A Letter from the Director -->

Where instructors and editors talk writing.

A Letter from the Director


Brian Timmerman
Greetings, students, faculty, and staff.

We’ve heard your concerns about editor availability, and we’re restructuring our services to better meet demand. Come May 14, if you’re a student working on your capstone, and if you find the editor schedule to be full, go ahead and sign up with a tutor. The tutors, all writing professionals who are already working with students on proposals and prospectuses, are eager to assist you in your capstone endeavors.

A few things to keep in mind as you work with a tutor on your capstone:
  • Unlike the editors’ 1-hour chapter review offering, a tutor’s review is 30 minutes.  Like the chapter review, however, the paper review is an asynchronous session; it does not include a phone call or live communication.
  •  The editors’ chapter review offering remains one review of each of the main areas of the proposal: Introduction, Literature Review, and Methodology. Tutors, though, welcome you to make multiple submissions of the same chapter.
  •  Tutors “[examine] patterns in writing and [make] suggestions to a student about how to improve those areas, modeling effective, exemplary writing” (Walden Writing Center, 2012b, para. 2). It is therefore imperative that from draft to draft, you’re showing progress. As noted in our tutoring policies:
To make the most of each appointment, students must be able to apply the tutors' feedback from one draft to the next. The tutors' goal is not to fix students' papers but to help students develop their skills. If students are not applying feedback from one review to the next, no matter what the tutor has reviewed (i.e., different papers or the same section of a paper), the tutor reserves the right to return the paper without a review. (Walden Writing Center, 2012a, “Working With the Tutors” section, para. 3)

  • This policy is perhaps doubly important for students working on their capstones as we simply don’t have the capacity to do a line-by-line edit of each student’s work. Students at this stage in their doctoral programs should take primary responsibility for revising and improving their work using feedback from their committees.
  • Perhaps most importantly, although access to the tutors will now be readily available to you, the tutors’ services are not meant to and should not replace your committee, your primary source of support as you develop and revise your capstone. Do not be surprised if your tutor asks you to run his or her feedback by your committee to make sure that all parties are on the same page.
As always, we appreciate your feedback. Without constructive responses to our services, we would not be able to make changes like these.

Brian Timmerman
Director of the Writing Center

Walden Writing Center. (2012a). Tutoring services. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/285.htm

Walden Writing Center. (2012b). Writing center policies. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/825.htm


  1. This is a great option for my students. Thank you! I also think this explanation is valuable as it is also relevant to committee members who also need students to take the helm in revising and refining the study by applying comments, suggestions throughout the entire work. I want to do a better job of plugging my students into the WC resources. Thanks!

    Anissa Harris

  2. Glad to hear you approve of our changes, Anissa. Just wait until you see what the editors will be offering this Fall!

  3. Bessie DiDomenicaJune 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    I didn't think about a tutor to review my work. They are another resource I'll keep in mind as I write my Lit Review.

    Bessie DiDomenica