West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Writing Center

General Information

The Writing Center is an open computer lab where students can get help with writing assignments for any class at WVC. Peer tutors and English faculty members are available to help you succeed. Open lab hours and one-on-one tutoring are available.

Visit the Writing Center, located in the Library, and please don't forget to bring your student ID# and a completed LS110E form.

The Writing Center provides:

  • Professional faculty members
  • Drop-in individual tutoring
  • A lab with computers and writing and reading resources
  • Help with basic grammar, mechanics, essay organization, and much more

Open Computer Lab Hours

Monday 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday Closed

Face to Face Tutoring

Monday 9:30 AM – 5:15 PM
Tuesday 9:30 AM – 5:15 PM
Wednesday 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM – 3:45 PM
Friday Closed

Front Desk Phone Number: 408–741–2509

Contact Us: Vida Sabouri at 408–741–2602 or vida.sabouri@westvalley.edu

Become a Tutor

IS40E flyer Do you like helping others in a meaningful way? Can you communicate effectively? If your GPA is 2.5 or above and you have a B or better in the subject you wish to tutor, we invite you to apply.

What will you get out of it?

  • Help others.
  • Earn some extra cash.
  • Enhance your knowledge of the subject. (The jury is still out on whether or not tutees learn more than tutors during a tutoring session.)
  • Develop and improve your communication skills.
  • Learn how to become a more organized student.
  • Increase your confidence by facing and working through challenges.
  • Gain experience in a leadership role.
  • Develop your resume and on–the–job skills, applicable in most modern work environments.
  • Work on campus, close to classes.

How do I become a tutor?

  • Come in to the Writing Center and ask for information about becoming a tutor.
  • Register for IS40E, the 1 unit Tutor Training course, a prerequisite required for the job.
  • After successful completion of IS40E, complete a Peer Tutor Application, including the required Faculty Recommendation Form(s).
  • Submit a completed application and faculty recommendation(s) to Leslie Saito.
  • After applying, you may be asked to interview; if not, you may follow–up with Leslie Saito, and ask why an interview was not granted.
  • If hired, you will need to complete an employment packet with the West Valley College Personnel office.

We really need good tutors and will help you through the process. If you have any questions you have about becoming a tutor, please contact:

Tutor Schedule

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM No Tutors No Tutors No Tutors No Tutors
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM  Saito–Liu @ 9:30 AM
Vanna @ 9:30 AM
 Fasano @ 9:30 AM
Vanna @ 9:30 AM
 Clay @ 9:30 AM
Vanna @ 9:30 AM
 No Tutors
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Saito–Liu – 10:30 AM 
Cuttler @ 10:35 AM
Vanna – 10:45 AM
Fasano
Jonathan
Vanna – 10:45 AM 
Clay
Vanna – 10:45 AM 
 Saito–Liu
Jonathan
Vanna – 10:45 AM
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM  Cuttler
Kaitlin
Fasano –11:10 AM
Saito–Liu @ 11:15 AM
Jonathan
Clay – 11:10 AM
Saito–Liu 11:15 AM
Kaitlin 
Saito–Liu
Jonathan
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  Cuttler – 12:15 PM
Cisneros–Diaz @ 12:30 PM
Kaitlin
Saito–Liu – 12:15 PM
Fields @ 12:15 PM

Limited Tutoring
Saito–Liu @ 12:15 PM
Burrill @ 12:20 PM
Kaitlin
Saito–Liu – 12:15 PM
Harris @ 12:15 PM

Limited Tutoring 
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  Cisneros–Diaz
Kaitlin – 1:15 PM
Kendyl
 Fields – 1:55 PM
Kendyl
Reza
Burrill
Kendyl
Kaitlin – 1:30 PM
Harris – 1:55 PM
Kendyl 
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Adams–Palmer @ 2:05 PM
Cisneros–Diaz – 2:10 PM
Kendyl – 2:45 PM
Reza 
Cisneros–Diaz @ 2:05 PM
Reza
Kendyl  
Saito–Liu @ 2:05 PM
Kaitlin
Kendyl – 2:45 PM 
Pelletier @ 2:05 PM
Kendyl
Jonathan 
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Adams–Palmer
Kendyl
Reza
Cummings @ 3:40 PM
Cisneros–Diaz – 3:45 PM
 
