Who staffs the CTLE Writing Center?
Trained undergraduate and graduate students from diverse majors staff the Writing Center. At times, adjunct faculty members from the English Department also work there.
Who should go to the CTLE Writing Center?
Students who want to improve their writing skills. We can work student writers during any phase of the writing process, from brainstorming and drafting to sentence editing and proofreading.
Do only poor writers visit the Writing Center?
Writers working on their first freshman papers and writers working on upper level projects visit the Writing Center. Graduate students also meet with our consultants.
Should I require my whole class to go to the Writing Center?
We ask that you refrain from requiring all members of your class to visit the Writing Center. Some students simply do not wish to take advantage of this resource and are therefore unreceptive to our help. Naturally however, we are glad to work with those students who come in on their own or are referred.
What should students bring to the session?
Any information they have regarding their assignment, question, or concern (assignment sheets, notes, drafts, outlines, sources, etc.). Even if a student has no draft, a consultant can still collaborate with him or her by discussing the assignment, refining a question, or brainstorming some ideas.
What can my students expect from the session?
They can expect to discuss their project. Often, they will be asked to read their paper or portions of it aloud. As already mentioned, if the student does not have a draft, the consultant and student writer can still work together on the assignment.
How long do sessions last?
Generally, about 30 minutes, but no longer than 50 minutes.
Can I check on my students’ progress?
A1: That depends. When students meet with Writing Center consultants, they are asked if they grant permission for us to discuss their progress with their professors. If they answer “yes” we can discuss their progress with you. If they answer “no,” we cannot. However, A2: Yes, when you refer your students electronically. Just fill out and submit the Writing Center Referral Form to gain access to the Client Session Sheets resulting from any sessions they have with our consultants. We will notify your students and ask them to schedule an appointment.
Can I request that a particular consultant meet with my student?
Of course, and we will do our best to honor your request.
I teach in the Science Department. Can my students still receive help on their science-related papers?
Yes. Although we may not have a consultant who shares a particular student's major, we are all versed in different aspects of writing in various disciplines. Also, we have a wealth of information available to us in the Writing Center to help us in these situations.
Would ESL (English as a Second Language) students benefit from visiting the Writing Center?
Absolutely; in fact, we regularly meet with many ESL students. The position statement published by National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and titled “CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers” states:Writing centers offer crucial resources to second language students. These students often visit the writing center seeking support in understanding writing assignments, developing a piece of writing, and to gauge reader response to their writing. They may also seek input on interpreting teacher feedback or assessment and learning more about nuances of the English language. (For more detailed information see: http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/secondlangwriting).As recommended in the same document, our writing consultants train to work effectively with second language writers. In addition to grammar and idiomatic concerns, consultants consider and remain sensitive to the difficulties and cultural differences these students must face daily. The resultant consultations tend toward collaboration rather than prescription. For more information, see the NCTE Position Paper on the Role of English Teachers in Educating English Language Learners (ELLs): http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/teacherseducatingell.
I teach some very gifted students. Should I encourage them to visit the CTLE Writing Center?
Yes. We find that student writers of all levels of expertise benefit from visiting the Writing Center. In fact, our writing consultants find it helpful to consult with each other on their own papers.
How can I encourage my students to visit the CTLE Writing Center?
Mention the Writing Center when you assign papers. Recommend that they visit the Writing Center early in the writing process. Use language that refers to the center as a place where student writers who wish to improve as writers meet to discuss ideas and receive constructive feedback. You can also schedule an in-center or in-class introduction to Writing Center services. Finally, you can adapt and attach the Syllabus Blurb to your syllabus.
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