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Best Practices for Using the Writing Center

We love to work with teachers and their students. Below are some ways for both you and them to get the most out of the experience.

  1. Introduce Your Students to the Center
    1. Include this blurb in your syllabus:
      1. The Writing Center: Students in this course are encouraged to utilize the Writing Center while drafting their assignments. The Arkansas State University Writing Center is a comfortable learning space in which ALL members of the A-State community, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff, can receive feedback on their writing. Qualified, friendly writing consultants will help you at any stage of the process, from deciphering assignment sheets to providing feedback on writing projects that are nearly finished, as well as help you with any writing occasion, whether it be personal, academic, or professional. The Writing Center is located on the Dean B. Ellis Library third floor in the Academic Hub. You can utilize the center by walking in or setting up an appointment via penjiapp.com. Another option is scheduling weekly appointments with the same tutor. Call (870) 972-3451 during business hours or visit them on the web for hours and more information: http://bit.ly/astatewritingcenter
    2. Schedule a Classroom Presentation:
      1. For a 10 minute introduction to our services, contact us at least two weeks in advance
      2. For a discipline or assignment specific workshop, please contact us a month in advance
  2. Make Full Class Referrals Easy
    1. If you plan to refer classes for a specific assignment, please either
      1. Share your assignment with the Writing Center administrators, or
      2. Require students to bring the prompt with them to their sessions.
    2. Remember that we can only schedule so many sessions in a week, so encourage students to come early. Our appointments quickly get booked up during the week the meeting is due. The chances of getting in last minute are very slim.
  3. Please Do Not Use the Writing Center Punitively 
    1. Please avoid using Writing Center as a remediation or punishment. Writing is a process and we want to support all writers at all stages of their process. If a student is already feeling negatively about being here, the productivity of the session is hindered. 
  4. Consider Having Students Keep a WC Visit Log
    1. This type of reflection encourages meta-knowledge and writing awareness. Entries can be as simple as logging their visit, who they worked with, what they worked on, and how their writing plans or strategies changed after the visit.
  5. Waive the Expectation that Students Will Leave with a Perfect Paper
    1. Please Note That We Do Not Correct Papers: Tutors are specifically trained to work with students as writers, not with papers as arenas of error. We aim to help writers become more confident in their abilities overall and that can take time. The earlier in the writing process, and the more often a writer visits the WC, the more likely they are to see an improvement in skill.
  6. Requests for Session Reports Should Come to the Center Director
    1. Note that Tutors are not allowed to sign anything or to communicate with anyone other than the student regarding proof of a Writing Center session. Session proof can be requested via email at astatewritingcenter@astate.edu 

Don't Cancel Class

Call On Us Instead!

Rather than canceling class, any instructor can request a writing tutor to workshop with students. Presentations include topics like writing with APA, MLA, or Chicago style guides; evaluating, citing, and documenting sources; and mechanics, common grammar mistakes, and more.

Arrange a Session

We are excited to get to work with your students, and only need two to four weeks notice to put together your presentation!

Citation Presentation Email astatewritingcenter@astate.edu at least two weeks in advance
Specialized Presentation Email astatewritingcenter@astate.edu at least a month in advance

Please note that we may not be able to meet every request.