Frequently Asked Writing Assistance Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Writing Center! Below, you will find answers to some of the most common questions about our services and staff. Any questions or concerns not addressed below can be submitted to or (541) 917-4708.

What happens in a typical Writing Center session?

Generally, the student will guide the direction and content of the session based on their individual needs, questions, or concerns. Once a focus has been identified, the writing assistant will read the paper aloud with the student and discuss appropriate ideas and strategies to help the student revise his or her paper.

“I love the Writing Center. You are all amazing and very helpful.” – Cassie, student

How long does a session last?

The length of a session varies greatly according to the complexity of students' projects, the overall development of their paper and ideas, and the question or concern being addressed. However, sessions last, on average, about 30 to 45 minutes. If we have three or more students on our drop-in waiting list, we limit sessions to 20 minutes until all students are served. If you want a guaranteed 30-minute session, sign up for an appointment through TutorTrac (see “TutorTrac Instruction Sheet”).

“The help here is very critical to me passing my class and each time I attend it not only helps me with my writing but to use the help provided.” – Larry Lee, student

English is not my native language. Do you have anyone who can help me with my writing?

Yes!  There are ELL Instructional Specialists available at the English Language Learners Desk, which is right next to the Writing Center. You can find more information at their English Language Learner Resources page. Additionally, all of the Writing Center staff can assist you with writing structure, content, and basic grammar and punctuation. 

How does the Online Writing Lab work?

The OWL is the virtual face of the Writing Center. Students simply go to the OWL page, click on our submission form, and log in using their student email address. During this process, they provide information about the assignment, their goals, their paper's strengths, and any questions or concerns they have. Once submitted, one of our assistants will provide personalized feedback within 48-72 hours, unless submitted over the weekend or holiday (in which case it might take slightly more time). 

What if I am unable to visit during the hours provided?

Students who are unable to visit the Writing Center during regular business hours - including those students who are enrolled in online courses and any other interested student - are welcome to use the Online Writing Lab.  This free service is available to any student who is enrolled in a credit bearing course, has a valid email account, and has a working Internet connection.

In addition, if one center’s hours do not work for you, check out the schedules at another center convenient for you.

“I enjoy the help I receive in the Writing Center. Very knowledgeable staff. Keep up the good work. Thanks. – Amanda Gassett, student

How do I make an appointment for a 30-minute session?

Since fall 2014, all students enrolled in credit classes are already enrolled in TutorTrac.  You can begin making your appointments online (TutorTrac Instruction Sheet).  You will also want to become familiar with our guidelines (LBCC Tutoring Program & Writing Center Registration Agreement Guidelines). 

Will you proof-read/edit my paper while I go to class or lunch?

We do not work in this way. Though this sometimes sounds appealing to students, we know that students learn more from a collaborative session with a writing assistant. In these sessions, students can ask questions and assistants can provide explanations. We can also brainstorm with students when they are having difficulty getting started or point out where a paper may need further development or stronger transitions. Our goal is always to help students become more confident, expressive writers – and to make the writing process a more joyful one!

“I really appreciate the help and support of the Writing Center. I always feel my writing skills have improved and feel a little more confident about my writing after each session.” – Porsha, student

Can I use the computers and printer even though I don’t need writing assistance?

Absolutely! Students are welcome to use the computers and printer, but we do ask that your work be focused on writing since we have a limited number of computers. Sometimes students also drop-in because they enjoy this comfortable and welcoming space to write in, whether they need help that day or not. We are delighted to be your writing hub!

“A great service to the students of LBCC. Some of the world’s future writer may come forth from this cubbyhole in the Learning Center!” – Anonymous, student