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Writing Center Policies

Mission Statement

The CCRI Writing Center strives to enhance the writing and revision skills of its community of writers by promoting such activities as interactive tutoring services, collaboration among writers, classroom orientations, workshops, and the use of helpful resources. With enhanced communication skills, writers will be more successful in their courses and in their careers. All CCRI students, faculty, and staff are invited to consult with staff members at any of the writing center locations.

Tutoring Session Activities

The primary goal of tutoring sessions at the Community College of Rhode Island is to help writers to improve their writing and revision skills; many kinds of activities are used during consultation sessions to enhance writers' skills. For example, a writer sometimes might bring a question about an upcoming project to a writing center appointment. Questions about  summaries, the MLA system, the APA system, the Chicago (notes-bibliography) system, and research projects are often asked during tutoring sessions. Discussion about a rhetorical term--such as "thesis," "genre," "conjunction," and "refutation"--might also happen during an interactive session. Most often, though, tutoring sessions are focused on helping writers to enhance their papers. Collaboration between a writer and a tutor obviously will result in an improved paper, but discussion and interaction during the consultation process will result in the added improvement of a writer's skills. In order to ensure the success of a tutoring session, writers need to assume responsibility for their own writing, as well as to participate in the tutoring process by:

  • spending an adequate amount of time writing and revising a paper
  • helping to determine what task should be focused on during a tutoring session
  • communicating necessary information about a writing project to a tutor
  • asking questions about writing, revision, and research techniques
  • deciding whether or not to use any of the revisions suggested by a tutor
  • ensuring that the learning processes of other Writing Center visitors are respected

Writers can bring any helpful items to a consultation session, such as:

  • Questions or problems
  • A course's syllabus
  • An assignment
  • A list of ideas for a paper
  • One or more drafts of a paper
  • Comments from a professor
  • A referral form
  • Research sources, such as articles, books, and printouts of pages from websites

Current CCRI students can receive up to two hours of tutoring help each week with their CCRI coursework.


Appointments are strongly recommended for writing center visits.

Make your appointment with Starfish, 
or you can email us at [email protected]

Each student can schedule up to four appointments every week. If an appointment needs to be changed, the student should notify the writing center at least eight hours before the appointment. If more than two appointments during a semester are missed, then no further appointments will be made for that student. Being on time for a writing center appointment is also important; if someone is more than ten minutes late for an appointment, the appointment slot might be given to another student.

Walk-in Tutoring

Students who do not have appointments may come into one of the CCRI Writing Centers and get immediate help if no other student is waiting.  Students with appointments will be served first.


Depending on the campus, the CCRI Writing Center may have computers available for use by students who are getting help at the Writing Center or who are waiting for consultation help. Because there are sometimes problems with computer or printer availability, though, students are encouraged to bring printed versions of their papers to the writing center. Computer and printing services are offered in the CCRI Computer Labs.

Cell Phones

Cell phones should be turned off in the writing center. Important phone calls can be answered in the corridor outside of the writing center.

Referral Forms

Referral forms sometimes are used by faculty members to suggest areas of focus for a writing center visit by a student. However, these forms are optional—students are encouraged to visit the writing center any time they have questions, need assistance, or want feedback on their writing. A PDF version of the referral form is available here; it can be printed out, filled in by a professor, and brought into one of the CCRI Writing Centers.

College Policies

All of the Community College of Rhode Island's policies, rules, and regulations will be followed in the CCRI Writing Centers. Many of these policies are stated in the online version of the Student Handbook.