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Writing Center

The Harvard Summer School Writing Center is open to all registered Summer School students, whether you are studying on campus or online. The Writing Center is staffed by trained tutors (Harvard undergraduates and graduate students) who provide individual conferences to students working on any writing assignment. Tutors are also available for consultations on college application essays and graduate school application essays.

The Center is located in the Barker Center, Room 19. To contact, e-mail dcewriting@gmail.com or call (617) 495-1655.

To schedule an appointment, e-mail wcscheduler@fas.harvard.eduYou don't have to have a finished paper to schedule a conference. You can come with ideas, notes, or a draft. Please bring a PRINTED copy of your draft to the conference. 

Frequently asked questions

Why would I want to meet with a writing tutor? 

Writing Center tutors are trained to read academic papers critically and with an eye towards strengthening an argument. They can talk to you about structure, ideas, and clarity of your paper, and suggest strategies for revision.  

Will a tutor proofread my paper? 

We cannot proofread or edit your work, but we will be happy to point out problems with grammar and syntax as we discuss your paper.

Will a tutor edit my English for me? 

Writing tutors are not editors. We are here to help you express your ideas clearly and to help you learn the conventions of academic writing. We will talk to you about your grammar and syntax in the context of helping you write the strongest paper you can write.

Can I come to the Writing Center every day? 

Our online scheduler will allow you to book a maximum of two appointments each week. While we are always happy to see you, visits to the Writing Center become unproductive if you don't take time to think about and revise your own work between visits. If you have a question and you have already been to the Writing Center for two appointments, you can always come to drop-in hours, which are held Monday to Thursday from 7 to 9 pm.

What if I am enrolled in a distance course? 

If you are enrolled in a distance course, you can meet with a Writing Center tutor via Skype. Simply note “distance student” in the “Course” field of the scheduler and then email your paper to dcewriting@gmail.com before your conference. Please include your Skype name in the subject line of your email and add ours to your Skype contacts (dcewriter).

Should I schedule a conference or go to drop-in hours? 

Our schedule tends to fill up quickly during busy weeks of the semester. If you can't find a daytime appointment that fits your schedule, please feel free to come by in the evening (Monday to Thursday from 7 to 9 pm).   

Will you tell my instructor I visited the Writing Center? 

Writing Center conferences are confidential. We will not discuss your conference, or the fact that you came here for a conference, with your instructor.

Can I bring a take-home exam to the Writing Center? 

Tutors can only discuss a take-home exam with you if you bring written permission from your instructor that explicitly states that you are allowed to come to the Writing Center. You can simply ask your instructor to email you this permission and then you can show it to us.

Can you tell me what grade I will get on my paper? 

Writing Center tutors cannot predict what grade your instructor will give you on a particular piece of writing. Tutors can, however, respond as readers to issues of clarity, structure, and argument.

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