Making the Most of Writing Center Services
The Writing Center staff wants to support you and your students. The most effective methods for using the Writing Center to support student writing in your courses are the following:
- Send in copies of your syllabi, assignments, and writing guidelines.
- Inform students that they will receive tutoring, not editing.
- Bring your classes by for an introductory visit.
- Invite Writing Center staff to speak with your classes about the benefits of receiving tutoring.
- Encourage your students to visit both the Writing Center and our website (especially our Resources for Writers page).
- Provide extra points or extra credit for visiting the Writing Center.
- Refer individual students who you think need additional writing support.
- Meet with Joel Bisser, about any special situations or requests.
- Keep in touch by communicating your questions, comments, and suggestions.
Required Writing Center Appointments
If you wish to require an entire class to come in for an assignment, there are a few things you must take into account before doing so:
- You must let the Writing Center know at the beginning of the semester so we can plan ahead.
- All students in your class MUST make an appointment ahead of time—we are not able to accommodate an entire class of walk-in sessions.
- The Writing Center will not keep track of students who come in for your assignment. They must ask for a form from their tutor which they will be responsible for filling out before they leave the center. This will serve as their proof of tutoring.
- We cannot accommodate traditional students online. They must come in for a face-to-face session.
- If a student comes for a required session and is unwilling to actively participate in the session, she/he may be asked to leave without a signed form.
We have had good feedback from required sessions in the past; often it encourages students who may never have used us to give the Writing Center a try. However, we are a small operation, and we must work to serve the entire campus—not just one class. Following these policies will help us provide quality tutoring to willing participants.
If you would like to encourage your students to use the Writing Center, Joel Bisser is happy to talk with you about other effective ways to do so. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 8769
Guides for Commenting on Student Writing:
Haswell, R. (2006). The complexities of responding to student writing; or, looking for shortcuts via the road of excess. Across the Disciplines 3. Retrieved September 29, 2008, fromhttp://wac.colostate.edu/atd/articles/haswell2006.cfm.
Land, R. E. (1987, February). Classroom inquiry: What our students taught us about paper making.” The English Journal 76(2), 113-116.
Mosher, J. (1998, February/March). Responding to student papers: responses to avoid and productive advice to give. Word Works, 90-91.
Soles, D. (2001, December). Grading as a teaching strategy. Teaching in the Two Year College 29(2).
Bedford Guide to Teaching Writing
This site provides chapter titles for an excellent guide to teaching and evaluating writing. It also contains a link to sites that sell the book.
University of Minnesota Center for Writing
This site includes information on designing effective writing assignments, responding to and grading student wriitng, detecting and discussing plagiarism, and more.
Create Better Writing Assignments
Reflections on Jim Corder’s “What I Learned at School.” This site offers a condensed version of Corder’s article, which discusses how teachers can create better writing assignments for their students.
Council of Writing Program Administrators
This site provides detailed information about plagiarism, including explanations of intentional vs. unintentional plagiarism, strategies for designing assignments that discourage plagiarizing, and approaches for handling suspected plagiarism.