Study help: Academic tutoring and college writing centers take the stress out of studying

study helpAs you finished up the end of your previous semester, you may have felt as if you were barely able to keep your head above water. As you venture into this new semester, however, take a look at all the study help options you have available including academic tutoring centers and college writing centers and make sure you stay on track from the get-go.

Check out the writing lab

Most schools have a learning center, tutor center and/or writing lab where students can get help with their term papers and projects. Most writing labs, generally located in your school library, also have computers where students can work and have Internet access. For example, the Writing Center at Sierra College, in Rocklin, California helps students with the following:

  • developing and organizing ideas
  • interpreting literature
  • research skills and citing sources
  • oral presentations

If your school has a student portal where you can log in, see your grades and enroll in classes, there may also be links to your library resources, tutor center and writing lab. The portal may also contain help and information on how to complete your projects.

The ultimate writing lab site is Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab known as OWL for short. OWL is chock full of help and tutorials on using MLA and APA formats for creating papers and presentations.

Your new BFF

If your instructors are too busy or too intimidating to contact, consider finding help from a fellow student. Seek out your tutor center where you’ll be able to connect with fellow students who have distinguished themselves academically and can help you do the same. If you can’t find your tutor center, check with your school library or student services center.

Getting set up with a tutor usually involves filling out a request form and making an appointment to meet with the tutor during their available hours. The most important thing to remember about working with a tutor is that it only helps you if you show up for your tutoring sessions, so try not to waste their time and yours by skipping out on appointments.

City College of San Francisco explains the benefits of tutoring: “Working with a fellow student can be a real treat. It helps to hear course material explained from a point of view different from the instructor. Your tutor can provide you with valuable feedback on how to approach the course and the material.”

The Brain

CengageBrain offers students help and support through its Brainiac tools that include practice quizzes, flashcards, videos, glossaries and a full eBook of more than 35,000 new print textbooks. At you can also purchase or rent your text, and access online homework solutions such as CengageNow, OWL, Aplia, and Personal Trainer. Prefer to listen? You’ll also find audio tools as well as select video study tool products.

Support materials for your textbook, known as CourseMate, can be purchased for as little as $10. All you need to get started is your book’s ISBN, title or author so that you can search to see if CourseMate is available for your textbook.

Find study buddies

Instead of stressing alone, gather a group of fellow students and share the load by studying together. Not only will you learn more, you’ll stay on track because of the encouragement of your friends. Duke University Academic Resource Center offered tips on how to form a study group starting with the number in the group. They suggested no more than five members who meet at least once a week.

Being a member of a study group means commitment. According to Duke University ARC, “All members should make a serious commitment to show up and to do the required preparation prior to any group meeting. If you show up unprepared it will impact how effective that session is for the whole group, not to mention what you could get out of those sessions.”

Take advantage of the tools and support available through your school and textbook publisher and before you know it you’ll sail through your projects and finals with ease!

1 reply
  1. Shirlene J. Gosek says:

    Thank you for the tips. I’ve been reviewing information in regard to essays and math. A head start with the introduction to the second semester helps. It is great to know that all that help is out there for students.

    Sincerely yours,
    Shirlene J. Gosek


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