Writing center offers aid with papers, writing

by Tom Ford

While the dread of college papers and freshman composition courses might be severe, the University does offer relief.

The Student Writing Center, located in 306B Lind Hall, provides one-on-one help to any registered undergraduate for any writing assignment .

Students can reserve a time to meet with one of the center’s tutors or simply walk in for an appointment, although reserved times take precedence. Appointments last from 25 to 30 minutes.

The center’s instructors include graduate assistants who teach writing courses, teaching specialists who assist non-native speakers, and undergraduate peer tutors.

They work with students toward long-term writing improvement, said Sarah Perrier, director of the writing center.

The center, visited more than 5,000 times last school year, does not simply fix individual assignments but tries to teach students about the writing process and how to improve their own work, Perrier said.

“As a freshman coming in, it’s hard to know what to expect (from college writing),” said Anh-Tram Pham, a College of Liberal Arts junior who used the center for a freshman composition course and last year for a rhetoric paper.

“(The center) really helps you with what college professors expect for their papers,” Pham said.

In addition to writing instruction, the center also contains a computer lab students can use for assignments and Internet research.

This fall, the lab will be upgraded with 16 new IMacs and a new computer station with voice recognition software and a function allowing a paper to be scanned and read back to the writer, Perrier said.

Students wishing to use the center are advised to come well before an assignment’s due date. They should bring any handouts about the paper and any notes or drafts already completed.

The center is available this summer from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Fall hours have yet to be determined, but the center’s director will push to expand times into the evening, Perrier said.

Students can call 625-1893 to schedule a time or for more information.