Below are some frequently asked questions about the USM Writing Center. If you do not see your question answered here, you can contact Carrie Kancilia, Faculty Director of Writing Services, at

All appointments are scheduled for fifty minutes, but students are not compelled to fill fifty minutes.

A tutorial session is a conversation between a student and a writing assistant built around responding to a project. No two clients have the exact same session because tutors change their approach to adapt to the writing needs of each client. Like a consultant, a tutor will spend some time investigating a project, review whatever work the student has done so far, and make recommendations for next steps. However, a writing assistant will not edit or revise a student’s work for them. Tutoring sessions are deeply collaborative with the student client always taking ownership of their work.

USM Writing Assistants are prepared to collaborate on a full range of writing projects, including traditional research papers, presentations, lab reports, multimodal assignments, personal statements, response papers, creative work, and more! WAs can help to navigate any assignment or project that involves writing.

When a student comes in for a session, things like assignment sheets, notes from class, and comments from the instructor will help a tutor investigate a project. Drafts are welcome but not required, and tutors are prepared to brainstorm and help organize ideas, and even to aid in one’s understanding of the requirements of an assignment. A student only needs to bring their willingness to work on their writing!

Writing appointments are conducted on the Portland campus on the third floor of the Glickman library (325 Glickman) and on the 2nd Floor of the Gorham campus library in Bailey Hall. Any appointments can also be conducted via Zoom. Online appointments can be made on either the Portland or Gorham schedule. For online appointments, log in to the calendar system a few minutes before your scheduled appointment, open the appointment window, and click on the link labeled JOIN MY APPOINTMENT to start the Zoom meeting.

  1. Sign in to the MyUSM Portal
  2. Click on USM Quick Links and click Tutoring: Writing Assistance
  3. If you don’t have a tutoring account yet, register using your email address
  4. In the scheduling calendar, choose your appointment location (Portland or Gorham) from the drop-down menu. Note: Online appointments can be scheduled from either campus calendar.
  5. Select the desired focus
  6. Click on a white block to reserve an available appointment
  7. Select your meeting preference if the tutor offers both in-person (face-to-face) and online options.
  8. Complete the form with as much detail as possible. You may also choose to attach a document (e.g., course resource, study guide, etc.) to the appointment.
  9. Scroll to the bottom of the form and click Create Appointment. You will receive a confirmation email at your address.