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A guide for PCCC students for using our free eTutoring service.
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2016 URL: http://pccc.libguides.com/etutoring Print Guide RSS Updates

Frequently Asked Questions Print Page
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FAQ

Why won't my paper upload to eTutoring?

How do I know when my paper has been read?

How long will it take for me to get my paper back?

It's been longer than the average turnaround time.  Why haven't I gotten my paper back yet?

What kinds of assignments can I upload to eTutoring?

Is there a minimum or maximum number of pages a paper has to be to send it to eTutoring?

How many times can I submit drafts of the same paper?

How many papers can I submit in a semester?

Will the eTutor fix my grammar for me?

What can I expect from an eTutor?

Will I get the same tutor every time I submit a draft of a paper?

Can I request a certain tutor?

Are all the tutors from PCCC?

I got my paper back from the tutor; now what do I do?

 

Why won't my paper upload to eTutoring?

Certain file types are not accepted by the eTutoring platform.  If you are having trouble uploading your paper, it could be because it's saved in a format not supported by the eTutoring platform.  Unacceptable file types include: Notepad (.txt), WordPad (.wpd), WordPerfect (.wps), and Acrobat (.pdf).

If you are using a word processing program other than Microsoft Word, save your documents as Rich Text files (.rtf).  To do this, click on the File/Save As links. In file types, found in the "Save As" box under the place where you type the name of your document, click on the drop down box and select .rtf (rich text format). Then click Save.

When you submit your file, you will browse to your desktop and double click on your rtf file. It should appear in the long, skinny dialogue box. Once there, if you click "submit," it will attach. You should then be able to upload the file without a problem.

If you have saved it in the proper format (check carefully!) and still cannot upload the file, you can email the support desk and they will help you upload your paper.

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How do I know when my paper has been read?

To see if your paper has been read, you must log in to the eTutoring website.  (Use the average turn around time to gauge when the paper is likely to be done.)  Click on eWriting Lab.  If your paper has been commented on and resubmitted to the site, the new version will appear at the bottom of the page.  Click on the link to get access to your comments!

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How long will it take for me to get my paper back?

Usually, a paper will be read and commented on in 24-48 hours.  However, at busy times, such as around midterms, it can take a little longer.  The best way to tell when your paper will probably be done is to pay attention to the average turn around time (listed under the eWriting Lab link) when you submit the essay.  This is a pretty accurate predictor of when your essay will be ready.

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It's been longer than the average turnaround time.  Why haven't I gotten my paper back yet?

There are a few reasons that you may not have gotten your paper back yet.  First, remember that the average turnaround time is an average, meaning that some papers will take more time, and some may take less time. 

If your paper came in at the same time as several other essays (as is likely to happen during, for example, the midterm exam period), the average turnaround time may not have increased yet to reflect this sudden surge in papers.  Additionally, a surge in longer papers, which may happen when research and term papers are due, may also cause a delay in your paper return.

The time of day that you submitted your paper can also affect its return.  Although you can submit to eTutoring 24/7, tutors do not work 24 hours a day.  Therefore, if you submit a paper at 2 AM, it's possible that although the average turn around time is, say, 10 hours, you may not get your essay back until 6 PM the next day, or 16 hours later, because eTutors are not working overnight.

Generally speaking, a paper should be back to a student within 48 hours unless the average turnaround time shows that eTutoring is particularly busy and taking a little longer to get papers back to students.  If your paper has not been returned in more than 24 hours after the average turn around time (be sure you uploaded it), contact ___________ for further assistance.

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What kinds of assignments can I upload to eTutoring?

Not all writing assignments are appropriate for eTutoring.  This service helps students with the writing process, so the best types of assignments to submit are those that will be graded, at least in part, on writing.  eTutors can help with several types of writing, from term papers to business writing to lab assignments.  However, assignments like journal entries or field studies, which may not follow a certain format or may not be graded on the writing itself, are not appropriate to submit to eTutoring.

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Is there a minimum or maximum number of pages a paper has to be to send it to eTutoring?

There is no set minimum or maximum number of pages for an assignment that can be submitted to eTutoring.  However, as stated above, assignments that are submitted will be commented on for the writing and probably not for content.  Therefore, use your judgment.  A submission of only a few sentences will probably not be helped much by eTutoring. 

Longer papers are always welcome, but bear in mind that an eTutor has only a limited amount of time to spend on any one paper and therefore cannot comment as closely on a longer assignment.  It is strongly recommended that longer assignments are submitted the permitted 3 drafts to receive as much help as possible.

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How many times can I submit drafts of the same paper?

You may submit up to three drafts of a single assignment.

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How many papers can I submit in a semester?

There is no limit to the number of assignments you may submit in a single semester.  However, you may not have more than two open (that is, unanswered) assignments submitted at any one time.

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Will the eTutor fix my grammar for me?

eTutoring is not an editing service, and eTutors do not "fix" grammar.  An eTutor may point out a grammatical error if you have several in your paper, however.  He or she will then give you some information about that type of error and how to fix it, but it is up to you to find and correct the rest of the errors in the essay.

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What can I expect from an eTutor?

eTutoring is not an editing service.  eTutors will not correct your paper for you.  They will read you paper and make suggestions to improve the writing.  Depending on which submission it is (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), the tutor will focus on different aspects of the paper.

During the first submission the eTutor will focus almost exclusively on your thesis and the supporting points made. The eTutor will consider the general logic of those points but will not evaluate each point separately. The eTutor will also confirm whether you are following the conventions of the (fill in MLA or APA) style and will provide you with a link to relevant information if necessary.

During the second submission, the eTutor will assume you have followed the recommendations made earlier and will consider the organization of points and the use of transitions.

During the third submission, again the eTutor will assume you have followed the earlier recommendations. The eTutor will offer recommendations on at least one of these areas: introduction and conclusion, use of quotations, sentence structure and grammar, and voice and diction. Throughout this process we advise that, if possible, you meet with your instructor about your work and progress.

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Will I get the same tutor every time I submit a draft of a paper?

You are unlikely to get the same tutor for every assignment, or even for 2 drafts of the same assignment.  eTutoring has many tutors working at all times of the day, and the essays are listed by when they were submitted.  When a tutor is available to comment on an essay, he or she merely chooses the one at the top of the queue. 

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Can I request a certain tutor?

No.  As stated above, essays are read in the order in which they are submitted.  There is no way to assure that a certain tutor will read your essay.

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Are all the tutors from PCCC? 

No.  PCCC is one of 35 schools in the Northeast that take part in eTutoring.  Each school provides tutors, and because the work is online, a tutor hired by a certain school may not live near the college.  Therefore, you cannot assume that the tutor will know the instructor, course or assignment that you are submitting, and it is important to give as much information as possible.

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I got my paper back from the tutor; now what do I do?

When you get your paper back from eTutoring, start by printing it out.  Then read through the eTutor's letter, before looking at your paper.  In the letter, the eTutor will make suggestions and offer extended help for those suggestions. 

Only after reading the letter should you go to the embedded comments in the essay.  The embedded comments are examples of the suggestions made in the eTutor's letter.  Generally, an eTutor will point out a mistake or make a suggestion once.  This does not mean, however, that there aren't other parts of the paper that could use the same sort of revision. 

After reading through the essay with the comments, begin your revision by reading through the essay looking for areas not pointed out by the eTutor that might need improvement.  Once you've made changes to the draft, read it over one more time and then resubmit it to eTutoring.

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