The Writing Center is open for online tutoring through Google Docs, Zoom, and/or phone. Please make an appointment with us.


How to schedule an online tutoring appointment

You must schedule online appointments in advance. We ask that you contact the Writing Center at least 1 business hour prior to the time you're requesting a session. We need time to pair you with a tutor, let them prepare for the session, and ask any questions we might have. For example, if you want a session at 10 a.m. on Friday, you need to contact us by 8 p.m. on Thursday. You can view our hours here to make sure you're within the 1 business hour guideline. Tutors are only available for scheduling and conducting online tutorials during the Writing Center's regular business hours. Additionally, you must be available by Zoom or phone for the duration of the session, as online tutoring is an interactive service that requires your participation.

To schedule your appointment, follow these simple steps:

  • Download and complete this cover letter.
  • Email writing@nmu.edu, and include these attachments:
    • The completed cover letter. We will not schedule an appointment if the cover letter is not attached.
    • Your paper
    • Any additional resources, such as an assignment sheet, course syllabus, related reading, etc.

Once we receive your email, our staff will review your cover letter and assign you an appointment time and a tutor to work with. They will also send you a link to the Google Doc that you and the tutor will share during your session and confirm your preferred method of communication (Zoom or phone call).

Each tutoring appointment is, at maximum, an hour. If you have more than one project or if your project requires extended attention, schedule multiple appointments.


How to participate in your online tutoring session 

At the time of your appointment, go to the Zoom and Google Docs link our staff sent you. 

You will work with your tutor to improve your writing using a combination of chat features and text editing. The tutor will still read through your paper with you. They'll suggest possible revisions and teach you writing principles that you can apply both to the paper you're currently working on and to future written projects. You'll be able to ask them questions, point out areas of concern, and ask their opinion on revisions you make during the session.

Online tutoring sessions are highly interactive and require your full participation. Just as we don't correct or "fix" papers in person, we won't simply make edits for you during an online session. A tutor may make a few small changes to demonstrate a concept, but then it will be up to you to apply what you've learned, with the tutor taking a supporting role while you take the lead on your own paper. 


When should I use online tutoring?

Normally, we offer online tutoring services for students whose schedules or distance from campus prevent them from coming to the Writing Center in person, such as students taking courses remotely; however, because of the pandemic and for social distancing concerns, we are only offering online tutoring this semester. 


How long will my appointment take? 

Online tutoring sessions typically last between 30 minutes and an hour. At the one-hour mark, your tutor may need to end the appointment to work with another client. If that happens, you're welcome to fill out and submit an updated cover letter requesting other appointments. 

For essays longer than 5 pages, you may need to schedule multiple appointments. Simply notify the Writing Center when scheduling your appointment that your submission is part of a longer work.


Already had an online tutorial? We'd love your feedback! Please email us at writing@nmu.edu to let us know how your online tutoring session went.