Top

Welcome to the CWU Writing Center!

Summer 2022 Writing Center Hours:

  • In person or virtual: Monday-Thursday 12pm-2pm
  • Virtual, by appointment only: Monday 3pm-5pm, Tuesday 2pm-4pm, Wednesday 3pm-5pm, Thursday 3pm-4pm

Getting feedback on your writing is easier than ever with our new app! Search your app store for Retain Mobile, or visit cwu.retain.io. Of course, you can always drop by at the Learning Commons, call us at 509-963-1270, or send us a message at tutoring@cwu.edu. We hope to see you!

The Writing Center is a place for all CWU writers to engage in a studio-style workshop. No matter what you are writing, feel free to come in, have a seat, and work on your own for as long as you like. You can also talk with a writing tutor to get focused feedback on your draft, brainstorm for ideas, or collect tips for your research and writing process. To make the most of your time, we recommend using the Writing Center early and often. If you wait till the last minute, you might be underestimating what a consultation can do for you!

The CWU Writing Center engages undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative dialogue about their writing. Peer writing tutors—trained in composition theory, rhetorical analysis, and feedback strategies—provide constructive responses to student writers at all skill levels and at any point in their writing process. Consultations last 30 or 50 minutes and offer writers a chance to discuss, develop, and revise their work in a supportive and encouraging environment as they engage in scholarly and other conversations within and across disciplines.

Make sure you are logged into MyCWU, and then . . .

Book a Writing Consultation Now

Or download the Retain Mobile app from your app store for faster booking!

  • Access our Services Remotely

    All CWU students, including those attending CWU remotely or at campus centers, may access these services:

    Zoom Consultations: You can schedule a Zoom consultation and have a live video or audio conversation with a CWU writing tutor. Most similar to a face-to-face conversation in the Writing Center, this method gives you immediate feedback with the ability to screenshare, clarify ideas, and ask questions as they arise. To book a Zoom consultation, use the same link above or the Retain Moble app.

    Screencast Feedback (up to two days wait time): You can send us your draft, and within two class days, we will reply with a link to a CWU writing tutor’s recorded voice and screencast video feedback on your paper. Your advantage with this option is that the feedback is recorded and may be played back and reviewed on your own time. Because of the two-day process time, this service closes for the quarter two days earlier than our other services. Request screencast feedback using the same link above or the Retain Moble app.

    eTutoring: The CWU Learning Commons participates in the Northwest eConsortium, a collection of institutions that pool their resources to offer tutoring in a wide variety of subjects, including writing. Access eTutoring from the Learning Commons website.

  • Find Us on Campus or Contact Us

    The Writing Center is part of the CWU Learning Commons, located on the ground floor of the Brooks Library. Appointments are recommended, but drop-ins are welcome. To contact us, call 509-963-1270,‬ or send a message to tutoring@cwu.edu.

    The Writing Center is open Mon-Thu 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Fri 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sun 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

  • Read Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

    What kinds of writing can I get help with?

    All kinds. The Writing Center employs peer writing tutors from a wide variety of majors, who are trained to work with writers in any discipline and across modalities. Whether you are writing a literary essay or a lab report, cranking out your first college essay or a graduate-level term paper, or planning an Instagram post or a short documentary video, the Writing Center can help.

    Can I still get feedback if I don’t have an appointment?

    Yes. We offer consultations on a drop-in basis as well as by appointment. So even if you haven't scheduled a time in advance, you can still check in and work on your own until a tutor becomes available. Wait times are usually short but can exceed 30 minutes around midterms and finals.

    Can I get feedback remotely?

    Yes. We offer remote consultations over Zoom. And for those whose schedules don't allow them to make an appointment during our open hours, we offer feedback via recorded screencast. To get feedback remotely, visit cwu.retain.io or download the Retain Mobile app from your app store.

    What happens in a consultation?

    Consultations last up to 30 or 45 minutes, depending on your project and your needs. People often bring a draft, but it’s not required, since it’s often useful to talk about the assignment or toss around ideas before writing (those are some of our favorite consultations!). After reading your draft/notes together and discussing the main ideas, the conversation typically centers on a few questions or concerns about the piece. During that conversation, options emerge, error patterns may be highlighted and explained, and paths forward are identified. The consultation usually ends with a brief review of what was discussed.

    How do I prepare for a consultation?

    Whether you are visiting the Center in person or remotely, have your draft/notes ready, your assignment description if you have one, and something to write with. Preparing these things will save you time and allow for a smoother conversation.

    Will the tutor proofread my paper?

    Because of a fundamental belief that all students have a responsibility to advance in their own writing skills, the Writing Center does not operate as a proofreading service. We do, however, provide feedback and strategies for any writer wishing to learn of grammatical constructs and patterns, as well as rhetorical considerations, that will improve their writing and writing process.

    What are the qualifications for becoming a peer writing tutor?

    Peer writing tutors play a vital role in academics across the disciplines. As such, they come from various major programs. They are CWU students in good academic standing who enjoy reading, writing, and working with people; possess a knowledge of the standards of written English; are active listeners and learners; and demonstrate successful, honest learning habits. While employed, tutors participate in ongoing training in writing center theory and practice that aligns with the standards set by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).

    What accommodations are available for writers in various circumstances?

    Our standard practices in reading and responding to student writing are easily adaptable for almost any circumstance you face, whether that means recording your consultation so you can listen to it later, accessing devices or computer software that facilitate your learning methods, or moving our conversation to a workspace that meets your needs. Writers in the Center have a variety of specific options:

    • A KIC scanner can help you create a searchable pdf or mp3 file from almost any text.
    • Livescribe smart pens and audio recorders can be checked out at the library Service Point for up to six months at a time.
    • Central Access Reader is a downloadable text-to-speech application that also lets you create mp3 files of texts.
    • Laptops are available at the library Service Point.
    • Headphones, also at the library Service Point, can help you create your own study environment.
    • Quiet study spaces, group study rooms, or presentation practice facilities may be reserved.
    • Different spaces in the library offer different types and heights of seating, work surfaces, and lighting options.