Usually you’ll hear that the writing center sees two main types of appointments: 30 minute sessions for papers 5 pages or less, or 1 hour sessions for papers 6-10 pages. What you may not know is that we do see students who need to work on longer projects. These big papers can benefit just as much from a visit to the writing center.
The biggest challenge writers can face is simply starting a project. The feeling in the moment you actually begin typing can be intimidating, like you’re committing to something and there’s no going back. This can also affect smaller projects, of course, but the stakes can feel higher when you’re facing down a 15 page research project that counts for 40% of your course grade, or when you’re undertaking 30+ pages for your graduate thesis. Sometimes visiting the writing center before you begin writing can be especially helpful. A tutor can help you organize all the half-formed, unfinished, and disorganized plans that don’t make sense to you at the beginning of a project.
Of course, a tutor is just as glad to work with you at any point in the process, whether you have 0, 10, or 40 pages. We’re here to help you strip away unnecessary bits, ferret out clearer meanings in what you keep, reorganize how you present your work, or anything else you think you may need. Since we do 1 hour appointments as our longest, it’s best to plan ahead as far as you can and arrange for multiple sessions across several days or weeks. Just tell the tutor scheduling your appointment about your project’s scope, and they’ll work with your schedule to find multiple slots with the same tutor. Together, a little bit at a time, the writing center can help you tame even the biggest, most intimidating writing projects.