Writing Center

The Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center is located in Kirner-Johnson 152.


Getting the Most Out of Your Writing Conference

The Writing Center

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--from initial brainstorming to final editing. Most of the time, students bring completed early drafts to their conferences.


The Writing Center is located in K-J 152 (first floor of the K-J Building).

How to Make an Appointment

Either call the Writing Center 315-859-4363 or stop by to make an appointment.

When to Make Your Appointment

Call early for best times. The conference schedule gets filled up during busy times in the semester, so don’t wait until the last minute.

Selecting a Conference Time

In order to allow yourself time for thoughtful revision, it is best to allow a minimum of 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. - 11 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Submit Your Draft in Advance

If possible, drop off or e-mail 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 over eight pages, it is unlikely that you and your tutor can discuss your entire draft unless you submit it ahead. E-mail drafts to wcpapers@hamilton.edu


The Writing Conference

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 be an active participant in the conference.

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 writing 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. Your writing tutor will examine first the overall features of your paper--the organization, the focus, and the development of the argument. Because the time of 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!