University Writing Center

FACULTY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

HOW WILL MY STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM VISITING THE WRITING CENTER?

Many students find visits to the Writing Center beneficial and worth their time.

OVERALL

  • We strive to change the writer, not necessarily their texts.
  • We will teach them ways of thinking about writing and encourage attitudes toward the writing process that will help them learn how to write the many and often very different kinds of writing they will encounter in their major.
  • We hope to produce writers that critically consider past and future and, in doing so, produce writers that carefully consider context when writing.

UNDERSTANDING

  • We will teach them how to more effectively read their assignment and any feedback they have received on their writing.

GLOBAL-LEVEL ISSUES

  • We will have a conversation about their writing focusing on issues such as audience, organization, argument and support, and the incorporation of research.

SENTENCE-LEVEL ISSUES

  • We will teach them editing strategies that they can use in other writing situations.
  • We will also teach them about the patterns of errors they make the most, why they are making those errors, and how to resolve them on their own.

 

HOW CAN I HELP MY STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM VISITING THE WRITING CENTER

DISCUSS WRITING CENTER SERVICES:

  • Promote reasonable expectations about the service provided by the University Writing Center.

~Consultants do not edit papers; they teach proof-reading strategies and help students understand and revise the grammatical errors they make the most.

~Please do not expect students to turn in error-free papers because they spent fifty minutes with a consultant.

~Students who use our services on a regular basis almost always show noticeable improvement over time.

~When a student visits the Writing Center, the consultant fills out a report form that shows what the tutor and client discussed. These can be emailed to the professor if the client wants to release the information.

~For more information: http://www.wiu.edu/university_writing_center/policies.php

CREATE DETAILED ASSIGNMENT SHEETS:

  • Send copies, via campus mail, of material relating to writing assignments: the assignment, any criteria sheets or grading checklists, handouts on style and format (including the style sheet required for documentation), and so on. You can also send these materials or links to them (if materials are on the web) by e-mail to the director at np-baird@wiu.edu. We will keep these on file to help your students.

ATTEND STAFF MEETINGS:

  • Attend a staff meeting to present your assignments, what you value in writing, and the specific concerns you have about a particular assignment. If we know what you value in writing and your concerns about an assignment, we can more effectively honor them.

PROVIDE EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK:

  • Comment on students' drafts and provide specific areas on which students should work. Consultants can best help students understand how to achieve the results you are looking for when they have this information from you.

ATTEND A SESSION YOURSELF:

  • Make an appointment for yourself so that you can experience firsthand what students do. We can look over any of your personal writing such as lesson plans, course assignments, grant proposals, or materials for publication.

 

HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO USE THE WRITING CENTER?

NOTE: We prefer that students are not required to come to the writing center or given extra credit for making an appointment as that tends to have students come just for the points without the intent to become a better writer and can make them more resistant to learning. This also prevents other students who genuinely seek help from being able to make appointments.

ADVERTISING:

  • Include information about the University Writing Center on your door, syllabus, and every assignment sheet. Also, mention it in class several times before papers are due. Feel free to copy this statement onto your syllabus, blackboard site, and assignment sheets:

“For free, one-on-one consultation with trained undergraduate and graduate tutors, visit the University Writing Center at both the Macomb and Quad Cities campus. We work with writers from any discipline, at any academic level, and at any point in the writing process. Whether you need help decoding your assignment, brainstorming a topic, developing stronger points, incorporating research properly, organizing paragraphs, or receiving any other feedback, our tutors are here to help you. For more information about our locations and hours, how to make an appointment, or writing resources, go to www.wiu.edu/UWC .”

CLASS DISCUSSIONS:

  • Share your positive views on the writing center and your own experiences using our services
  • Share stories of former students who have improved because of using the writing center
  • Ask students who have used the University Writing Center if they would tell other class members about their experience.

CLASS PRESENTATIONS:

  • Invite a representative of the University Writing Center to visit your class for an informative and brief (five to ten minute) presentation at the beginning or end of your class period. We are happy to visit your class to introduce ourselves and our services to your students no matter what you are teaching. We will also pass out bookmarks of our locations, hours, and phone numbers. Email our director NP-Baird@wiu.edu to set up a visit.

WRITING CENTER TOUR:

  • Bring your class on a tour of the Writing Center at the beginning or end of a class period. We can give a 5-10 minute overview of our services and answer questions. Email our director NP-Baird@wiu.edu to set up a visit. Students who have actually been to the facility are more likely to use the service as they can see our location, friendly faces, and get clarification on the services we offer making the writing center less intimidating.

WORKSHOPS:

  • Set up mini workshops where tutors join your class to help with specific skills

REFER SPECIFIC STUDENTS:

  • Encourage individual students who you think would benefit from talking about their writing to contact us for an appointment.

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