The Writing Center

Image of a student tutor in the Learning Assistance CenterThe ability to write well is fundamental to success in college and in life. St. Mary’s supports its writing community with a center devoted to helping writers in all at all levels. We are expert writers – both undergraduate and graduate students from all majors — who have been trained as writing tutors. We can help you determine where you are in your writing process and help you map out a plan to expedite that process from start to finish. We can assist you with any writing task: getting started, organizing, developing ideas and thesis statements, revising, grammar and mechanics, and documenting sources.

Our mission is not to “fix” your writing, but to help you improve as a writer. We will help you pose questions about your topic that will lead you to originate your own thesis. We know the expectations of academic writing at St. Mary’s, including documentation styles. When it comes to grammar, we will take the time to explain your errors so you won’t repeat them. And all tutoring is free.

About the Writing Center

How can I schedule a session? You can schedule a session with a writing tutor by either dropping by the LAC or by calling at 210-436-3203 to make an appointment. Sessions are one-on-one and usually last one hour.

What can you do for me that I can’t do on my own? You can try out an idea for a paper with a trained writer; clear up any questions you have about an assignment; discuss what you’re reading in class as you brainstorm your topic; get help with organizing the points you want to make in your paper.

If I sign up for a session, am I obligated to return at the same time each week? No. Sessions are one-time appointments, as you need them. Of course, you are welcome to sign up for more sessions and continue to work on your writing often.

Can I just drop off my essay and pick it up later? You don’t want to do that. You become a better writer by working side by side with a writing tutor who is a stu-dent just like you, but who has a bit more experience with academic assignments and who has been trained in the writing process.

How are the tutors selected? How do I know my tutor is qualified? Each tutor is selected based on professors’ recommendations and an excellent GPA. Writing tutors must also provide two writing samples, pass an interview, and be trained by LAC staff. All of the writing tutors are, or are in the process of becoming, nationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA)