Better Writers, Not Just Better Writing
Although instructors whose students seek Writing Center feedback report more thoughtful, significantly revised work, the aim of the Writing Center is actually better writers, not just better writing. When a student visits the Writing Center, we use their current project to facilitate a dialogue about their writing and their writing process. This dialogue inevitably improves the work at hand, but it also helps the writer feel motivated to set and achieve further writing goals, which opens up successful paths forward. In this way, students who use the Writing Center can make long-term improvement in their writing abilities and habits over time and across multiple assignments.
- Use Our Syllabus Blurb
Feel free to copy the following syllabus blurb and paste it into your course syllabus:
The University Writing Center
Every writer needs a reader. Regardless of your background or experience with writing, the University Writing Center stands ready to assist you as you write and revise for any assignment or other purpose. In the Writing Center, trained peer writing tutors offer you free, one-on-one feedback on any aspect of your writing, from choosing a topic to evaluating evidence, organizing details to citing sources. Whether you excel in writing or not, consider the value of asking for feedback from one who is trained and dedicated to helping you become the best writer you can be. Walk-ins are welcome as availability allows, but to make an appointment, you can call the Center at 963-1270, e-mail them at email@example.com, or visit the Writing Center website (https://www.cwu.edu/academic-success/writing).
- Encourage Your Students to Use the Writing Center—for Credit?
We hope you will encourage your students to seek the Writing Center’s feedback on their own, since students voluntarily using the Writing Center usually gain more from their consultations than those who are compelled. For this encouragement to work, students should ideally know that collaboration is at the heart of what we do. The Writing Center is a place for all writers, whether they excel in writing or not, to engage in a studio-style workshop. They can have a seat and write on their own for a while or grab a peer tutor and have a focused conversation about any aspect of their project, including their writing process, topic, purpose, research, or rhetorical and grammatical choices. Those who think the Center is a “fix-it” shop for students needing remedial "help” are unfortunately underestimating what we can do for them, and they probably won’t take advantage of the service whether it's required or not.
Although we generally do not recommend requiring all students to use the Writing Center for a single assignment, we do recommend asking students, especially those in writing courses, to use the Center at least twice per term. As long as the students know what to expect in a consultation, this repeated exposure to the Writing Center can help them learn to see writing as a social act, conceptualize university audiences, value writing beyond the grade, seek peer feedback during the writing process, and illuminate research avenues and rhetorical considerations for their future projects. Many instructors offer their students points, or even extra credit, as an incentive for these consultations.
When a student of yours has had a consultation with the University Writing Center--whether in person, via screencast, or over the phone--you will receive a message from TutorTrac (our scheduling and record-keeping platform) listing the student’s name, the time of the consultation, and some details about what was discussed. This provides you with some knowledge of how your students are using the Writing Center, and it also gives you a way to keep track of who is using the service and how often. Please note that students using Online Tutoring, which is administered by the Northwest eConsortium and does not have access to CWU's TutorTrac system, will themselves need to provide their professors with information about their consultations.
- Refer a Student or Access Reports for Your Students
An e-mail will be sent to you each week showing your students' use of the Learning Commons. Find instructions here to refer students or access specific reports.
- Schedule a Class Visit
If you would like to bring your class to the Writing Center, or if you would like someone from the Writing Center to visit your class and give an introduction to our services or lead a workshop, please schedule a visit here. Until further notice, class visits will be held virtually. Please bear this in mind as you fill out the form linked below, and we will do what we can to accommodate your students' needs!
- Peruse Slide Resources