I just have a quick question about my paper.  Can someone answer it over the phone?

We don’t offer phone consultations, because our front desk workers are usually busy assisting clients.  You can make an appointment to have your questions answered, or e-mail us at writingcenter@ua.edu.

My paper isn’t ready yet.  Can I book an e-tutoring session now? 

We ask that you have your paper ready to upload when booking your appointment.  Once you’ve made your appointment, however, you are free to upload a newer version before your appointment begins.  To do this, log in to our system and click on your existing appointment to edit it or attach a new draft.

I see an appointment available in the system, but for some reason I can’t reserve it.

White squares indicate available appointments; blue or gray squares are unavailable.  E-tutoring appointments must be made one calendar day in advance (by midnight the day before).  The system will not allow you to reserve a same-day e-tutoring session; during our office hours, however, you can call the Center at (205) 348-5049.  We can make the appointment for you as long as the booking is complete and your draft uploaded by the appointment start time.

Help! I am clicking on an available appointment (a white square) and am booking at least one day in advance, but when I try to click on an appointment slot, nothing happens! 

Your appointment window may have opened up behind the current screen instead of in front of it. Try minimizing your current view to see whether an appointment box has popped up.

I have specific questions that I would like my tutor to answer; how do I let him or her know?

It’s helpful for your tutor to know about your specific questions. You can explain them on the appointment form, or insert your questions into the document itself using the “comments” function. You should attach your assignment sheet to your appointment form as well, so your tutor will have a good understanding of the requirements.

Help!  The system won’t let me upload a paper!

Make sure you are on the right schedule.  The Lloyd Hall schedule does not allow clients to upload drafts; you must choose the “Distance Learning” schedule.   Also, check to see that your file is in the right format and is not too large.  Documents cannot be over 1MB in size, and must be in one of the following formats: .doc, .docx, .numbers, .odt, .pages, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .wpd, .wps, .xls, or .xlsx.


Can I upload two different papers in one online session? 

This is possible, if both papers are short.  Our tutors can normally read up to 10 double-spaced pages in one session.  If both papers combined come to 10 pages or less, you may submit them in one appointment.

Help!  My session is coming up, but I uploaded the wrong document. 

You can attach a new document by clicking on your existing appointment to edit it. If you encounter problems with our system, you can e-mail your draft, along with an explanation of the issue, to writingcenter@ua.edu.  We will send the draft to your tutor.

My session is coming up, and there is some information that I forgot to include on my appointment form.

You can edit your appointment by clicking on it.  If you need to communicate with your tutor before your session, however, you can also send an e-mail to writingcenter@ua.edu. We will forward your questions to your tutor.

My session time has arrived—where is my tutor?

You do not need to be online during your appointment time in order to get feedback. Your tutor will review your draft and post feedback to our online system by the end of the appointment hour.  Keep in mind that we are on Central Time.

My session is complete.  Where can I find my draft with the tutor’s comments? 

Your tutor will get feedback to you in two different ways– through an e-mail attachment and by uploading it back into the system for you to retrieve.  If you do not receive your draft as an attachment, you can log into UAMYWCONLINE  and click on your original appointment. (You can arrow back to get to previous weeks).  When you click on appointment, you should find a copy of your draft with comments inserted.

Help!  I’ve received a draft with tutor feedback, but I can’t view the comments. 

Your tutor uses the “comments” function of their word processing program to insert feedback into your draft.  If you are using a mobile device, you will need to download the paper before you can view the comments.  If you still cannot view the comments, then you should make sure that you are in the correct viewing mode of your word processing program.  In Word, look for the “Review” tab, and make sure you’ve selected “All Markup” or “Final Showing Markup.”

My tutor completed my session, but I have revised my draft and want feedback on the newer version. What should I do?

Once your session is complete, we can’t re-do it.  You can, however, make a new appointment to have your new draft reviewed.

My session is complete, but I still have questions.

You can send brief follow-up questions to writingcenter@ua.edu, and your tutor will get back to you with a response.  A simple follow up question would be something like, “Where can I find the grammar resource that you suggested?”  or “What did you mean when you wrote ‘research?’ on page 2 of my draft?”    If you need more feedback,  comments on a revised draft, or responses to brand-new questions, you should make a new appointment.

My session is complete, but my tutor did not edit my work or correct my citations like I asked them to do.

The UA Writing Center is a tutoring service rather than an editing service.   Although the online sessions are asynchronous, we try to make them as much like our face-to-face sessions as possible.  Our goal is to foster collaboration, to prioritize higher-order writing concerns over surface-level issues, and to help you re-think and improve your draft. When dealing with grammatical or mechanical issues, online tutors use the “I do/you do” approach; they may offer one small correction, then invite you to identify and correct that error in the next section of the paper.   Your tutor might also point you to online resources to help you improve your mechanics/style.  Tutors do not proofread, edit, or revise your prose for you.

My session is complete, but my tutor didn’t get through the whole draft.

It is not always possible to get through long documents in one session.  We have a limit of 10 double-spaced pages per session, but the tutor may read less than that if the work is very dense or technical.  You can re-submit the next 10 pages or the next part of the document for a new session.  If you need to work on one long document over several sessions, you should make recurring appointments with the same tutor so that he/she will be familiar with the work.