Students in a First-Year Writing Seminar

Cornell Writing Centers

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Indispensable Reference

Cornell Writing Centers


Cornell Writing Centers provide an almost daily system of support for individuals at any stage of the writing process. It is a free resource available to everyone on campus—faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students—for nearly any kind of writing project: applications, presentations, lab reports, essays, papers, and more. Tutors (trained undergraduate and graduate students) serve as responsive listeners and readers who can address questions about the writing process or about particular pieces of writing. They can also consider questions of confidence, critical reading, analytic thought, and imagination. All tutors also have experience working with non-native English speakers—though the writing centers also have tutors who specialize in working with multilingual writers at the sentence-level.

WC and FWS students

Tutoring is especially suitable for students in First-Year Writing Seminars who want one-on-one support as they refine and develop strategies for working with college-level academic essays. Writers of all levels of experience and ability can benefit from such individualized attention; referring strong writers in your seminar can be as beneficial as referring those who struggle.

During a WC tutoring session:

  • Tutors may help writers get started with an essay by reading and discussing a writing assignment, evaluating research material, or brainstorming an outline.
  • Tutors may offer tips on shaping a coherent argument, making strong use of evidence, working with appropriate citation conventions. They may also consider questions about depth of analysis, organization, thesis definition, audience expectations, paragraph development, stylistics, or sentence structure.
  • Tutors may work with writers to identify patterns among errors in grammar or usage and to develop effective strategies for their own line-editing. Tutors do not proofread or edit; such work is against WC policy.

Students can visit the Writing Centers from time to time or on a regular basis. Occasionally, though, writing instructors may feel that casual referrals are not sufficient, that students need more directed, ongoing support. By applying to the mentor program, students may be assigned tutors with whom they meet weekly to discuss reading and writing assignments, drafts, and ongoing challenges with academic research and writing.

WC and FWS instructors

Cornell Writing Center tutors are a valuable resource not just for students, but also for teachers. The Essay Response Consultation Program enables instructors to sit down one-on-one with tutors to talk about student writing. Because tutors have a great deal of experience in reading student essays and teacher comments, they can usefully support writing seminar instructors who want to deepen and extend strategies for commenting on student work. Instructors can work with tutors to:

  • review a set of papers on which the instructor has already commented.
  • discuss a set of papers when the instructor is in the process of providing response and evaluation.

The Essay Response Consultation Program offers instructors a rich opportunity to consider, with informed peers, how their writing assignments and response strategies best facilitate student learning.


Hours of Operation

3:30-5:30 pm Mondays-Thursdays

178 Rockefeller
Mann Library Consultation Area


7:00-10:00 pm Sundays-Thursdays

3343 Tatkon Center
108 Uris Library
403 Olin Library

110 Flora Rose House

Students can schedule an appointment and view a list of our locations and hours by going to:

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