The Writing Center

Policies and Restrictions

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Appointment Policies and Restrictions

 

Who may use the Writing Center

If you are a member of the George Mason community–a student, a staff member, faculty, or alumni–you may use the Writing Center’s free services.

  • You must present a picture ID at the appointment. 
  • You may schedule appointments to work on your own writing only. You may not use your account to make appointments for any other person than yourself.
  • If you are working on a group and/or collaborative assignment, the tutor can help only with the part of the assignment you wrote. The whole group may come in for group tutoring, but please indicate this is the case in the notes field when you make your reservation.

Number of appointments per day, per week, and per semester 

  • You may book up to two appointments per week.

  • Students, faculty and staff may book up to fifteen appointments per semester. Alumni may book up to five appointments per semester.

  • You may not book back-to-back sessions. Writers need time between sessions to work on revisions deemed necessary in the first 45-minute session. Similarly, you may not book multiple sessions to work on the same version of a draft.

No-show and cancellation policy

  • If you are more than ten minutes late for your appointment, you lose the exclusive right to that appointment, and the session may be given to a walk-in student.
  • After two missed appointments (or what we call “no-shows”) you are prohibited from booking further appointments for the current term, and your existing appointments will be canceled. You may, however, use the Writing Center on a walk-in basis. 
  • Sessions may be canceled up to two hours prior to the scheduled session. Clients who do not cancel in time and fail to appear for a session will be counted as a “no-show”. 

Clients who abuse the scheduling system or our policies are no longer eligible to receive our services.

A Few Kinds of Writing We Cannot Help You With

Although the Writing Center can help you with most types of writing, we are subject to certain specific restrictions.

  • We are not permitted to help you with take-home essay exams unless you have written permission from your instructor, or the instructor has contacted the Writing Center directly.
  • We are not permitted to help you with writing that has legal or financial implications or is related to an appeal of a university decision.
  • Tutors are prepared to help you with writing personal statements for fellowships, jobs, or graduate school; however, some schools and programs do not permit any outside assistance with the writing of your personal statement. It is your responsibility to determine whether or not tutoring is permitted. The George Mason University Writing Center is not liable if the writer violates such a policy.

Confidentiality of Tutoring Sessions

The Writing Center believes that a collaborative relationship between instructors, tutors, and writers is the most conducive to writing improvement. We do, however, respect the confidentiality of every tutorial session. Should an instructor inquire about the content of a tutorial session, we will not provide this information unless the writer has given permission for us to share it. 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a difficult issue for any writing center. Our tutors generally assume that the writing brought to them is the writer’s own. If there are concerns with how and when research is cited, tutors do point out these concerns and explain the necessity for correct and thorough citations.

Tutors do not report suspected plagiarism to anyone outside of the Writing Center. If a tutor feels that a paper is clearly not the work of the tutee present for tutoring, and the writer resists reworking the potentially plagiarized elements of the assignment, that tutor may cancel the session at his or her sole discretion.

 

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