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Writing Center Procedures

  1. Drop-ins are welcome at the Writing Center, but appointments are preferred. Students can schedule an appointment in person or by calling extension 8133.
  2. Peer tutors serve Writing Center clients. Tutors will help student writers brainstorm and draft as well as revise, edit, and proofread. Tutors routinely offer positive, constructive feedback.
  3. Tutors will be happy to help students who request assistance with the conventions of writing: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and usage. However, tutors do more than simply copyedit or proofread; clients should not drop a paper off at the center and ask a tutor to "correct what's wrong with it." Rather, the student writer works with the tutor in determining what changes may be needed in a piece of writing as it transitions to a second or subsequent draft. These changes may involve conventions; they may also be related to the organization, flow, clarity, unity, and coherence of the piece.
  4. Students should bring all materials pertinent to the piece of writing to their tutoring session. For example, many instructors issue guidelines for a particular writing assignment in terms of length, focus, purpose, audience, thesis requirements, documentation, and so forth. Advice that tutors offer is stronger and more precise when they are aware of the instructor's expectations.
     
    It is also a good idea for students to bring a handbook of writing skills to their appointment. The Prentice Hall Guide to Grammar and Usage by Muriel Harris, which is used extensively on the Clarke campus, is an excellent resource. Tutors may refer writers to a particular page or section in the writing handbook that would be useful in revising or editing.
  5. Some students prefer to draft with paper and pencil/pen. Others prefer to use word processing tools. The Writing Center can accommodate both preferences. A printer is available.
  6. Most tutoring sessions range from 1/2 to 1 hour in duration, depending upon the volume of the writing being examined and the writer's purpose in visiting the Center. Research papers may require even more time. Students should be aware of this when setting up appointments.
  7. The Writing Center houses an outstanding library of textbooks and stylesheets focused on writing. We maintain copies of both MLA and APA guides for writing and publishing research-based material. These tools are invaluable resources, and can be checked out overnight by students.
  8. After the tutoring session or conference, students served by the Center make revisions to their work as needed, often independently following up on the suggestions of their tutor. Tutors often invite a student to return for additional feedback on a second or even third draft of a piece of writing.
  9. Clarke faculty often advise students to use the services provided by the Writing Center. In fact, instructors may accept a piece of written work from students only after it has been reviewed and commented on by a Writing Center tutor. Center personnel take responsibility for notifying the instructor that the conferencing has occurred.
  10. Writing Center personnel are available to present in-class lessons about writing (e.g., documenting the research paper) in all academic areas represented on campus. Notify the Director at least two weeks in advance to arrange such a presentation.
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