Writing Center & English 800 Center at College of San Mateo - Instructions for Students: English 838/848
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Writing Center & English 800 Center
Instructions for Students: English 838/848

What is the English 838 or English 848 To Be Arranged (TBA) requirement?

The TBA is a requirement for successful completion of your English 838 or 848 course. It provides the opportunity to enrich your learning beyond the classroom, through a number of activities and materials that your teacher chooses for you. It is essential to come into the English 800 Center at least once early in the semester.

How will my classroom instructor know how much time that I have spent on my TBA requirement?

Whenever you come into the English 800 Center, you will be checking in and out on our Accudemia attendance program, which is on the computer at the front desk.

How do I know what to do for the TBA?

Based on your writing skills and the goals for the course, your classroom instructor will decide how you should fulfill this requirement. ‪During the semester, your classroom instructor will use the Online Reporting Form to specify what you should do in the English 800 Center for TBA credit.  For example, your instructor may ask you to sign up for one-on-one conferences so that you can get help with your essays.  When you have conferences with instructors in the Center or complete any tutorials on specific writing skills, Center instructors record that information on your Online Reporting Form. Throughout the term, you and your classroom instructor have online access to your Reporting Form 24/7 to see what activities you have completed and what comments the Center instructors have made about your progress.

How do I get started?

If your instructor has asked that you do activities in the English 800 Center, your instructor will fill out an Online Reporting Form. This reporting form is an online Google document, and you will learn more about how to access it at the mandatory orientation that you will attend with your class early in the semester.

How can I use the center?


  • With an appointment, English instructors can help you with homework and essays as well as editing and proofreading strategies.
  • Two-hour ESL Grammar Workshops can help with your editing and proofreading skills if English is your second language.
  • Tutorials on specific writing skills are available in the center.
  • You can use the computers in the English 800 Center or Quiet Room to research, write, and print your essays, with English instructors available to answer quick questions when you get stuck.
Where should I go for help if the English 800 Center is closed?
You can go to the Writing Center to make an appointment, see an instructor, or get help with homework or a tutorial.

Can I get help with my writing in the English 800 Center even if my instructor has not assigned conferences?

You can always sign up for an appointment with an English 800 Center instructor to get help with an essay, either for your English class or another course that you are taking. You can also choose to do tutorials to improve your writing skills.

What should I bring to my essay conference?


  • the essay that you want to work on
  • your assignment sheet
What can I expect from a conference with an English 800 Center instructor?

Your instructor will spend about twenty minutes discussing your essay, homework or tutorial with you. Come prepared with questions or specific areas that you need help with. The instructor's goal is to help you to become an independent editor of your own writing.

How will the HBA affect my grade for the course?

Ask your English 838 or 848 instructor, who will determine how the TBA affects your course grade.