Information for Faculty
The Writing Center strives to improve student writing, and our staff attempts to do so in a nondirective manner. We focus on the process of writing: getting started, generating ideas, developing and organizing ideas, revising, editing, and proofreading.
- Writing Consultants will never tell a student what to think, what to write, or how to write.
- Writing Consultants do not proofread or “fix” a piece of student writing.
- Instead, Writing Consultants strive to help student writers learn to do these things for themselves.
As the semester progresses, direct students to the Writing Center and tell them what they could be working on with a writing consultant. Suggestions like “fix your grammar” or “fix your writing” are not particularly helpful. Try to be as specific with your students so that we may best serve them. Frequently, one or two sessions will be enough to remedy problems of organization, development, or documentation. Sometimes it is better for students to work with a writing consultant over multiple sessions.
A challenge writing consultants face on a daily basis is attempting to interpret writing assignments. The easiest way to remedy this problem is to make sure you distribute an information sheet (i.e., guidelines, suggestions, and/or rubrics) for each writing task you assign.
Another problem writing consultants have expressed concern about is handling students who are there because their instructor has promised extra credit to students who visit the Writing Center. Often, these students have no questions about their writing and/or have nothing they want to work on. This leaves the writing consultant searching for something to say and the student reluctant to listen or participate in the writing consultation. The Writing Center asks that you do not treat writing consultations as “extra credit” assignments. Students should be encouraged (i.e., highly encouraged) to seek help or guidance from the Writing Center. We should all strive to make visiting the Center a student-generated endeavor.
A similar situation is created when an instructor requires an entire class (whether all the students “need” the help or not) to visit the writing center for work on a particular essay. These requests put an enormous strain on the Center’s resources (there over 19,000 students at the college). Help us help your students in concrete ways.
Remember, our writing consultants are not grammar instructors. They are writing consultants.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these services, please feel free to contact us.