The Writing Center is gearing up for another virtual semester of helping student writers at any stage of the writing process, at any level, and in any discipline, according to director Molly Hiro, English. The center’s 23 writing assistants (WAs) held hundreds of Zoom appointments last fall, and are ready to field that many more in Spring term. Students book appointments through the online scheduler (see our website at this link for more), and when their appointment time comes, meet face to face on Zoom with their writing assistants. Students can also email email@example.com to request an appointment time outside of our scheduled available times.
Faculty, please consider plugging the Writing Center in your classes and encouraging students to use our services. One of the best means of getting students to bring their work-in-progress to a Writing Center appointment is for faculty themselves to encourage them to do so (some professors require at least one visit; some give extra credit to students for using our services). When talking to your students about the UP Writing Center, you might keep in mind the following:
- Our goal is not just to inspire better papers, but create better writers. This means we don’t “fix” papers; we work with students to improve their overall writing skills for this and future tasks.
- Writing assistance isn’t just for students with major grammar or mechanical problems. Instead, we focus on higher-order concepts such as argument, organization, development, and other areas. Even accomplished writers can make progress on their work in a half-hour session.
- While our Writing Assistants represent most majors as well as the professional schools, they are trained in a semester-long course to work with students from any discipline.
- When a student meets with a Writing Assistant to discuss a paper for your course, you’ll get a copy of the conference report—a brief summary of what the student and Writing Assistant worked on (This is an easy way of keeping track of who visited the WC for assigning extra credit, e.g.).
- An effective way to familiarize your students with the Writing Center and to demonstrate your support for our services is to invite a Writing Assistant to drop in to your online classroom to give a 5-10 minute presentation during the first few weeks of the semester. Email our hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org with the day and time of the class you’d like a Writing Assistant to visit and we’ll get back to you shortly.
- Lastly, remember that all Moodle pages have a link to the Writing Center—see the top left corner, under “Learning Resources.”
The Writing Center website also includes other writing-related resources for faculty. Here you can find information about using the Turnitin function through your class Moodle page to help you detect cases of plagiarism and foster student writing integrity.
As the director of the Writing Program and the Writing Center, Hiro is happy to be a point of contact on all writing-related matters this semester. Need insight on crafting better writing prompts? Resources for integrating writing instruction into your class-time? Help with language to use when evaluating student writing? She may not have all the answers, but feel free to contact her any time at email@example.com.