The Writing Center
Welcome to the UH Hilo Writing Center!
I would like to invite you to come to the Writing Center if you have questions or need assistance regarding any of your writing assignments while you are a student here at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo.
Student tutors can help with your questions, help you review your notes, provide feedback about your draft, and provide other appropriate writing assistance as requested.
The Writing Center tutorial staff are available to you throughout your career here at UH Hilo. We hope to see you soon.
If you are a faculty member interested in our services or would like to have us come by to meet your students, please contact me. I would be happy to provide a brief presentation during class time, meet you individually, or address members of your department at your convenience.
Karla Hayashi, Writing Center Coordinator
What We Are All About
The Writing Center offers free, drop-in tutoring for any UH Hilo student.
Students who seek assistance at the Writing Center will work with peer tutors who are selected for their excellent writing skills. They are trained to help writers in various ways including gaining independence as a writer, refining critical thinking skills, discovering topics and developing ideas, generating and organizing supporting information, and working on stylistic choices.
This list describes some of the commonly requested topics of assistance during tutorial sessions:
- reviewing the assignment
- generating ideas or topics
- developing or refining a thesis
- identifying appropriate audience
- organizing ideas
- developing topics in greater detail
- incorporating information from sources correctly
- avoiding plagiarism
- evaluating effectiveness of paragraphs
- evaluating tone and style
- evaluating effectiveness of sentences
- evaluating effectiveness of word choice
Peer tutors do not provide proof-reading or other editing services; instead they help students develop their own voices as writers and their own drafting and revision strategies, ideally over a number of tutoring sessions throughout the semester.
Writing Center Schedule
All tutoring begins the second week of the semester and ends the last week of instruction. Please note that tutoring is not available during final exam week or during regularly scheduled school holidays.
Tips for a Successful Writing Conference:
Come Early! The best time to work with a writing tutor is when you first get the assignment. Doing so means you can work on the assignment feeling confident from the beginning.
Bring ALL your materials. It will really help you and the tutor if you bring all information the professor has provided about the assignment and all the work you have done for the assignment so far. Helpful items you should bring to a tutorial session if you have them are:
- the due date
- the assignment sheet or assignment instructions
- previously graded assignments
- notes (especially for research writing)
- an outline
If you don’t have these, the tutor will certainly still try to help you, but it may not be nearly as productive a session as it could be.
Embrace the Writing Process. Even the best writers in the world (some would say especially the best writers in the world) write several drafts before they ever begin editing for mechanical errors. If you want to improve your own writing, embrace the drafting process and let the tutors help you identify higher-order issues to improve (such as organization and support) before you think about lower-order issues (like grammar and spelling).
Be Realistic. The tutors are helpful people, but you are ultimately responsible for the work you have been assigned. They cannot do the work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the UH Hilo Writing Center?
Go into the library, then go down the stairs or take the elevator to the first floor of the library. Turn right then proceed to the Kilohana Center (sign posted).
What do I do then?
Check in with the receptionist at the front desk. If there is no receptionist, ask for any tutor on duty to check you in.
Do I need to show my UH Hilo ID?
No. You do, however, need to provide your student ID number so you can be logged in by one of the Kilohana staff.
You will also be asked to identify what kind of tutoring you are requesting. Please ask for a Writing Center tutor. You will then be asked what course you are coming in for. Please provide the course alpha and number. You will also be asked why you are requesting writing tutorial assistance. You will be provided with a list of tasks to select from. Identify those tasks which best describe the assistance you request.
What happens after I check in?
After the writing tutor greets you, he or she will ask you if you can describe in more detail what kind of writing assistance you are requesting. It will be helpful for both you and the tutor if you also bring your assignment sheet, notes, and any other documents or materials you are working with. Doing so will make it efficient for you and the tutor to immediately focus on the task you want to work on.
How long is a tutorial session?
A typical session might be between 20 to 30 minutes long. It could be shorter or a few minutes longer.
If no other students are waiting to see a writing tutor, you could spend up to 50 minutes working on your assignment or task.
Sessions will not extend beyond 30 minutes if there are other students waiting for writing tutor assistance.
How do I know when the session is over?
The writing tutor will have you identify what task(s) you want to work on during the tutorial session. Once you accomplish that task(s), the tutor may suggest you work on your document independently and come back later for another tutorial session(s) if you want.
If there are no other students waiting for assistance, you and the tutor could decide to spend more time working together.
If there are other students waiting for writing assistance, you will be asked to continue working on your task(s) and invited to return to the center to work with the same tutor or another tutor.
How often should I go for tutoring?
If you are enrolled in English 100T, your instructor will let you know how often you are required to attend tutorial sessions at the Writing Center.
If you are not enrolled in English 100T, you are invited to drop in for tutorial sessions as needed. You can work with a tutor at any point of the writing process. For example, you might come in because you need assistance deciding what to write about, need help organizing information, or even get some feedback to a draft you wrote.
Students often comment that they appreciate the opportunity to drop in for tutoring as often as they need to or want to.
What do I do when the session ends?
You and the tutor might identify what next steps, if any, you should complete as you continue working on your document.
If not, you should ask the receptionist or tutor to log you out at the end of your tutor session.
Helpful Sites For Writers
Here are some helpful websites for you to explore if you are unable to come by during posted hours for face to face tutorial assistance.
The University of Hawai'i at Hilo Library: http://library.uhh.hawaii.edu/
The library's website provides various resources for students engaged in research projects.
Purdue On-line Writing Lab: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
This website provides students with a comprehensive range of pages and handouts that cover various aspects of the writing process and situational based writing. Of particular help is the Site Map page: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/sitemap/
The Site Map page contains numerous explanatory handouts for students to review and print for personal use only.