Services for Faculty
The Writing Center offers a range of services to assist faculty in working with their students’ writing. To arrange for any of the following services or for more information, contact Joan Marcus by phone (274-3470) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Conferences with individual students writing papers for your course. (See below for more information on referring individual students.)
- Small group workshops with students from your class on generating, organizing, and developing ideas and peer reviewing classmate’s drafts.
- Class visits by members of the Writing Center staff to explain our services and encourage your students to take advantage of them.
- Consultations on designing effective writing assignments, incorporating writing instruction and writing as a process into content courses, and evaluating student writing.
- Instructional handouts on many aspects of writing for you to copy and distribute to your classes
What the tutors can and cannot do:
We train our tutors to work collaboratively to help students become more effective and confident writers, with special attention to the academic essay. This can include understanding the assignment; brainstorming ideas; formulating a strong thesis; organizing, developing, and supporting the key concepts; and responsibly documenting material drawn from sources. The tutors also help students to revise for improved sentence-level clarity and correctness.
The tutors will not write papers for students, nor will they edit or proofread by making the corrections in the text. Rather, they will engage with students to help them develop strategies for doing their own sentence-level editing. In a one-hour session, the tutor and the student may not be able to address all of the issues raised by the draft, and the revised papers may still have problems or contain errors.
Suggestions for encouraging students to use the Writing Center:
- Include the information about our services in your syllabus. Help us to get out the message that every writer needs a reader and the Writing Center can help all writers, not just those with special problems.
- Before papers are due remind your students of how the Writing Center can help them. Encourage them not to wait until the last minute so as to leave time for revising and perhaps even to schedule a second conference.
- When responding to student papers, suggest that they visit the Writing Center for help with revising.
- Request a class visit by our tutors to explain our services.
- Schedule your smaller classes to visit us for an introduction to what we do.
To Require or Not To Require?
Students are most likely to benefit from our services if they come voluntarily. But we also believe individual students can benefit from being required to use our services, at least once, especially if you see that they have basic writing problems they need to address and if you allow them to revise and resubmit the paper. Many students required to visit us once become regular clients voluntarily—the outcome we desire.
Requiring all students in a class to schedule conferences to work on your assignment can be problematic. It stretches our staffing capabilities, and students often come begrudgingly, reluctant to participate collaboratively and productively in the writing conference. The requirement also leads some students to believe that the visit will automatically guarantee them a particular grade.
If despite this you do wish to require an entire class to receive the benefits of tutoring, we ask that you notify the Director so that we can arrange to meet with students in groups and avoid blocking up our schedule. It would also be helpful for us to receive copies of the assignment sheet and your grading criteria ahead of time. This will help us to prepare the staff to work more effectively with your students.