Writing Center Mission Statement
The following statement is to inform all faculty and students of the purpose, policies, and procedures concerning Writing Center assistance and the main guidelines tutors will use in working with students seeking assistance with writing. The main purpose of the Writing Center is to provide individualized, supplementary assistance to all students who request help with writing. To this end, tutors are trained to respond to student writers in ways that best meet their individual and immediate needs. Our goal is "to produce better writers, not better writing".
Conferences can occur on a walk-in basis or on-line. Writing Center tutors not only serve the tutorial needs of the English Department but also serve the writing tutorial needs of the University. Nearly fifty percent of the conferences are with students enrolled in first-year college writing courses, and the remainder are with students doing writing in the nearly 100 academic courses taught across campus. Writing Center tutors help student writers acquire the multiple literacies necessary for understanding and negotiating both print and electronic media. They work as collaborators by assisting students with their writing processes and the technology useful for producing that writing. They are not instructors and are not responsible for teaching course content or computer technologies associated with Writing Center services.
Writing Center Policies
Tutors will use the following guidelines when working with students and their writing:
1. Ask the student writer to describe the writing--its purpose and audience.
2. Work with the student writer to identify strengths, weaknesses, and/or ambiguities causing them concern.
3. Ask the student to read the paper aloud.
4. Talk with the student writer from a reader's perspective by discussing, for example, the questions the writing raises but does not address.
5. Ask the student writer to describe the kinds of revisions she or he might make.
Tutors will not edit student papers. We define editing as the act of reading and correcting all or most of the grammatical and mechanical errors. We do, however, see addressing editing skills as an important aspect of our service. When students need to correct spelling, punctuation, usage, or grammatical errors, tutors will help the student writers learn to find such errors and correct them. In doing so, tutors will:
1. Read all or part of the writing and help the writer locate the types and frequency of errors being made.
2. Decide which errors world be beneficial to discuss with the student writer at that time.
3. Point out illustrative errors within the draft.
4. Discuss editing and proofreading strategies after the student has attempted to make necessary corrections.