Writing Centre and Academic Communications

What can I expect at the Writing Centre?

Our goal is to help you become a better thinker and writer. Tutoring helps you understand how to strengthen your writing now and in the future.

The centre’s tutors will work with you to:

  • Develop and determine a direction for your paper or assignment.
  • Strengthen your paper or assignment.
  • Identify reoccurring grammatical errors or structural problems.

If you don't know where you are going wrong with your writing, we can help.

What should I not expect during a tutorial?

The centre does not:

  • Proofread or edit papers
  • Comment on the content
  • Comment on a graded paper
  • Comment on a professor or instructor
  • Offer suggested grades for a paper or assignment

What should I bring with me to a tutorial?


  • Student ID
  • Your assignment instructions or question(s)
  • A hard copy of your writing
  • Any notes or previously marked assignments, as this may facilitate the tutor’s understanding of your specific needs
  • Specific questions or specific areas that you feel need improvement - if you don't know, that is okay!

We will not work on electronic versions of the document.

How long do tutorials last?

  • A scheduled appointment is 50 minutes
  • A drop-in appointment is 20 minutes

How do I sign up?

  • Register and book appointments online.
  • Call 491-6202
  • E-mail: writing@smu.ca
  • Drop by the office (Burke 115)

When is the Centre open?

May 1st to August 31st:

  • Burke 115 -- Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

What else does the Writing Centre offer?

We have extensive online resources, weekly workshops, guides and handouts, as well as annual events, such as the Scrabble Smackdown, for the Saint Mary’s community.

For more academic help and information, you can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cancellation Policy

  • All appointments must be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance
  • Failure to appear for a booked appointment will result in a block of access to the centre's services
  • A $10.00 cancellation fee will be charged
  • Failure to pay this fee may result in withheld transcripts
  • Cancellation fee payment is made through Banner at the Service Centre
  • Blocks may be lifted by contacting the Director, Brian Hotson.

During weather closures, students missing appointments will not be charged this fee.
This policy was developed due to a large number of 'no show' appointments and is in keeping with other academic writing centres' policies.

If you have any questions, please contact the Centre.

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