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

Writing Center

Spring 2014 Hours of Operation:

Writing Center Hours

               Open Computer Lab Hours
Monday 8:30 am-5:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am-5:30 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am-5:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Fridays & Weekends Closed
          Face-To-Face Tutoring
Monday 11:00 am-3:30 pm
Tuesday   9:30 am-4:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am-4:30 pm
Thursday 11:00 am-4:00 pm

Please see the Tutor Schedule.

Front Desk Phone Number: (408) 741-2509

Vida Sabouri: (408) 741-2602
Contact Us: vida.sabouri@westvalley.edu

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.

Students in the Writing Lab

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

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

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

  • The Purdue University OWL ^
  • The University of Florida OWL ^
  • Literacy Education Online ^

Writing Tutoring

Tutoring photo


We are dedicated to helping you become a more successful and confident writer. If you need help generating, developing and/or revising ideas for an essay, we are happy to provide writing strategies. You are welcome to bring in questions, prompts and assignments from any course that requires writing. We're looking forward to seeing you.


Every West Valley College student is eligible to receive drop-in, one-on-one tutoring. We will help you learn how to edit and revise essays yourself; we don't edit papers for you. Students are helped in order of arrival, so please sign the Daily Tutoring Sign-Up List to speak with a tutor. If you need to print your essay, you may ask the Writing Center staff for a free print card; you will need to add money before you print (.10/page).

You may enroll in LS 110E: Supervised Tutoring to receive drop-in, one-on-one tutoring. If interested, please fill out this Referral Form, have it signed by your instructor or counselor, and bring it to the Writing Center for free drop-in,one-on-one tutoring:

LS110E Referral Form


Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Grammar Websites:

This is a comprehensive website with tips for sentence, paragraph and essay level development, followed by activities to practice what you learn.

Watch PowerPoint presentations and YouTube videos about grammar. This website also includes practice activities.


This website provides an overview of several prewriting techniques including clustering, looping and questioning strategies.


This handout provides comparisons and contrasts between strong and weak thesis statements.

Purdue's OWL is renowned, so feel free to explore its other resources. This particular page provides examples of thesis statements.

Paragraph Development:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/606/01/ (paragraph)
This page from Purdue's OWL explains the elements of an effective paragraph.

http://www.hamilton.edu/documents/writing-center/Paragraphs.PDF (paragraph)
This handout provides an example of an effective paragraph, including a topic sentence, supporting evidence and a concluding observation.


The West Valley College Library's handout about MLA guidelines features the works cited formats for the most used sources.

Format your essay according to MLA guidelines with the Purdue OWL's explanation.

Writing Practice Activities:

You choose the best way to correct the errors in different passages.

You choose the best way to correct the errors in different essays.

Typing Practice:

Practice your typing skills with these fun, free typing games.

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