Saito–Liu – 3:20 PM
Richey @ 3:20 PM
Kendyl
Vanna 
Pelletier @ 3:45 PM
Kendyl – 3:45 PM
Vanna – 3:45 PM
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM  Adams–Palmer
Kendyl
 Cummings
Kendyl
Vanna
Richey
Kendyl
Kaitlin 
 No Tutors
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Adams–Palmer – 5:25 PM
Kendyl – 5:15 PM
Cummings – 5:20 PM
Kendyl – 5:15 PM
Vanna – 5:15 PM 
 No Tutors No Tutors 

Workshop Schedule

The Writing Center will begin providing FREE 30-minute workshops on focused topics

APA

  • Thursday, March 10 at 2:30 PM with Pelletier
  • Monday, April 25 at 3:30 PM with Adams–Palmer
  • Thursday, April 28 at 2:30 PM with Pelletier

Commas

  • Monday, April 11 at 2:30 PM with Adams–Palmer
  • Monday, April 25 at 3:30 PM with Adams–Palmer

Editing/Proofreading

  • Wednesday, March 2 at 10:15 AM with Clay
  • Wednesday, March 9 at 3:30 PM with Richey
  • Wednesday, May 11 at 33:30 PM with Richey

Essay Prompts

  • Tuesday, March 1 at 2:30 PM with Cisneros–Diaz
  • Tuesday, March 8 at 1:00 PM with Fields
  • Wednesday, March 16 at 3:30 PM with Richey
  • Wednesday, May 4 at 3:30 PM with Richey

Introductions and Conclusions

  • Tuesday, March 1 at 10:00 AM with Fasano
  • Monday, March 7 at 1:30 PM with Cisneros–Diaz

MLA

  • Tuesday, March 8 at 10:00 AM with Fasano
  • Tuesday, March 15 at 1:00 PM with Fields
  • Monday, April 18 at 2:30 PM with Adams–Palmer
  • Tuesday, April 26 at 4:00 PM with Cummings
  • Monday, May 2 at 3:30 PM with Adams–Palmer
  • Tuesday, May 10 at 4:00 PM with Cummings

Reading

  • Thursday, March 17 at 1:15 PM with Harris

Thesis

  • Wednesday, March 2 at 12:30 PM with Burrill
  • Thursday, April 14 at 2:30 PM with Pelletier
  • Thursday, May 5 at 2:30 PM with Pelletier

Who, What, Where... Citing Sources

  • Thursday, March 3 at 1:15 PM with Harris
  • Thursday, April 21 at 1:15 PM with Harris
  • Understanding Essay Prompts: Monday, February 29 at 1:30 PM with Rebecca Cisneros–Diaz
  • Scholarship Essays: Monday, February 29 at 2:30 PM with Adams–Palmer

In order to attend workshops or receive FREE tutoring, students need to bring their student ID card and a completed LS110E form to the writing center.

Testimonials

"I wanted to THANK YOU for giving me a wonderful opportunity to successfully PASS my English 1A course last semester. As soon as I checked my grades for English 1A, I felt astonished that I got a good grade for English 1A although it was my weakness. I asked myself, “Is that my real grade?” That feeling meant a lot to me! Every tutor that I came across in the writing center created a warm and caring environment for a student’s success. They proved that I can achieve my goals. Of course, I shouldn’t forget the fact that I played a major role in passing 1A by putting my heart into the essays that my teacher assigned. Thank You!"

