Valentine’s Day at the Writing Center!

We’re not just good at writing…

We’re also good at giving awesome, clichéd, and funny love advice! You know, like a love guru, but not the one in that terrible movie with Mike Myers.




For Valentine’s Day, this Thursday, the Writing Center will be sitting at a table outside of Glar from 11 – 1 to give free relationship advice to whoever needs it!

So even if you’re dealing with a pretty disastrous break-up with Ryan Gosling or having trouble getting over a crush on an absurdly attractive cartoon character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? we’re here for you . . . as a friend.



At the table you won’t just find paper hearts (with corny love notes) and free candy, but you will also find:

1. Free relationship advice from peer tutors like…

Having trouble getting an anniversary gift for your girlfriend?

I mean, I guess girls like McDaniel squirrels. Grab one of them. Stuff it. Then pin it on her wall while she’s sleeping. Don’t be freaked out if she starts screaming when she sees it. It is just because she is so happy. Really.

2. Mad Libs!

We’ll have a ton of short and sweet romantic mad libs that you can feel free to fill in with as many body part nouns and farting verbs as you would like!

Here’s a short one I filled out:

Valentine’s Day is a lumpy holiday! In the morning, Mom makes us Panda Bear-shaped pancakes and Dad gives her a bouquet of furry flowers. At school, we decorate the classroom with red and white trolls and make Valentine cards out of paper and bunnies. We write something papery inside like, “You make my heart heave!” or “I like your squirrels.” Afterwards, we drink swag-like punch, eat heart-shaped ravens, and play games like hide and go chop, and even barf the tail on the Eatery. I love Valentine’s Day! (Mad Lib courtesy of

If you’re about to ask the two questions that I think you’re going to ask then, yes, I am a beast at alliteration and I do enjoy abusing small woodland creatures.

With that said, come and visit us at the table on Valentine’s Day. We promise not to ruin all of your relationships.

Charles, peer tutor.

Don’t Be Scared of Your Paper!

It’s not yet Halloween and television channels are already having marathons of horror movies! That’s right. There is now no place to hide from Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, or those monsters that go bump in the night.

He’s right behind you! Lady! Hello! Crap, she’s dead…

That means you’ll be more inclined to turn off the TV and focus on that essay, right? No? You’re scared of your paper? You’re scared of its imposing seven-page minimum?

Wait? Your paper turns into a giant monster at night and terrorizes New York City? Ehhh, sorry. Can’t help you there.

Don’t be! It’s okay! We all get scared of our papers sometimes, but that’s why the Writing Center is here to help.

All of us tutors are equipped to handle your every writing fear. Whether it is grammar, your thesis, or prewriting, we are here to help! We even have TONS of handouts you can take with you for your benefit ranging from how to take notes, how to outline, and even how to make an eye-popping resume.

So come visit us in Hill Hall 101 or book an appointment with us at our website.

And if you actually need help surviving a horror movie, we can help you there too.


Don’t run upstairs.

Don’t be the person that always jokes around.

Double Tap.

Always call for back-up.

Never split up.

Never go down into the basement.

Actually, speaking of which, my fellow tutor Ben Azat hasn’t come back from putting up flyers in the bottom of Hill Hall. Maybe I should go check it out.

I’ll be right back.

Oh no. I’ve made a HUGE mistake…

Charles, peer tutor.

Fan Fiction and Grammar Tips

Some students come into an appointment at the Writing Center asking if we will edit their paper.

The short answer is not exactly!

The long answer is yes—and we’ll show you how to look for grammatical mistakes, so that you can have the tools to do so yourself.

We want you to become a better writer and not just have a better paper.

So let’s take this really badly written and grammatically incorrect piece of fan fiction I just wrote this morning after too much soda and too little sleep.

I’ll make this fan fiction about Harry Potter:

Harry woke up in a wave of tears. He dreams about Hermione last night and how Ron took her away from him. Angrily, he ran over to his mirrors in his room on Private drive and punched it. Harry did not want to look at himself.

“It should be I who has Hermione as a girlfriend, not Ron!” said Harry.

Harry walked around his room he thought of the many ways he could seek revenge on his freckled enemy, he would need his wand and the help of his most hated arch-nemeses Draco Malfoy.

Boy, I’m sorry you had to read through that. Trust me. It was just as much torture to write it. Here’s a picture of a kitten to pick you up:

Courtesy of

Now of course this is an extreme case, but the same rules apply. If I brought this fanfiction to the Writing Center to be worked on, they would focus on teaching me better ways to identify and fix grammatical mistakes.

Let’s start from the top.

The first error is a tense agreement error: “He dreams about Hermione last night and how Ron took . . . .” Each verb tense must be the same, either past or present. To fix it, “dreams” should be changed to dreamt or dreamed. The best way to identify this mistake and fix it yourself is to read through your paper with a consistent tense in mind. If your objective is past tense, go through each verb and make sure it is the past tense of it. If it is present, make sure every verb is present.

The second error is a pronoun disagreement: “he ran over to his mirrors . . . and punched it.” Each pronoun should agree in a sentence; they should be either singular or plural respectively. Thus, “mirrors” should be changed to mirror or “it” to them. The best way to identify and fix this grammatical mistake is to read your paper aloud. If you read it aloud, you’ll notice that the flow of your reading is interrupted by pronoun disagreement.

The last error is the run-on sentence (sentence that “runs on” without proper punctuation). The last paragraph of the fan fiction is all one sentence. Sometimes this can happen, but not if it is grammatically incorrect and without proper punctuation. Let’s fix this: “Harry walked around his room. He thought of the many ways he could seek revenge on his freckled enemy; he would need his wand and the help of his most hated arch-nemeses, Draco Malfoy.” The best way to identify such a grammatical mistake is to reread sections with long sentences especially. Sometimes you write in stream-of-consciousness, forgetting to punctuate.

Here is a handout about commas, periods, semicolons, and colons.

With all that said, grammar can be hard sometimes. We all make mistakes, but if you make yourself more self-aware of your writing, it will make you a better writer.

For help with these challenges—or any others–come visit us at the Writing Center in Hill Hall room 111 or book an appointment with us!

Oh and if you want to talk about kittens, that’s cool too.

Courtesy of

Charles, peer tutor.