Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Q: How much does tutoring cost?

A: All tutoring is free of charge if you are a current, tuition-paying AU student.

Q: Will the Center for Teaching & Learning edit my papers for me?

A: No.  Well, sort of.  You can't just drop off your paper to have it edited before you hand it in.  You can set up an appointment with us, however, and we will be happy to look at the paper with you.  We'll look at every aspect of your paper: organization, topic development, grammar and mechanics, documentation methods, thesis statements, conclusions, accurate summary and paraphrase, and style.  If you know you need help with all your writing projects, we recommend that you set up weekly appointments with us.  See our Writing Assistance link.

Can I walk in and get help or do I have to make an appointment?

A: If you're in the library or close by you can stop in.  If a tutor is available, she will be happy to help you out.  However, if you absolutely need a tutoring session before an exam or before a paper is due, we suggest you call well in advance to make an appointment to assure a tutor is available.  We get especially busy the last two weeks before mid terms and before the end of the semester.  If you know you'll need regular assistance for an upcoming class, we suggest you schedule weekly tutoring sessions. Call the secretary at 844-5520 for an appointment.

Q: Can you help me figure out how to study?

A: Yes.  Successful students understand that there are different ways to prepare for different types of courses.  Likewise, the style of the professor often necessitates a different strategy for making it in a class.  We can help you assess your current methods and can suggest a variety of strategies.  Of course, the first thing we're going to ask you is if you study at least three hours out of class for every hour you spend in class.  See the study skills links below.

Q: Can you help me figure out how to manage my time?  I never seem to have enough time to study.

A: Yes, we can help.  We'll sit down with you and look at your class schedule and work schedule and try to come up with a reasonable time management plan.  Don't expect us to work miracles, though.  We're probably going to suggest that you study more, and work and play a lot less.  For instance, if you don't currently study on the weekends until late Sunday night, then you're not using your time wisely.  The most successful students use the weekends to put in long hours that they don't have during the week.

For study skills help and time management tips, take a look at the following link:

Q: If I work with a tutor for all of my papers, is it still possible for me to fail a paper?

A: Yes.  We doubt that you'll fail a paper if you're getting regular help, but we cannot guarantee success.  You are responsible for assuring you have put in the necessary work to succeed. Likewise, you may come for weekly tutoring in math and still fail a quiz or exam.  We trust that you'll see marked improvement if you're coming for regular help.

Q: What is a peer tutor?  And how do I get one?

A: A peer tutor is a student who is in (or has been in) the same class that you're in.  All peer tutors are recommended by instructors and approved by the director of the Center for Teaching & Learning.  The Center for Teaching & Learning pays the peer tutor--you do not.  You may meet with the tutor in the Center for Teaching & Learning or the two of you may make arrangements to meet elsewhere.  We leave that up to you.

Q: My professor wants me to use APA style or MLA style to write my papers.  What does that mean?

A: APA and MLA are documentation systems.  Refer to the Writing Assistance page to learn more about each of the documentation systems and how to use them.

How do you cite internet sources?

A: It's complicated, but we can show you. Refer to our Writing Assistance page or call 844-5520 to make an appointment. What's just as important as properly citing an internet source is carefully evaluating the source to determine if it's an acceptable source for a college paper.  We can help you evaluate and cite internet sources or look at the Evaluation of Information Sources link on your own if you'd like.

What exactly is plagiarism?

A: When you purposely or accidentally present another person's ideas (philosophies, theories, data, calculations, etc.) as your own, you are plagiarizing.  Most of the plagiarism that occurs is accidental or "ignorant" plagiarism.  This means that the student didn't knowingly commit plagiarism.  In such a case, the student may not have given credit to another book that she read.  Or, she may have included direct quotes in a paper without citing the original source of the quote.  This sort of plagiarism has serious consequences: you may get a severe grade reduction on the paper or you may fail the paper.  The more sinister plagiarism is old-fashioned cheating.  In this case, a student hands in a paper that he himself hasn't written.  Or, he purposely copies large chunks of text from another article or book and represents it as his own.  This sort of plagiarism may result in the student suffering severe consequences such as expulsion.

So, if you don't know how to properly cite sources, make an appointment with a writing specialist at the Center for Teaching & Learning.  Better safe than sorry.

I have a disability.  I had testing arrangements in high school.  Will I have the same arrangements in college?

A: Maybe. Colleges and high schools don't always accommodate students in exactly the same way.  To find out for sure, review our Disabilities Services page and set up a meeting with the Director of the Disability Resource Office at 630-844-5267.