What can you expect during your Writing Center session? We provide extensive levels of service so we can assist you in your writing process, wherever that may be.
Determine what the question is asking – ask student to summarize in his/her own words
Pin down a focus – what broad area will the student be most comfortable exploring?
Student should leave with a general idea of how the assignment will proceed
Consider the audience – to whom is the student directing the work
Have the student jot down thoughts – give the student plenty of time to empty the brain
Consultants should ask questions to get the student thinking
Describing – Identify the various parts of the topic
Comparing – How is it similar/dissimilar to other topics?
Associating – What does the topic remind you of?
Analyzing – Be critical of the components. How are they related or not related? What is the end result of the topic? Is there an end result?
Applying – What does the topic offer? What can be done with it?
Arguing – What are your first thoughts about arguments for, against or about your topic?
Develop a plan of action – create a thesis paragraph
Process Developing I
Determine the type of essay:
Definition – clearly and concisely give meaning to a subject/topic
Compare/Contrast – how are the subjects alike and not alike?
Causal Relationship – What are the causes and the effects? How do the subjects interact?
Report – State the facts; Get statements from witnesses.
Hypothetical – It has not happened yet (or it happened very long ago); What are the possible outcomes? How do I prevent or propel it?
Revisit the topic
Why is it important and how will the student proceed?
Have the student brainstorm ideas and write them all – give the student plenty of time to empty the brain
Help student create a quick, unstructured outline that states major points, areas where research is needed and areas where the student already has plenty of information
Solidify a plan of action – the student should leave with a defined thesis statement and a broad outline
Considerations when selecting resources:
Physically take student to library and briefly perform searches in the area in which the student is working (model research techniques)
Include: Online Catalog (library), Electronic Resources (library), Internet, etc.
Explain how to verify an internet site:
Author’s name should be stated and author should be a field professional
Publisher should be listed and should be a respected sponsor
Information should bear a date and be current
Coverage should be broad and reflect a fair, in-depth understanding of the issues
Author’s work should be verifiable (Has the author’s work been evaluated? Is there a bibliography? Are there many typos on the page(s)?)
Teach student how to use bibliographies in related works to further research opportunities
Process Developing II
Student has written the first draft
Have student write down thesis statement on a separate paper
Then, have student read paper out loud and listen for ease of comprehension
Assist student in pinpointing common errors in his/her paper
Help student go through each paragraph individually to make sure all the paragraph elements hang together well. Create a thesis statement for each individual paragraph and make that thesis statement the first sentence.
Print out the revised paper (second rough draft)
Process Developing III
Student has written more than one rough draft
Assist student in the following areas:
Go through the entire paper and make sure the transitions between paragraphs make sense.
If the paragraphs would make more sense in another location, move them around!
Brief list of transitional words: and, therefore, last, but, in addition, concurrently, for example, whereas
Make sure your paper is clear and concise.
Repetition – An interesting development in the story of general stores came in the 19th century came in the years between 1820 and 1830. During those years, general stores gained greater appeal and more customers.
Clear Terminology – Computers have increased the productivity of today’s workforce. These mechanical and electrical devices provide a great service to us.
My lasagna tastes better than my best friend’s.
Not: My lasagna tastes better than my best friend.
I would sacrifice more for my children than for myself.
Not: I would sacrifice more for my children than myself.
In primary, secondary and higher education, learning is the goal.
Not: In primary, secondary and in higher education, learning is the goal.
In the early 20th century, people used horses as transportation; now people use cars.
Not: In the early 20th century, people used horses as transportation; now cars are used.
Student has deemed his/her paper acceptable to submit but wants a review of grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax
Consultant performs basic proofreading and makes any final suggestions for improvement