Tips for Referring Students to the Writing Center
- Consider including a statement in your syllabus about the Writing Center and its services. Feel free to copy the statement at the top of this handout.
- Invite a Writing Center consultant to visit your class for a brief presentation on the Center: what we do, what happens in a tutoring session, and how we can help students with their writing for your class. Contact us to arrange a visit.
- Encourage or require students to visit the Writing Center with at least one assignment, preferably early in the semester. Encourage students to bring the written assignment sheet and any grading rubrics with them to the session so that the tutor may better understand your expectations.
If your course emphasizes revision, you might require students to submit, along with their completed assignment, a short reflection on the feedback they received from the Writing Center and how it influenced their revision of the paper.
Ways the Writing Center Can Support Your Class
- Refer individual students to the Writing Center, or make a Writing Center visit a part of your course requirements.
- Request Writing Center consultants to visit your class on peer review days, so that they can facilitate each of the peer groups.
- Request to have a tutor assigned to your class for the semester. This tutor will act as a liaison between your students and the Writing Center. Ideally, you would submit your writing assignments to the Writing Center so that we can be familiar with your expectations and requirements for students’ writing.
- Request a Writing Center consultant to visit your class for an in-class workshop. See below for information on workshops.
The Writing Center hosts in-class workshops on specific habits of writing and strategies for composing academic essays. Each workshop consists of a short presentation given by a professional associate followed by an activity designed around both the workshop topic and your course assignment. Since it is so important that students learn writing skills in the context of actual writing situations, we strongly encourage faculty to schedule a Writing Center workshop in connection with an assignment on which students are already working. In past semesters, the Writing Center has conducted workshops on the following:
Reading for Writers: Critical and Rhetorical Reading Strategies
This workshop will offer students strategies for improving critical reading skills; students will learn to identify and evaluate a writer's central argument, supporting claims, use of evidence, sense of audience, and organizational structure.
Writing in Response: Constructing a Thesis in Response to Texts
This workshop will cover thesis-writing basics, as well as ways to move beyond the five-paragraph-essay thesis. Moreover, students will learn tips for writing supportable, complex thesis statements that engage with sources effectively.
Elements of an Argument: Organizing and Supporting Claims
During this workshop, students will learn how to select and analyze supporting evidence, and how to connect that evidence with an essay's claims. We will also examine how different types of arguments and evidence can influence an essay's organization.
Mechanics of Writing: Working on Language and Style
This workshop is focused on helping students learn revision techniques to polish their writing. In addition to highlighting common grammatical issues and how to avoid them, we will discuss how make appropriate choices regarding vocabulary and tone.
Beginning Literature Reviews
This workshop provides information about the structure, organization, and style of literature reviews. This workshop is followed by an in-class activity designed to help students practice writing about source material.
Paraphrasing and Incorporating Sources
This workshop is designed to help students think about appropriate, ethical, and effective incorporation of source material. It can specifically address APA, MLA, or Chicago Style citations.
We are happy to add, alter, or create new workshops to suit your particular course.
Additionally, we are also happy to provide consultants for any peer review days in your class. Consultants can lead small groups of students in reviewing and revising essay drafts, helping to facilitate a better peer review experience and helping your students learn how to respond to each other as readers.
If you would like someone from the Writing Center to conduct a workshop, please contact us.