

At the WRC, we emphasize collaborative conversation, with the goal that you will learn effective strategies for improving your writing and/or academic reading. You should expect then to be an active participant in your session. Tutors will not edit your paper for you. 

Please feel free to make an appointment in TutorTrac for any stage of the writing process. You may brainstorm ideas on a topic with the tutor, work on drafting/organizing your piece, and/or meet with a tutor for final feedback before you submit. 

You should upload the paper when you make your appointment in TutorTrac (if you have a draft).

If you are working on an assignment for a particular class, it is helpful to have your assignment and/or any other information that your instructor has given you (e.g., prior feedback) available on your desktop so you can share it with the tutor during your appointment. .

How long do appointments last?

Each appointment gives you the opportunity to meet with a tutor for 40 minutes. You should "arrive" to your Zoom appointment 10 minutes early.

Please do not expect to get through your entire assignment during one session. Every writer, project, and tutor is different, and this means that there's no "standard" appointment—sessions can be productive if you get through four paragraphs or four pages. 

How do I make an appointment?

To make a Real-Time appointment, you will use our TutorTrac--visit our homepage and follow the instructions.

Do I need to have my webcam on during my Zoom meeting with a tutor?

No. We understand that you may not feel comfortable with your video on for a full tutoring session. Because you will be sharing the document that you will be working on collaboratively, video is not required. However, starting the session with a video discussion with the tutor would be hugely helpful in setting the tone and the focus of the session. Nonetheless, the tutor will keep their video on throughout so that you can see the face behind the screen.

Is there a maximum number of appointments I can make?

In order to ensure that many individuals have the ability to utilize the WRC, we limit appointments to three per week. 

Individuals who fall under TRIO grant designations may be eligible for additional appointment opportunities so should contact the Administrative Assistant, Corinne Cortes at ccortes@umassd.edu.

What happens if I miss an appointment and/or there aren't any appointments available?

We hope that you understand that we have a limited number of staff. This means that, if you want to guarantee an appointment, you should plan to schedule a session a few days in advance. Please make sure that you note the time of your appointment and only schedule sessions that you are sure you can keep. 

Missing an appointment means that you possibly deprive another student of the opportunity to work with a tutor. If you "no show" for more than two appointments, this may result in an inability to schedule future sessions. Please respect our tutors' time and recognize that there are many individuals who want to use the Center.  

I've been given a take-home written exam. Can I work on this with a tutor?

Tutors cannot work with students on documents written for an exam without explicit instructor permission, due to potential ethical concerns.

Tutors can, however, help you break down a study guide and develop strategies for approaching a written exam.  

Do you only work with writing composed for a class or "traditional" essays? What about other writing projects?

You can bring any type of writing to the WRC. This includes personal statements/resumes, creative writing, and multimodal projects (presentations, etc.). 

Do you offer reading assistance too?

Yes, we are the Writing and Reading Center! This means that tutors can also assist with reading strategies (i.e., how to break down a text or an assignment).