The Writing Center and Writing Program are gearing up to serve the UP community in fall 2019, according to Molly Hiro, English. The Writing Center (in the Learning Commons, BC 163) is a completely free resource, staffed with trained Writing Assistants who can help students at all levels, from all disciplines, at all stages of the writing process. We open for the semester Sunday, Sept. 1 (open daily except Saturdays). Please visit the Writing Center website to learn more and make appointments.
One of the best means of getting students to bring their work-in-progress to the Writing Center 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.
- You may have found that your students weren’t able to find appointment times in past semesters, especially in early fall as we await the newly trained Writing Assistants to come on staff. We’ve fixed that problem this semester, preparing the new Writing Assistants to begin working earlier in the term—so reassure students that if they want writing help, they should be able to get it!
- 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 visit your classroom to give a 5-10 minute presentation during the first few weeks of the semester. Email our hotline firstname.lastname@example.org the day and time of the class you’d like a Writing Assistant to visit and we’ll get back to you shortly.
- Lastly, all Moodle pages now have a link to the Writing Center—see the top left corner, under “Learning Resources.”
To foster student writing integrity at UP (i.e., find cases of plagiarism when they occur), consider using the Turnitin function through your class Moodle page. Instructions for using this paper-authentication software can be found here.
All of your students should possess a common writing handbook – The Pocket Cengage Handbook—as it’s required in their two writing-embedded courses. The Cengage Handbook helps keep our campus on the same page when it comes to grammar, punctuation, citation styles, and basic expectations for essay writing across the university. If you need a desk copy of this reference, please contact the Writing Center Director by the second week of the semester.
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? Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com or x8031.