Writing Area - Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the UCR Learning Center?

The UCR Learning Centerserves anyone at RCTC—students, faculty, and staff alike—at any stage in the writing process for any type of writing.

The UCR Learning Center is designed for students in honors classes as well as developmental classes, students in English classes as well as history, psychology, or sociology classes, and students who just need someone to look over their writing will benefit from the writing center. Students sometimes feel the need for an "objective" view of their writing, a view that is not from their instructor.

On occasion faculty, administration, and staff need to talk through their thoughts during the writing process; the writing center will provide a forum for those discussions as well.

How does the UCR Learning Center work?

After signing in, you will sit down one-on-one with a writing specialist or writing coach who will typically ask for some detail about the writing project and any particular difficulties you may be having with your writing. The specialist or coach may then ask you to read your writing aloud while the specialist/coach takes some notes. The coach or specialist will then make a number of concrete suggestions for improvement of the overall writing project.

Who works at the UCR Learning Center?

The UCR Learning Center employs English instructors (writing specialists), all of whom have considerable experience in writing. The UCR Learning Center also employs students (writing coaches) who have been specifically trained to work one-on-one with writers of all levels.

What time is the UCR Learning Center open?

Hours will vary from semester to semester, but you can always find a current schedule posted in the UCR Learning Center (AT306) as well as on the website.
Is it better to make an appointment ahead of time, or is it okay to just walk in?

Either way is okay. Please keep in mind that the UCR Learning Center can become quite busy, and students who make appointments have a guarantee that they will be seen. Walk-ins have no such guarantee.

Do writing specialists or coaches proofread papers?

UCR Learning Center writing specialists and coaches DO NOT proofread: they concentrate on larger problems in your writing, such as organization, evidence, and coherence. Specialists and coaches are, however, happy to look over a piece of writing to determine where the main sentence-level errors seem to lie and to recommend exercises (which your specialist or coach will go through with you) to help strengthen these weaknesses.

What should be brought to the session?

Writing specialists and coaches ask that you bring a draft of the writing assignment (it's enormously helpful if this draft is typed). If you are responding to a particular assignment, your writing specialist or coach might ask you to bring any relevant handouts as well.

How long does a typical session last?

The amount of time spent with a writing center specialist or coach depends largely on how much time you need. Sessions typically last 30-45 minutes (30 minutes for walk-ins and 45 for appointments). However, at busier times your writing specialist or coach may not be able to devote this time to just one person exclusively.

Is it okay to work on a paper after a session at the UCR Learning Center?

Because the UCR Learning Center is equipped with computers, it's quite possible for you to work on your writing immediately after the session while ideas and advice are still fresh.