Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the MSU Writing Center?

A: The MSU Writing Center is a relaxed and supportive environment where you can bring any of your writing concerns. For example, our consultants have assisted with CVs, resumes, essays, statements of purpose, theses, letters of application, etc. Our consultants have extensive practice with many different writing styles.

Q: Why should I visit the MSU Writing Center?

A: It is helpful to have a focused audience to preview your writing. Discussion with MSU Writing Center consultants can help you develop and expand your writing abilities. Experienced fresh eyes and ears facilitate new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Q: Who visits the Writing Center?

A: Undergraduate and Graduate students visit the writing center. Even the best writers look for assistance. Anne Lamott explains this concept in her book, Bird by Bird:

People tend to look at successful writers who are getting their books published and maybe even doing well financially and think they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars, feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have and what a great story they have to tell; then they take in a few deep breaths, push back their sleeves, roll their necks a few times to get all the cricks out, and dive in, typing fully formed passages as fast as a court reporter. But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated. I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much.

(Lamott 21)

Q: How do I schedule an appointment?

A: You can schedule an appointment through our online service or you can visit the MSU Writing Center on President’s Circle and the Writing Center receptionist will assist you in making an appointment. The phone number for the writing center is (662) 325-1045. Online tutoring is also available. You can click here to access the online scheduler.

Q: My professor informed me about the MSU Writing Center, and he or she told me I needed to visit. Does the Writing Center work with writing outside the English Department?

A: A lot of professors ask their students to visit the MSU Writing Center. Mississippi State’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) sets goals for improving the quality of education Mississippi State offers. The current QEP, Maroon and Write, is concerned with increasing the volume and quality of student writing on campus.

Writing across the curriculum is a pedagogical movement that begins in the 1980s. Generally, writing across the curriculum programs share the philosophy that writing instruction should happen across the academic community and throughout a student’s undergraduate education. Writing across the curriculum programs also value writing as a method of learning. Finally, writing across the curriculum acknowledges the differences in writing conventions across the disciplines, and believes that students can best learn to write in their areas by practicing those discipline-specific writing conventions.

(Purdue Owl)

Q: Does this cost money? Tutoring is expensive!

A: It is absolutely FREE! Mississippi State University employs experienced Undergraduate and Graduate students to assist your writing needs. Students from all disciplines can visit the MSU Writing Center at no cost!

Q: Will you correct my grammar?

A: If grammar is one of your concerns, we will be happy to work with you on your self-editing skills. We can also provide several resources to help you avoid making grammar mistakes in your future writings.

Q: Do I have to make an appointment?

A: We strongly recommend making an appointment. You can access the appointment scheduler by clicking here. We also take walk-ins from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at our library location (Instructional Media Center) and at Templeton from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Q: Do I have to bring my paper with me?

A: If you have your paper, please bring it. If you do not, that is fine. We can help you brainstorm and get some ideas on paper.

Q: How long does a session last? What is it like?

A: You can schedule a session for thirty minutes or an hour. A typical session begins by addressing the concerns you have with your writing. We are here to assist you. You direct the session.

Q: If I bring my paper to the Writing Center, will I make an “A”?

A: In the writing center, we focus more on trying to make you a better writer rather than focusing on individual grades. Writers are ultimately responsible for their own work; grades are something that you should discuss with your instructors.

Q: Can I choose who I work with during my appointment?

A: Yes. You can choose the writing collaborator who best suits your writing needs. See the drop down list on the writing center appointment scheduling page.

Operated as a service to all Mississippi State students by the Department of English with the support of the College of Arts and Sciences and the QEP's Maroon and Write program.

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