You are an active partner in the discussion; at no time does the tutor take over authorship of your writing. At the end of the conference, in accordance with the Hamilton College Honor Code, you fill out an acknowledgement form noting what aspects of the writing you and the writing tutor have discussed.
You are welcome to come in for a conference with any type of writing at any point in the process, from thinking about the topic to polishing a final draft. You may choose to meet with a tutor to:
- Clarify your ideas
- Develop a thesis
- Organize your argument
- Strengthen specific paragraphs or sentences
- Revise a paper after grading
Writing Center peer tutors offer one-hour writing conferences to all Hamilton students. We invite you to schedule a writing conference to discuss any writing you are working on; you do not have to be referred by a professor to have a writing conference. We are ready to work with you at any stage in your writing process. Most of the time, students bring completed early drafts to their conferences.
When to Make Your Appointment
Call early for best times. The conference schedule fills up during busy times in the semester, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Selecting a Conference Time
To allow yourself time for thoughtful revision, it is best to allow at least two days between your writing conference and the due date for the paper.
Hour-long writing conferences are scheduled on the hour during the following times:
Mon. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Submit Your Draft in Advance
If possible, drop off or email your draft and the assignment 24 hours before your conference; this gives your writing tutor time to read your paper before meeting with you. If your draft is more than eight pages, it is unlikely that you and your tutor can discuss the entire draft unless you submit it ahead. Email drafts to firstname.lastname@example.org
What to Bring to Your Writing Conference
Try to complete a full draft before having your conference. Bring your assignment as well. Come prepared to discuss what you like and what you don't like about your draft. Be ready to participate.
What to Expect in Your Conference
Writers often get too close to their own writing and are not able to create the distance needed for critical review. The tutor will read your draft with an objective eye, give you feedback on its strengths and weaknesses, and help you revise the areas that need rewriting. The tutor will not make corrections on your paper or tell you what to say. First, the tutor will examine the paper's overall features – the organization, the focus and the development of the argument. Because the conference is limited to one hour, your tutor will not go over every sentence and every mistake in spelling, usage, grammar and style. Your tutor will, however, identify major or recurring errors and go over individual sentences containing such errors.
The Paper is Yours
Even though you meet with a writing tutor, you remain responsible for everything in your paper. As the author, you decide whether to accept or reject the advice you receive.
The Acknowledgment Form
At the end of the conference, your tutor will fill in the top of an acknowledgment form with his or her name and the conference date. You then will write on the form a description of what you and the tutor discussed and sign the form. Remember to attach the form to your final draft and submit it to your professor. The form tells your professor that you have had a conference and what you discussed. It also fulfills the Honor Code requirement that you acknowledge any discussions you have on your work.
The Writing Center is for YOU. We hope to see you soon!