Expanded Writing Center provides helpful resource

Students now have more academic resources than ever with the opening of the remodeled Writing Center on the second floor of the Alumni Building.

The Writing Center is designed to assist all students with any writing assignments they may be working on. Although the Writing Center was up and running last year, there were fewer hours, and tutors were harder to find. This year, however, the Writing Center is open every day. Hours can be found on the intranet under the “Business Hours” tab or on the sign posted outside Al 205.

Miss Jane Smith, supervisor of the Writing Center, said its primary objective is to help students with any of their writing needs, from brainstorming to the revision stage.

The Writing Center offers various tools used to help students with their writing, one of which is the Correct English program. This program is comparable to a very advanced grammar/spell checker. It will comb through a paper and make suggestions for word usage, verb tense problems and many other issues.

Writing coaches are also available to guide students through writing assignments. Sophomore Julie Vanderberg and graduate student Becca Williams are two students who help in the Center, while Smith, Mr. Van Carpenter and Dr. Lisa Midcalf work as staff supervisors.

“It’s not proofreading,” Smith said. “We want to help students become better writers.” Having trouble connecting your supporting facts to your thesis? Need someone to check the flow of ideas in your paper? The Writing Center can help with every need as students work on academic assignments.

“The students are doing the work themselves,” said Williams, a grad student who tutors at the Center. “Seeing the pride in their faces as they go away is very rewarding.”

The Writing Center also works closely with the English faculty, many of whom volunteer office hours to help when the Center is busy. Smith adds that although the Writing Center welcomes all students from any class, a student should go to his or her English professor first, as he or she knows exactly what the paper should include.

“I’m finding that the Writing Center is a great way to help students apply what they learn in freshman English [classes] to the different types of writing they need to do in their specific fields of study,” said Dr. Bruce Rose, chair of the Division of English.

Students are encouraged to go to the Center several days before their paper is due. A sign-up sheet for time slots is available outside Al 205. Students can also stop in whenever the Center is open, although there may be a short waiting period.