Faculty FAQs

Writers, all writers, need feedback on their writing to advance their projects.  The JHU Writing Center provides free writing support to all undergraduate and graduate students in degree programs on the Homewood Campus in a peer tutoring model.  We work individually with writers on all writing projects – whether personal, academic, or professional – at any stage of the writing process.

As faculty, you are central to creating a supportive and expansive culture of writing at Johns Hopkins University. Helping your students understand the role of the Writing Center in their development as students and scholars is an important way to forward this work.

How do students set up appointments at the Writing Center?

Students can initiate contact by starting on our webpage and following the links to make an appointment. All sessions are one-on-one and last for 45 minutes.  Tutors are JHU undergraduate and graduate students.

How should I encourage my students to visit the Writing Center?

Recommend the Writing Center to all your students.  Remind them that all writers need multiple forms of feedback on their work, even scholars!  The Writing Center is not just for struggling writers—it’s for all writers. Remind your students that writing centers are not remedial.

I teach upper-level courses with specialized discourse.  Can Writing Center tutors help with this kind of work?

Absolutely! Tutors have been trained to help writers look closely at the purpose, genre, context, and audience of the assignment.  Tutors work collaboratively with writers, using course materials and Writing Center resources, to make choices in their work. And many times, a reader from outside the discipline can give the best feedback on argument and clarity.

Can I require my students to go to the Writing Center?  Can I assign my whole class to use the Center for one essay?

We discourage requiring students to come to the Writing Center for several reasons.  The Center is often very busy, and we may not be able to schedule everyone from a particular class for a particular assignment.  In addition, we do not send reports to faculty.  More importantly, students who are required to use the Center are often resistant to the work we do here.  It’s important that writers who use the writing center want to be here.

For the same reasons, please do not offer extra credit for a Writing Center visit. 

Can the Writing Center help with sentence level/grammatical challenges?

Yes, we help writers at all stages of the writing process.  While we cannot edit a paper for a writer, all tutors are trained to help students hone their own editing skills.

Can the Writing Center help multilingual writers?

Yes, over 30% of the students who use the writing center report speaking a language other than English at home.  Our tutors are well prepared to work with writers who write across languages.

How can I help prepare my students to have a productive session in the Writing Center?

Tell your students to bring any assignment sheets, textbooks, notes, and relevant materials to the session.  During a session, tutors and students may need to refer to ancillary materials and textbooks for further information. Also, remind students to book appointments in advance (as we do fill up at busy times of the semester) and to give themselves time to revise after the appointment.

Let students know about us on your syllabus!

Syllabus Statement: The Johns Hopkins Writing Center provides free writing support to undergraduate and graduate students in degree programs on the Homewood campus. We believe that every writer benefits from supportive and generous interaction with a knowledgeable peer. As such, we work individually with writers on all writing projects – whether personal, academic, or professional – at any stage of the writing process, and we offer both online and face-to-face appointments. During individual writing sessions, our trained undergraduate and graduate student consultants collaborate with writers on their goals and help them think about the context of their writing project.   Learn more about us and our services or schedule an appointment by visiting our website. 

 Can I request that someone from the Writing Center visit my class to promote this service?

Yes! If you would like someone from the Writing Center to visit your class to provide an overview of our services or if you would like to bring your class to the Center to see us in action, email the director, Deirdre Vinyard dvinyar1@jhu.edu, to set up an appointment.