Writing Better at Southwest

The Smither Writing Center provides help with writing to all Southwest students. 

You can come to the Writing Center for an in-person consultation with an English faculty member or student tutor, or you can receive help by phone or email.

Services available in the Smither Writing Center

In Person Consultations:

For help with writing for all classes, come to the Writing Center and work with an English faculty member or with a Student Staff member and review your writing together.  If possible, come to the Writing Center a day or two before your paper is due to allow you time to make revisions based on the recommendations and feedback you receive. Bring questions and be ready for explanations that will help you avoid problems in the future. 

In person consultations take priority over other assistance in the Writing Center and are done on a first come, first served basis.  You may be asked to return in 15 or 20 minutes if someone is ahead of you. Bring the assignment or plan to give a brief description of it when you bring the typed draft you would like someone to review. It is helpful if you note questions you have about your paper so you can discuss them during the review.

The Writing Center staff will not edit your paper but will point out some sentence errors and explain how to correct them. You may be asked to complete a brief Writing Center Survey after your in-person consultation.

Phone Consultations:

For quick questions about grammar, punctuation, or documentation, call us at 502-213-7270 during our regular hours of Monday-Thursday 9:00am - 7:30pm.  For longer discussions, call and set up a phone consultation.  Phone consultations can be scheduled at a time convenient for you.  Typically, a phone consultation lasts 15-30 minutes. 

Use this option to talk with a writing tutor about your paper up to 10 pages in length.** 

To schedule a phone consultation, email you paper of no more than 10 pages to jf-writingcentersw@kctcs.edu along with a short description of the assignment and your top three choices for appointment times within the next 48-hour period.  Please use your KCTCS email account and send your paper as a Word or RTF document.  A confirmation email or phone message will inform you of your appointment time and give you further directions. 

Please note that in-person consultations have priority. 

If we need to postpone your phone conference to help a student in an in-person consultation, we will call you as soon as possible during the same hour.  After your phone consultation, you may receive a follow-up Writing Center survey.

Email Consultations:

Email responses are available within 24-48 hours of submission* for papers 10 pages** or less.  You may submit your paper to us at jf-writingcentersw@kctcs.edu.  Please use your KCTCS email account to send your questions and your paper.  The paper should be in Word or Rich Text format (an RTF file) and attached to your email message asking us to review your paper or help with specific questions about your paper such as in-text citations, documentation, or appropriateness of your response to an assignment.  Be sure to include a short description of the assignment, the class for which you are writing the paper (i.e., ENG 101), and any questions you have about the paper. 

Please include a phone number in case we have questions about your paper or the assignment that we need to have answered before we review it.  You will receive a confirmation email shortly after submission. 

A response to your paper will follow within 24-48 hours.*  After your phone consultation, you may receive a follow-up survey.

What your email consultation will not include:

  • Editing  (If your paper contains numerous major sentence errors, we will suggest that you come to the Writing Center for an in-person consultation so that we can explain some of the errors and provide techniques for fixing them.)
  • Proofreading
  • Changing of your wording or paper in any way

What your email consultation might include:

  • A response in memo format that suggests ways you might improve your paper
  • A general review of your writing, focusing on big-picture ideas rather than on grammar and punctuation
  • Additional handouts or directed links for resources that will help you develop your writing and/or editing skills

* Note that the Writing Center is not open on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so those days are eliminated from the 24-48 hour turn-around time for email consultations.

**For papers longer than 10 pages, an in-person consultation is required.

Students may sign up for no more than two email consultations per week.