Header image  The Norman M. Eberly  
 Writing Center Waidner-Spahr Library, Main Level   
Director: Judy Gill   
Senior Administrative Assistant: Sally Nestor   
  Frequently Asked Questions  

Where is the Eberly Writing Center?

The Eberly Writing Center is located on the main level of the Waidner-Spahr Library.

When is the Writing Center open?

The Writing Center is open Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday, 12:30-4:30 p.m., and Sunday 12:30-10:30 p.m.

Conferences begin on the half-hour and last up to an hour.

How do I make an appointment in the Writing Center?

You can stop by the Writing Center any time during business hours to make an appointment or you can call the Writing Center to make an appointment. From a campus phone, call extension 1620. From a cell phone, call 717-245-1620.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call to cancel and reschedule.

How often can I come to the Writing Center?

Normally, students can have two scheduled appointments per week; you can have additional walk-in appointments if a tutor is available.

Can I just drop by and meet with a tutor?

Yes. We accept walk-ins, but you may find that all tutors are busy, so it’s best to make an appointment in advance.

Who can use the Writing Center?

All students are welcome to come to the Writing Center to get help on academic writing assignments, application essays, lab reports, senior theses, etc. We usually have tutors available to assist with essays written in French, Spanish, and German.

What should I expect when I come for my appointment?

Normally, a tutor will look over the assignment sheet and ask you what you would like to work on. If you have a draft of your paper, you or the tutor will read it aloud. Tutors are trained to focus first on “global” issues, such as thesis, argument, and evidence, and then to look at “local” issues such as sentence clarity, punctuation, and mechanics. However, tutors will respond to your specific concerns and questions. Tutors will not edit your paper for you, but will work with you to improve your self-editing skills.

What kind of help will the tutor provide?

Tutors will work with you on papers at any stage of the writing process and will assist you with aspects of your paper such as:

  • responding to an assignment
  • generating, developing, and organizing ideas
  • supporting claims and arguments with evidence
  • improving clarity and precision
  • developing your proofreading and editing skills

When should I come to the Writing Center?

You can come to the Writing Center at any stage in the writing process. You need to leave enough time between your appointment and the time the paper is due to make necessary revisions. If you wait till the last minute, you will not have time to make more than surface changes that may not significantly improve your paper.

What should I do to make the most of my Writing Center appointment?

  • bring a copy of your assignment
  • think about your goals for the appointment
  • tell your tutor what your concerns are, what you would like to work on
  • be an active participant in your session
  • leave enough time to make revisions


Can tutors help me with writing in different disciplines?

Yes. Tutors are trained to consider conventions of organization, argumentation, format, and citation that differ from discipline to discipline. If possible, we can assign you to work with a tutor majoring in the subject area of your paper.

Who are the tutors?

Tutors are Dickinson students who want to help their peers become stronger and more confident writers. They have completed a semester-long course in the history, theory, and practice of writing centers that prepares them for their work in the Writing Center. They represent a wide variety of majors and minors offered at the college.

How can I become a Writing Center tutor?

You can call (717-245-1291) or e-mail (gill@dickinson.edu) Judy Gill, Director of the Writing Center, for information on how to apply to take English 214, the tutor training course.

Will my professor know that I visited the Writing Center?

Yes, at the end of your appointment, the tutor will complete a professor report form that informs your professor about what you talked about and worked on during your session.