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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ARC?
The Academic Resource Center is the place to find:

  • A free service to support and assist you with your course work
  • Peer Tutors who will help you improve your writing skills
  • Peer Tutors who can help you balance your academic and social life (contact our ARC coordinator, MaryJo Upchurch — mupchurch@sbc.edu — if you are interested)
  • Ideas for managing your time and reducing your stress
  • Specialists who can improve your study skills
  • Tutors who can work with students who have learning disabilities
  • Assistance for ESL students
  • Books and resources on many aspects of college life

When is the ARC open?
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m., 7-11 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 7-11 p.m.

Do I have to have an appointment?
Although walk-ins are welcome, we encourage you to make an appointment, especially if it is a busy part of the semester (such as the last couple weeks of classes). We also encourage you to come in more than 24 hours before the paper is due, so you will have plenty of time to revise it after your meeting.

How can the ARC help me with a paper?
Our tutors can help you with every aspect of writing a paper, from brainstorming to polishing the final draft. Specifically, we can help you:
- analyze assignment directions
- brainstorm ideas
- craft a thesis statement
- organize your ideas
- revise your draft
- use correct punctuation and grammar
- incorporate sources into your writing
- proofread your work

What can’t the ARC help me with?

We can’t guarantee that you will get an A on a paper, and we can’t tell you what your professor will think of a paper. We can’t write or rewrite your paper for you, and we can’t correct all of your problems in 30 minutes. We are here to help you become more effective writers, not to do your work for you. Tutors are trained to facilitate your learning; it is up to you to make it happen.

Can I drop off my paper to be read and to be picked up later?
No! We ask that you stay and work with our tutor so that your meeting will be a learning process. The tutor will not correct your mistakes for you. She will help you learn from your mistakes and improve your writing skills.

Will the ARC help me proofread my paper?
Yes! The ARC will help you proofread your paper. We will read through your paper with you, point out grammatical and punctuation errors, typos, and other mistakes, and show you how to correct them. That way, we hope you will learn to find and correct those mistakes for yourself in the future!

I am an International Student and English is not my native language. Does the ARC have any resources to help me?
ARC tutors can help you correct grammatical and language problems in your papers and other assignments. As an International Student, you are especially encouraged to take advantage of all of the ARC resources as you get adjusted to college life in the United States!

I have a learning disability. Does the ARC have any resources to help me?
ARC tutors can help you with time management, study skills, and test-taking tips. We also have available the Kurzweil computer system, or text-to-speech software, which allows you to scan your reading material into a program that will then read it aloud to you; it will also translate words, offer definitions, and give you space to type notes. If you don’t have time to scan your reading, you are welcome to drop off your texts several days before you need to read them, and a tutor will be happy to scan them for you. We also have available the Dragon program, or speech-to-text software, which records your spoken words as text in a computer document.

How do I get a Subject Tutor?
Call the ARC at x6278 to find out the name of a tutor in the department. You can also check out the list of Subject Tutors on our web site. Then, you may contact a tutor yourself to set up a time to meet.

How do you cite sources from the Internet?
Check out Citing Internet Sources.

How can I become an ARC Tutor?

The ARC hires new tutors each spring for the following academic year. If you are a strong writer, have experience in tutoring, or simply have a desire to help your peers in their academic lives, we encourage you to consider becoming an ARC Tutor. Watch for announcements or call Mary Jo Upchurch in the spring (early-mid March) to find out how to apply! Application requirements include: a minimum GPA of 3.0; a graded writing sample from a Sweet Briar class; and two recommendations from professors. Hired tutors must enroll in the 1-credit English practicum, “Theory and Practice of Peer Tutoring,” which meets in the fall semester; tutors are also expected to participate in ongoing monthly training meetings.