How can the Writing Centre help me?
Our goal is to help you become a better writer and editor of your writing through working with a tutor over several appointments. One appointment will be helpful, but keep visiting to help improve your skills!
If you don’t know where to start, we are happy to help you brainstorm! From first draft to final, we can work with you every step of the way (even starting somewhere inbetween!)
Even if you are a confident writer, every writer needs a reader. You will still find it helpful to visit us for a fresh perspective on your text.
Finally, a study by the Journal of Writing Center Scholarship has indicated that 3 or more visits to a writing centre can improve your grade.
Who are the tutors?
Our tutors are your fellow undergraduate and graduate students as well as a few faculty writing instructors. We have expertise in many disciplines (art, media, design) and we all share a love of reading and writing.
I’m a pretty strong writer and I don’t want to take an appointment from someone who might need it more. Should I use the Writing Centre?
Strong writers need feedback from readers as much as anyone. Like any art form, writing isn’t something you ever really master—you just keep growing and developing. Even the most accomplished writers have a network of trusted readers who help them clarify their ideas and develop their skills. All writers are welcome and welcomed in the Writing Centre—and we have enough appointments for everyone!
My paper is due in two hours. Can you help me?
Sure, we can always give you feedback. You may not have much time to make changes, but even if it only helps a little bit, a little is better than nothing!
Before the Appointment
How do I make an appointment?
- Log onto our booking site using your ECUAD webmail username (only the first part before the @ecuad.ca part) and password. You may be prompted to register upon your first time logging in.
- Once you have registered, you log back in with the desired schedule selected (regular term or graduate schedule) and click on an empty appointment indicated by a white block.
- A pop up window will appear asking you about what type of appointment you wish to book, the time you wish to book (if you choose 30 minutes, you can extend your appointment later provided that the next one remains available), and a bit of information about the tutor you are booking with. Fill out a little information about what you’d like to work on during appointment and finish by pressing “save appointment.”
- You will receive an e-mail right away confirming your appointment time. If this doesn’t appear in your ECUAD inbox, be sure to check your junk folder. You can always go back and edit the appointment later, if you need.
What type of appointments can I book?
For online chat appointments, you log back onto the booking site when it is appointment time and click on your appointment slot. You may chat via video/audio or only text if you wish. Currently, you have up to 30 minutes prior to appointment time to cancel or edit your appointment. Anything later, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org or else the appointment could be marked as “missed”.
If you have booked a written feedback appointment, you upload and attach your file to the appointment (or provide a download link if it is larger than 1MB). You are able to attach your document at the time of booking (so if you booked days in advance, you can attach it then!), but you must upload it by the start of your appointment or risk a “missed” appointment. By the end of the appointment, a tutor will upload a file to the same appointment with comments, questions and general feedback to help you improve your next draft. You will be notified by e-mail when this file is uploaded. Please click here for more detailed instructions on how to book and use this appointment.
PLEASE NOTE: Uploading the file early does not mean the tutor will read it ahead of time. If you cannot upload your document by the start of your appointment, please contact email@example.com.
Should I book a 30-minute appointment or a 60-minute one?
That depends on what phase of the writing process you are in and how long your piece is. If you’re working on a 300-word bullet review or if you are just in the brainstorming stage, 30 minutes should be enough. If you have a later draft of a longer essay, 60 minutes would be better.
(Please note that the tutor may need a few minutes of transition time if there is an appointment after yours, so the 30 and 60 appointment times could be 25 and 55 minutes respectively.)
I can’t find an available appointment time!
We do offer a waiting list option! (See “How do I use the waiting list?” for more information.)
If you cannot find an appointment time due to time zone differences, please consider using our written feedback appointment: you can upload the document as early as you like, prior to the appointment time, and then check back anytime after the appointment end to find your feedback attached to the appointment). You can try the flexible drop-in appointment (no booking necessary and first come, first served) if you cannot make any of the scheduled appointment times. Drop-in times are listed on our booking site’s schedule.
How do I use the waiting list?
At the bottom of each day, in the lower right hand corner, there is a link to that day’s waiting list.
Waiting list notifications can be sent via text message or email. Once you receive this notification, please log in as soon as possible to book the desired spot. Adding yourself to the waiting list only lets you know when the spot opens up, but does not prebook and guarantee you that spot.
How do drop-in appointments work?
We offer a time period each weekday afternoon where a drop-in tutor is available to help you with your written work for about 20 minutes. You cannot book these casual appointments. It is first come, first served and offers flexibility to those who cannot commit to or find a booked appointment time. Check out our handy guide to using drop-ins.
Currently, as drop-ins operate on an online basis (as per COVID-19 precautionary measures), we are using Zoom to meet. You can find this links on our booking site at the top of the schedule.
We also offer dedicated drop-in spaces for BIPOC, Aboriginal, neurodivergent and disabled students. You can find more information about these spaces by clicking here. Times and room links can be found through our booking site.
How do I cancel/edit an appointment?
Currently, you have up to 30 minutes prior to the appointment to edit or cancel your appointment. If you are within the 30 minutes, you won’t be able to make any changes and must contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not inform us, the appointment may be marked as “missed”.
You simply log back onto the booking site and click on your appointment to edit it. From there you can click the ‘cancel’ button and receive confirmation of your cancellation.
What happens if I miss an appointment?
You will lose your booking privileges in our system if you miss more than one appointment in a term or more than two appointments in a year.
It is important to cancel at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment or e-mail us immediately at writingcentre.ecuad.ca prior to the appointment if it is past the 30 minutes.
After the appointment
Fill out our survey!
You will receive an e-mail asking for feedback about your session with the tutor. Please give us your feedback, if you are able, so we know how to best assist users of the Writing Centre.
What if I did not find my session with a tutor very helpful?
We have a variety of tutors who are happy to help. If you find you did not work well with one tutor, don’t give up! It can take another try to find the tutor you click with.