– WVC English 1A Student

"Great Help! I got great help from tutors in the Writing Center. In the beginning, I got Cs in English 905, but I got B+ in the last prompt. I feel more confident and have more interest in Writing."

– WVC English 905 Student

"Good Support. The tutors in the Writing Center make sure that you can pass your writing classes successfully by giving you the support you need by providing you useful information on how you can improve your writing skills. They also make sure that you will understand what they are saying by allowing you to ask questions if you feel confused. If you don’t understand what they are saying, they will explain it in an easier way. The writing center can make a huge difference in your writing capabilities and your grades."

– WVC English 1B Student

"Excellent Peer Review. It is helpful and your writings and papers will definitely enhance. I think that it is really good how you get other people to read your papers. There is a positive effect on my essay grades when a tutor looks at my paper and I receive feedback. They give good feedback and they know what they are talking about. They help me see what I did wrong in my essay and then help me fix what I did wrong."

– WVC English 905 Student

"You can only get good out of it. It's a quiet place to study and focus on what you have to do."

– WVC Psychology Student

Frequently Asked Questions

My instructor wrote comments on my essay, but I'm still not sure how to make my essay better. Can a tutor help me?

Yes, a tutor can help you understand your instructor's comments. We will work with you to develop an appropriate plan for revision.

I don't know if my paragraph is good. Can a tutor tell me if I have a good paragraph?

A tutor will help you identify the key elements of an effective paragraph. We will also discuss different types of paragraphs and their relationships to each other within an essay.

I need help writing my thesis. Can a tutor help me write a thesis?

A tutor will help you identify the key elements of an effective thesis statement. We will also help you understand the relationship of a thesis to the rest of an essay.

Can a tutor edit my essay or fix my grammar?

No, a tutor won't edit your essay – that is, fix your grammatical errors sentence by sentence, but we can help you understand grammar rules with which you may be struggling. Also, we can help you identify patterns of error you should work on. Prior to editing, you may wish to consult us about your essay's argumentation and content.

Can a tutor grade my essay or tell me how to get a better grade?

No, a tutor won't grade your essay. A tutor's responsibility is to help you learn how to create a successful writing process revise and edit so that you can become a more confident and effective writer. We won't tell you how to get a better grade, but we will give you honest and supportive feedback as it relates to your instructor's assignment sheet and expectations.

I don't understand what plagiarism is. Can a tutor explain it to me?

Yes, a tutor can help you understand the principles of academic dishonesty and how and why to avoid id. Using MLA requirements will ensure the integrity of your written work.

Can a tutor help me with MLA formatting?

A tutor can help you learn how to use a MLA handbook to use in-text parenthetical citations and create a Works Cited page. We can also help you do electronic and library research as well as create an annotated bibliography.

I don't have time in my schedule. Can I email my drafts for feedback?

Students have busy schedules, but we don't accept essay drafts via email because students become better writers when they collaborate with tutors, peers and instructors in learning communities.

Writing Resources

Please feel free to check out these websites to learn more about grammar and writing. Many of the websites include practice activities.

We invite you to also visit electronic online writing labs (OWLs) such as:

Grammar Websites

  • Guide to Grammar & Writing – This is a comprehensive website with tips for sentence, paragraph and essay level development, followed by activities to practice what you learn.
  • Chomp Chomp – Watch PowerPoint presentations and YouTube videos about grammar. This website also includes practice activities.

Prewriting

  • KU Writing Center – This website provides an overview of several prewriting techniques including clustering, looping and questioning strategies.

Thesis

Paragraph Development

MLA

  • WVC Library MLA Guidelines – The West Valley College Library's handout about MLA guidelines features the works cited formats for the most used sources.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab – Format your essay according to MLA guidelines with the Purdue OWL's explanation.

Writing Practice Activities

  • English Maven – You choose the best way to correct the errors in different passages.

Typing Practice

  • Free Typing Game – Practice your typing skills with these fun, free typing games.
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