Writing Tutoring

Online writing tutoring is available for ENGL, CAS and writing intensive courses (W and Y suffix courses) as well as any other writing project in an undergraduate course.

What is an "online writing tutorial?"

An online tutorial is not so different from a face-to-face meeting with a writing tutor. Both you and the tutor will use Blackboard Collaborate software to look over your writing and send real-time chat messages or use microphones to engage in a conversation about it.

How can an online tutor help me?

Your tutor will ask questions and provide suggestions to help you address aspects of your writing such as:

  • addressing your audience
  • clarifying your purpose
  • strengthening your supporting evidence
  • organizing your ideas logically
  • making effective transitions between paragraphs and sections

The tutor can also provide limited suggestions to address grammar, punctuation, and citation guidelines, and other mechanical writing issues. However, you may find you can more efficiently address these issues by accessing online resources such as Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL).

How do I initiate a request to see an online writing tutor?

  1. Register for a Penn State Learning account in order to access the appointment scheduler (WCOnline), if this is your first visit.
  2. Log in to WCOnline following the directions supplied at the top of the scheduler page.
  3. Select a one-hour open appointment (appears in white; times are U.S. Eastern Time Zone), and provide your name, phone number, and (in the "Notes” field) your email address and any notes for the tutor about the writing you wish to work on.
  4. Select “Save Appointment.”

What do I do next?

  1. As soon as possible, visit Blackboard Collaborate’s Product Support page to ensure that your computer is equipped with the proper software. (You will need Java.) We recommend using Firefox as the web browser for your tutoring session.
  2. Fifteen minutes before your appointment, log in to WCOnline and select your tutor’s name to take you to the Blackboard Collaborate tutoring session. (If you have scheduled your appointment more than 24 hours in advance, you will have received an email reminder containing a link to your session.)
  3. After your tutoring session has ended, please complete the evaluation form. Your input is a valuable resource we can use to improve the tutoring process in the future.

Tutoring Hours

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 6:00–8:00 p.m. ET

Questions or Comments

Please contact Leagh Anderson with any questions or comments about online writing tutoring.

Leagh Anderson
Learning Community Associate
Penn State Learning
205 Boucke Building
University Park, PA  16802
Phone:  814-863-8183