How the Writing Center Can Help You Start Writing

Sometimes it's difficult to start writing on your own, but the IUP Writing Center is here to help you when this happens. Here are some things you can expect when you work with a tutor to help you get started.

Questions about the assignment and your writing process, such as…

  • What's your assignment? Did your instructor give you the assignment in writing?
  • What ideas have you come up with?
  • What are a few topics related to the assignment that interest you?
  • Have you done any research yet about possible topics? Do you have notes from class about any of these topics?
  • If you could write on any topic you wanted to write on, what would that be? How might that topic be modified so that it meets the requirements of the assignment?

Writing activities, such as…

  • Freewriting for five minutes about anything that comes to mind. Rules for freewriting: Start writing and keep going for five minutes. Then review and look for anything you can build on.
  • Making a list of ideas you would like to include in the paper.
  • Making a brainstorming web/map.
  • Creating a cluster map.
  • Writing an outline.

As a reminder, tutoring sessions typically…

  • last 30 to 45 minutes.
  • focus on one or two writing issues.
  • help to develop and focus ideas as you talk one-on-one with a tutor.
  • identify aspects of the paper you need to improve on your own.
  • conclude with a short evaluation form.
  • respect the confidentiality of your visit; a tutor will send a report form to your instructor only at your request.

Written by Jocelyn Amevuvor

More Writing Help

The Kathleen Jones White Writing Center provides tutoring services, workshops, and writing resources.