New Writing Center offers helpful tips: Latest addition to Academic Resource Center now open

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New Writing Center offers helpful tips: Latest addition to Academic Resource Center now open

Junior Kayla Unruh takes advantage of the services offered by the recently opened Writing Center. Photo: Stephanie Greenwood

Whether you’re a new college student or a graduating senior, an English or a math major, every student tends to dread the same thing: papers. As of last week, the Academic Resource Center is now offering constructive, professional help to students who are looking for ways to improve their writing skills. The new Writing Center can:

– help with brainstorming.
– help students demonstrate effective organizational techniques.
– provide strategies that will strengthen editing skills.
– help with writing issues such as presenting ideas clearly and supporting points effectively.
– guide students in becoming better writers and critical thinkers.

Located in AL 207, the Writing Center is open Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. and Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. Writing sessions last for 25 minutes. Students may either sign up in advance to ensure a time is scheduled or drop by at their convenience to see if a writing mentor is available. The writing mentors include GAs, faculty and staff. University juniors and seniors are also eligible to volunteer their time at the Writing Center.

Although they can’t proofread or mark students’ papers for them, writing mentors can provide assistance to students with the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation, grammar and sentence and paragraph development. Mentors can also help with thesis statements and supporting points.

Dr. Lisa Midcalf, head of the Academic Resource Center, encouraged students to come to the Writing Center early in the paper-writing process.

“We are here to guide students through the writing process so that their writing becomes a quality product,” Dr. Midcalf said. That process includes the early stages of brainstorming and organization.

Students should come to writing sessions prepared with a copy of their assignment (mentors will want to keep up-to-date on teachers’ expectations), two hard copies of the paper (when possible) and specific questions in order to best use time.

Students may visit the Writing Center as often as needed during the writing process, and the staff encourages multiple visits.

“We are not just helping to develop a paper, but we are also helping to develop the writer,” Dr. Midcalf said. “The more a student visits the Writing Center, the better writer he or she will become.”