A suggested paragraph that faculty can insert into syllabi about the Writing Center.
The Writing Center is a free resource for improving your writing. At the Writing Center, trained Moravian students can help you figure out assignments and improve your writing. They can help at any stage of the writing process, whether you haven’t started the assignment and need help picking a topic, or you’re near the end and want to check that everything is in order. And it’s not just for help with Writing 100 or English papers—any type of writing can be taken there, including science reports and cover letters. The tutors will first work with you to make sure that all the bigger issues are covered, such as proper citation, fulfilling the assignment, and structure of the paper. Then, they can also help you with spelling, grammar, and mechanics. You can sign up for a half-hour or an hour-long appointment. After your appointment, the tutor you work with will send me a progress report, letting me know that you were there. The Writing Center is on the second floor of Zinzendorf Hall and the extension is 1592. Their hours vary each semester, but they are generally open Monday-Thursday afternoons and evenings, and Sunday evening. Watch your email for an announcement about when the Writing Center opens, generally the third week of the term, which will also include the hours.
For professors with research papers in their course:
Writing Center tutors are familiar with research techniques, so they are capable of helping students with research papers of any type. You can bring a research paper to the Writing Center at any stage of creation, and tutors can help you organize your research, locate additional sources, respond to sources, etc. This type of tutoring is ideal for our work on research assignments this semester, because it can help you improve not only as a writer but also as a researcher. If you need help with the research process, contact the Writing Center about working with a writing tutor.
[Here would be a nice place for you to add a few lines specific to the course or to your involvement with the Writing Center: Will it be a requirement? Is it best for a particular paper? Will students receive extra credit? Have you had good experiences in the past with the Writing Center?]
One service offered by the Writing Center is tutor visits to the classroom. We have found that students are less reluctant to use the Writing Center if a peer comes to the classroom to explain what the Writing Center is about and what a typical session is like. This is especially true for Writing 100 classes, and we recommend that a tutor visit all Writing 100 classes, as the Writing Center is a crucial part of the writing program at Moravian. It can also be especially helpful for any writing-intensive class, or for any class in which a visit to the Writing Center will be a requirement for the class or for a paper.
There are tutors available at any time of the day, and a tutor can either come to your classroom or you can bring your class to the Writing Center. To set up an appointment, please email Meg Mikovits, Assistant Director. She will arrange for a tutor to visit your class and also communicate with the tutor about any specific topics you'd like to have addressed. For example, some professors have asked tutors to speak about an issue they are working on in class at the time, such as plagiarism or thesis statements. We are open to pretty much anything if it will help professors and students with writing!
Of course, the other place where tutors can help professors is in the Writing Center. Students often bring professor-marked drafts to the Writing Center for work, or bring drafts before handing them in. An important part of a tutor's job is explaining what a professor means by his or her remarks, as well as helping a student to understand an assignment so that they can answer it. In this way, tutors already help professors.
However, sometimes a professor's remarks or assignment are unclear to the tutor as well. Another common issue is that a student will not have understood what the professor thinks is most important to work on, and so tutors are not as helpful as they could be. To this end, we have created a new referral form for professors to print and fill out to give to a student who will be going to the Writing Center. This will guide the tutor in giving the best possible help. Professors have also helped the Writing Center by emailing specific class instructions for an assignment before their students come in, which are printed and emailed to all tutors. In addition, some professors email or leave in the Writing Center copies of their assignments and/or syllabus, which also guide tutors. These instructions or syllabi can be emailed to Meg Mikovits, Assistant Director. The faculty referral form can be downloaded here.
From time to time Writing Center tutors and faculty members hold informal discussions about various aspects of student writing. One topic of discussion has been the creation of effective writing assignments; during the 2008-2009 academic year, tutors’ thoughts and ideas on this subject were gathered in a document titled “Assignments That Work: Topics for Discussion,” available here.
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