The Writing Center at College of San Mateo - Instructions for Students: English 100, 101, 110, 120, 135, 140, and 165
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The Writing Center

Instructions for Students: English 100, 105, 110, and 165

What is the To Be Arranged (TBA) requirement?
The TBA is a requirement for successful completion of your English course. It provides the opportunity to enrich your learning beyond the classroom, through a number of activities and materials designed to help improve your reading and writing skills. You are required to complete the activities in 18-104. Activities may include orientations, one-on-one tutoring conferences with English instructors, tutorials on specific writing and critical thinking skills, and Grammar and Editing Workshops.

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

Whenever you come into the Writing Center, you will be checking in and out on our Accudemia attendance program, which is on the computer at the front desk. This is how we keep track of the TBA hours for your English course.

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 Writing 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 Writing 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 essays and editing and proofreading strategies.
  • Two-hour ESL Grammar  and Editing Workshops can help with your editing and proofreading skills if English is your second language. The schedule for these workshops is posted in the Center.
  • Tutorials on specific writing skills are available both in hard copies in the center and on the web for work at home.
  • You can learn about writing and literature as well as writers and their cultures by using our books and instructional materials or by viewing DVDs and VHS tapes.
  • You can use the computers in the Quiet Room to research, write, and print your essays, with English instructors available to answer quick questions when you get stuck. In the Quiet Room, you can also access the online library tutorials on research and documentation.
Can I get help with my writing in the Writing Center even if my instructor has not assigned conferences?
You can always sign up for an appointment with a Writing Center instructor to get help with an essay, either for your English class or another course 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 essay assignment sheet
What can I expect from a conference with a Writing 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 TBA affect my grade for the course?
Ask your classroom instructor. Your instructor will determine how the TBA affects your course grade.