What kind of help does the Writing Center offer?
At the Writing Center, trained, certified Writing Assistants and students work together to
- Break writer’s block, get projects started, and manage writing time
- Practice effective strategies for focusing and developing rough drafts
- Interpret class assignments, evaluation guidelines, and thesis/dissertation committee feedback
- Identify and repair problems with organization and clarity
- Identify error patterns in grammar, punctuation, and usage
- Practice proofreading techniques to help you repair your own mistakes
- Avoid plagiarism and master APA, MLA, and other citation styles
- Prepare for PPST, GRE, and other standardized essay exams
Will the Writing Center proofread papers for me?
No. The Writing Center is an instructional service; we help you help yourself. We begin by chatting with you about your goals and concerns for the project and then work with you to determine what should be done to build on and improve what you have. We do demonstrate how to proofread and correct grammatical errors and give you feedback as you practice these strategies in the session. Beyond the appointment, it’s always up to you to act on what you’ve learned.
For students who are looking for an editor to hire for a fee, we are building a list of referrals. These editors are independent contractors, not Writing Center staff.
Do I need an appointment to work with a Writing Assistant?
At the Writing Center, yes.The Writing Center is a by-appointment service. Appointments last up to one hour, and students can schedule up to two appointments per week. Walk-in appointments are available only by chance.
The Writing Center is a by-appointment service to allow ample time for students to get quality feedback and to act on feedback during the appointment. A by-appointment service also encourages students to treat the process of writing papers realistically. Quality writing takes time and evolves from serious planning, thinking, writing, revising, and proofreading. Writing Assistants offer different kinds of feedback, but work with students at any of these stages, including the “can’t get started” stage.
Writing Assistance in the Rod Library, Sunday evenings 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. No appointment needed! As part of the Academic Learning Center’s A-Team, a Writing Assistant is on duty for drop-in assistance in the study area near the Multiservice Center on the first floor. Watch for A-Team signs.
What’s the procedure for getting appointments?
For appointments, call 319-273-2361 or schedule in person in 008 ITTC. Writing appointments take place in 008 ITTC 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during summer sessions. Additional times can be arranged by request.
Especially as we get close to midterm, appointment slots fill quickly. It’s important to call far enough in advance of your due date to schedule a time that works for you. You can request a particular Writing Assistant or any appointment time that fits your schedule. If no appointment is available on a date you request, we do keep a waiting list with contact information and preferred meeting dates/times.
The first time you come to the Writing Center, you’ll be asked to complete a short form and do a computer check-in.
Can I schedule appointments online?
Not at this time. For students taking classes primarily through Continuing and Distance Education, we offer appointments on Skype. If you have Skype and a Web cam, email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and to schedule an appointment.
What should I bring to Writing Center appointments?
Each time you come to the Writing Center, bring something to write with and two copies of your draft, outline, notes, or whatever you’re working on. One will be the copy your Writing Coach will read and then store in a confidential file as a record of your progress. The other will be the beginning of a “makeover” for your project, your copy to mark up and take with you. Please use the ALC computer lab for printing only in emergencies so that appointment time isn’t wasted for printing and reading the document.
Please also bring any class notes or handouts that explain the assignment you’re working on.
Papers longer than ten pages should be dropped off at least 24 hours in advance to help your Writing Coach help you.
What happens if I can’t keep a scheduled appointment, or I’m running late?
Please do your best to arrive on time. Our appointments start on the hour. If you’re running late, please call the Writing Center so that we can inform your Writing Coach. There is no guarantee that a tutor will be available to work with you if you’re more than 15 minutes late. The remainder of your appointment time may be offered to someone on our waiting list.
Please call to 273-2361 to cancel your appointment with at least 24 hours notice. Students who accumulate a record of no-shows or last-minute cancellations may lose the right to use Writing Center services for the semester.
Who are the Writing Coaches?
Writing Coaches include the Writing Coordinator and graduate and undergraduate students who complete a minimum of two semesters of training and earn International College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) certification. Writing Coaches represent a variety of majors, have diverse interests and extracurricular activities, and are passionate about helping students succeed in college.