Kilohana: The Academic Success Center

Kilohana: The Writing Center

Kilohana is closed for the summer. We look forward to seeing you for the Fall 2022 semester! If you need assistance, you can contact the Director or STEM Coordinator.

Coordinator's Welcome


Welcome to Kilohana: The Writing Center!

You are invited to stop by anytime you have questions or need assistance with any of your writing assignments while you are a student here at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Student staff 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 student 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.

Thank you,
Karla Hayashi ,
Writing Center Coordinator

The UH Hilo Student Conduct Code is in effect throughout the campus including all Kilohana Centers and Kilohana sponsored events.

What We Are All About

Kilohana: The Writing Center offers free drop-in consultation sessions to any currently enrolled UH Hilo student. Currently enrolled students at other UH system campuses are also welcome.

Students who seek assistance at the Writing Center will work with peer staff who are selected for their excellent writing skills. The peer staff 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:

  • 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 staff do not provide proof-reading or other editing services. Instead, they help students develop their own voices as writers and help students with drafting and revision strategies. Ideally this transition occurs over a number of sessions throughout the semester.

*The UH Hilo Student Conduct Code is in effect throughout the campus including all Kilohana Centers and Kilohana sponsored events.

Kilohana Writing Center Schedule

The Center's schedule begins the second week of instruction and ends on the last day of instruction. Peer staff are available on an abbreviated basis during final exam week to allow our student staff time to prepare and study for their own final exams.

Tips for a Successful Writing Conference:

Come Early!
The best time to work with peer staff is when you first get the assignment. Doing so means you can work on the assignment with confidence from the beginning.
Bring all your materials
It will really help you and the peer staff 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 writing session if you have them are:
  • the due date
  • the assignment sheet or assignment instructions
  • previously graded assignments
  • notes (especially for research writing)
  • drafts
  • an outline

Not having these materials could impact the productivity of the session.

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 peer staff 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 peer staff 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 Kilohana: The Writing Center?
Come into the Mookini 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 staff at the front desk. Any staff member can assist you.
Do I need to show my UH Hilo ID?
You just need to provide your student ID number so you can be logged in by one of the staff.
Please provide staff with the course alpha and number. You will also be asked what writing task(s) you want assistance with. Please identify those tasks which best describe the assistance you request.
What happens after I check in?
You will be asked to describe what kind of writing assistance you are requesting. It will be helpful for both you and the peer staff if you also bring your assignment sheet, notes, and any other documents or materials you are working with. Doing so will help you and the peer staff to focus on the task(s) you want to work on.
How long is a writing consultation 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 peer staff, you could spend more time working on your assignment or task.
Sessions will not extend beyond 20 minutes if there are other students waiting for writing assistance. In the event there are more students than Kilohana staff on duty, students will be encouraged to work independently while the staff circulate to assist all students who request assistance.
How do I know when the session is over?
The staff will have you identify what task(s) you want to work on during the tutorial session. Once you accomplish that task(s), the staff may suggest you work on your document independently and come back later for another session(s) if you want.
If there are no other students waiting for assistance, you and the staff 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/or invited to return to the center later if that is convenient for you.
How often should I come in for a writing consultation session?
If you are enrolled in ENG 100T Composition with Tutorial (3) or ESL 100T Composition/Non-nativeTutorial (3) your instructor will let you know how many sessions at the Writing Center you need to complete during the semester.
If you are not enrolled in ENG 100T Composition with Tutorial (3) or ESL 100T Composition/Non-nativeTutorial (3) you are invited to drop in as often as needed. You can work with any staff on duty 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 a writing consult as often as they need to or want to.
What do I do when the session ends?
You and the staff might identify what next steps, if any, you should complete as you continue working on your document.
If not, you can ask the staff to log you out at the end of your session.
Can I come in and ask for help with personal documents?
The Kilohana staff can help students with some personal writing tasks such as resumes, letters of application, and personal statements for scholarships and graduate school applications.

Helpful Sites and Resources For Writers

Check out the following resource poster created by Kilohana Writing Tutor Juliana Zolopa:

Here are some helpful websites for you to explore if you are unable to come by during posted hours for face to face writing consultations.

  • University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Library. The library's website provides various resources for students engaged in research projects..
  • Purdue On-line Writing Lab . 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 Purdue Owl Site Map which contains numerous explanatory handouts for students to review and print for personal use only.
  • How To Minimize Your Risk of Plagiarizing. This document provides a brief explanation concerning academic integrity including definitions, brief examples, and suggestions on how to minimize a student's risk of plagiarizing. Many instances of plagiarism are unintended, but consequences can still range from failing an assignment to expulsion from school.