Welcome to the Reading & Writing Center!
While NOVA works during the COVID-19 outbreak, all tutoring appointments at the Reading & Writing Center will be conducted virtually (online) using Zoom, the video conferencing with real-time messaging and content sharing program accessible through students’ MyNOVA portal. Click below for an appointment request form. After completing and submitting the form you will receive a confirmation email that your appointment has been made. Look for a second email shortly before your appointment containing information on how to join the Zoom meeting with your tutor. You can email the center at email@example.com if you have any questions.
The Reading & Writing Center’s mission is to facilitate student success through improved studying, reading and writing skills. Our tutors will assist you in all subjects and disciplines with every aspect of the reading and writing processes. Regardless of your ability level, we can help you improve your reading and writing. View the presentation below and read our Philosophy of Tutoring for more information on our tutors’ qualifications and training.
If you’d like to learn more about this and other Academic Support Centers, watch the following video:
Tutor Requirements & TrainingThe tutors are current NOVA students, part-time employees studying at nearby universities or working locally, and community volunteers. All tutors must have a record of academic success, including excellent grades in writing courses. They must also demonstrate advanced understanding of the writing process and superior communication skills. Virtually all applicants come highly recommended by English faculty, yet the interview-and-hiring process is highly selective. Less than half of applicants are offered positions. After being hired, tutors undergo a rigorous training program: attending presentations, textbook reading, small group discussion and observations of experienced tutors. Their training covers non-directive and directive pedagogy, distinguishing between higher-order and lower-order concerns and the unique needs of NOVA’s student populations. They receive instruction for responding to all levels of student writing, from developmental to honors. Once they begin tutoring, they are regularly evaluated and trained through observations, reflective discussions and special training sessions. Writing Center tutors also attend professional conferences such as the International Writing Center Association Conference (IWCA) and the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association Conference (MAWCA).
- Non-directive strategies include acting as a “sounding-board” for ideas, providing encouragement and asking clarifying, open and leading questions.
- Directive strategies consist of providing explicit feedback, explaining unfamiliar expectations or conventions, and modeling examples of revision, editing, and proofreading strategies.
What is the Reading & Writing Center?Our mission at the Reading & Writing Center is to enable student success through improved reading and writing skills. In other words, we will help you become better academic readers, writers and thinkers, thereby giving you tools you need for academic success. Our trained peer tutors provide one-on-one assistance to writers of all ability levels in all courses and disciplines. We also offer group workshops that combine interactive group tutoring and individualized attention.
Where is the Reading & Writing Center located?We are located in Godwin (CG) 409, directly above the library.
Who can use the Reading & Writing Center?Students enrolled in classes at the Annandale Campus or online.
Who works at the Reading & Writing Center?The Reading & Writing Center is supervised by the Acting Academic Support Services Coordinator, Brian Adler. Trained peer tutors from George Mason University and NOVA provide one-on-one tutoring, online tutoring and group workshops.
Do I have to pay to use the Reading & Writing Center?No. All of the Reading & Writing Center’s services are free to enrolled students.
What is tutoring?Tutoring is one-on-one, individualized assistance. It is interactive and collaborative. The more you participate, the more you will benefit.
What happens in a tutoring session?First, you and your tutor set an agenda for what you want to work on during your session. The agenda can be brainstorming for a paper topic, working on a thesis, re-organizing the body of an essay, revising based on an instructor’s feedback, working on grammar, or any other aspect of the writing process. After agreeing on an agenda, you and the tutor will read the paper together. You will then work on the agenda, discussing and brainstorming possible improvements to your writing. In some cases, tutors may ask you to practice some skills. Tutorials are always interactive and collaborative.
What should I bring to the tutorial?Your assignment sheet is essential. Your syllabus, class notes and textbook can also be helpful.
How do I make an appointment?There are multiple ways to make an appointment: 1) Drop by CG-409 to speak with someone working at the Reading & Writing Center. 2) Call 703.323.3341 and speak with someone working at the Center or leave a voicemail. 3) During NOVA’s time of remote learning, students are encouraged to complete the online Appointment Request Form. Be sure to complete all the required fields:
- First and Last Name
- EMPLID #
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Day/Time you want the appointment
- Any other pertinent information
What happens if I can’t make my appointment?Students who have an appointment with a tutor may cancel the appointment with 2 hours notice. Students who fail to come to scheduled appointments and do not cancel at least 2 hours in advance CANNOT make another appointment at the Reading & Writing center for the remainder of the semester. Students will still be able to utilize other resources at the Reading & Writing Center (workshops, software programs, books, handouts, etc.), and will be able to take advantage of workshops, walk-in tutoring and online tutoring services.
Must I have an appointment for tutoring?No, you may get tutoring at the Reading & Writing Center as a “walk-in”, depending on tutor availability. Scheduling an appointment with a tutor, however, is the best way to guarantee you see one.
What is a workshop?A workshop combines group tutoring with individual attention. Workshop leaders conduct an interactive discussion of a writing-related topic. After the discussion, you are invited to work on your writing. The workshop leaders will assist you with any questions you may have.
Who runs the workshops?The workshops leaders are experienced writing center tutors who are specially trained to lead and facilitate group workshops.
When are the workshops?The workshop schedule can be found on the Workshops tab of this page.
Must I have an appointment for a workshop?No, you do not need an appointment to attend a workshop. You can sign up for a workshop ahead of time, or simply drop in when we are hosting one. All workshops are located on the 4th floor of the CG Building.
What is the self-guided software?Self-guided software is a study resource for NOVA students. The software focuses on reading, grammar and writing skills.
Who can use the software?All NOVA students enrolled in classes at the Annandale Campus or online.
Must I have an appointment to use software?No, you do not need an appointment to use the self-guided software.
