The semester is finally kicking in after all those snow days and you’re already getting some writing assignments. Some of us struggle in some small way when we write: getting started, overcoming writer’s block, identifying and addressing the needs of your audience, developing and organizing ideas, documenting sources and avoiding plagiarism, revising your writing more effectively, solving grammatical problems, and anything in between. The Mary G. Walsh Writing Center in room 113 in the Berry Library on north campus is free for all undergraduate, graduate students, and faculty to come and learn to become better writers!
The Writing Center is composed of highly trained tutors who are also undergraduate and graduate students who can help in any stage of writing or any assignment. Tutors don’t edit assignments for students but instead they assist the student in helping them recognize grammatical problems so the students is able to revise and edit their own paper, helping them to become better writers. That way, students who work on future assignments are able to write more effectively and learn from the tutoring sessions. Even students who are the best of writers come to the writing center to learn how to improve editing or proofreading their own papers. The tutors are great resources to also point out ways to strengthen the student’s writing in other ways and explore possible solutions to help as well as provide useful writing tools or resources if needed.
How do I set up an appointment? Calling the writing center at (978) 542-6491 or simply walking into the writing center to set up an appointment for a tutoring session is best if you contact them as soon as possible. The writing center’s schedule fills up quickly so the sooner you call, the better chance you have at getting an appointment. However, you can schedule up to three sessions per week, but no more than one session per day.
What do I bring to the session? This question is asked a lot by people who first come to the writing center, and it’s best to come prepared as much as you can and bring any helpful information! This includes class notes relating to the assignment, the assignment requirements and prompt, outline, and drafts. No worries if you haven’t started the assignment yet, just make sure you have prepared questions or goals that will help your tutor get you started on your assignment. If you need help during your writing process however, bringing your laptop or a flash drive of the assignment makes it easier for the tutor during the session to track changes and make notes in the assignment.
So why struggle with an assignment on your own? Go visit the writing center and learn how to improve your writing in any stage, even if you are the A+ writer in your class, and become a better writer in the future!