What do I need to use the software?You need a valid MyNova username and password. Call the IT Help Desk 703.323.4141 if you have trouble logging in. Some software may require you to create a username and password, or you may have a username and password assigned to you by one of the ASC managers or center front desk assistants.
This tutoring center uses Accudemia to schedule appointments and record student visit information. If you receive tutoring from this center, the email you provided for your account will periodically receive emails from an accudemia email account. You will receive an email upon account activation and as reminders for scheduled appointments. Other emails may be received based on usage and system updates. The authorized sender of Accudemia is firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a likely address and sign-off from Accudemia:
From: Accudemia <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Oct 4, 2018, 9:34 PM
Subject: Account Created
The Accudemia Team
- 50 minutes of one-on-one, individualized assistance
- Students are eligible for 1 appointment per week, or by assignment if given special permission by director
- Reserve appointment slot online with the appointment request form, in person, or over the phone 703.323.3341
- 50 minutes of small group and individualized assistance
- Students are eligible for 1 appointment per week by organizer and can be reserved for 2 to 3 students. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Reserve your group appointment slot online with the appointment request form, in person, or over the phone 703.323.3341
- Planning the essay
- Organizing and/or applying course materials (book, lecture notes, handouts) in order to complete the assignment
- Creating thesis statements
- Organizing ideas into coherent compositions
- Editing strategies to ensure clear communication of ideas on a sentence level
- Correctly documenting external sources of information by an established citation method
- Understanding and critically reviewing course readings
- Using computer software, applications, or Internet resources (such as You Tube videos)
- Up to 30 minutes of one-on-one, individualized assistance
- Students are eligible for 1 same-day session per day
- Visit the center in person or call the center at 703.323.3341 to schedule a walk-in individual appointment the day you need assistance.
- Up to 30 minutes of small group and individualized assistance
- Students are eligible for 1 same-day session per day
- Visit the center in person or call the center at 703.323.3341 to schedule a walk-in group appointment the day you need assistance
Annandale Reading and Writing Center Policies
- Tutors are not obligated to write/type on the student’s paper/document
- Tutors will not provide or estimate grades for assignments
- Tutors will not assist students with online tests or quizzes
- Tutors will not encourage complaints about VCCS faculty or courses but rather provide information to contact the appropriate Dean when appropriate
- If Individual or Group Appointments finish 20 or more minutes early, the tutor may choose to help waiting students
- If Same-Day Service session or Same-Day Service — Group Appointments finish 15 or more minutes early, the tutor may choose to help waiting students
- No service besides Online Tutoring can be reserved by email. Use the online Appointment Request Form to reserve an appointment with a tutor.
- Students are allowed one (1) Individual OR Group Appointment per week.
- Students are allowed one (1) Walk in (Same-Day) Service session OR Walk-in (Same-Day) Service — Group Appointment per day.
- Students must provide cancellation notice a minimum of 2 hours prior to the Individual or Group Appointment; otherwise, the appointment will be considered a “no-show”
- Student must provide cancellation notice prior to the beginning of their Same-Day reservation; otherwise, the appointment will be considered a “no-show”
- Students may not cancel or reschedule appointments for other students
- Scheduled Individual and Group Appointments begin every hour on the hour
- Tutors are obligated to wait for scheduled Individual or Group appointments for a maximum of 15 minutes, after which the appointment will be considered a “no-show”
- Walk-in (Same-Day) Service sessions begin every half hour on the half hour
- Tutors are obligated to wait for scheduled Walk-in (Same-Day) Service — Appointments and Walk-in (Same-Day) Service — Group Appointments for a maximum of 10 minutes, after which the tutor will assist wait-listed students and the appointment will be considered a “no-show”
- Upon receiving one “no-show,” students may not reserve appointment-based services at Reading & Writing Center for the remainder of the semester. Students are still welcome to utilize any services that do not require appointments (e.g. Walk-in tutoring, Workshops, Conversation Café, or Software Usage). Students can speak to a manager if they believe there has been a misunderstanding.
Community/Classroom Support Services
The Reading & Writing Center workshops offer content instruction and interactive group discussion of specific writing issues, followed by individualized, one-on-one assistance. Participants learn, work on their writing and receive help along the way. Faculty and students interested in requesting a workshop should email the acting ASC Coordinator, Brian Adler, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work quickly to create a workshop customized to your needs and schedule.
- Reading Comprehension Workshop - Time: 60 minutes (30 minute presentation/30 minute practice). Objectives: Learn and practice effective reading and annotation strategies for college-level assignments.
- College Transfer Essay Workshop - Time: 90 minutes (45 minute presentation /45 minute practice). Objectives: An opportunity for students to learn effective writing and revising techniquies for application essays. Students at all stages of the essay writing process (from brainstorming to final draft) are welcome.
We will work quickly to support your needs and schedule.
We will need clear details
The RWC often hosts and visits classrooms for orientations. These orientations are approximately 30 minutes in length. If you are interested in another service or combining an orientation with another activity, the RWC will also staff special events. In order to reserve a tutor for a special event, it is necessary that the Center Supervisor receives clear details regarding dates, times and locations; clear details regarding the requested services (an orientation, workshop, or pop-up tutoring); the activity description; tutor expectations; and an explicit guarantee that an instructor will be present.
RWC tutors cannot serve as substitutes for instructors
Tutors cannot serve as instructors in an instructor’s absence. Tutors are not credentialed to teach undergraduate courses, and such requests are also unfair for the tutor will not be paid the going rate for substituting. Therefore, the submitted activity description must also explicitly state that there will be an instructor present to ultimately lead the class.
If you have any questions not answered on this website, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading & Writing Center directly at 703.323.3341 or email@example.com