How can I help my students use the Writing Center?
- Include a blurb in your syllabus to introduce students to the Writing Center.
- Offer extra credit to students who visit. At the start of sessions, consultants ask whether the visit was recommended by a faculty member: with the student's permission, the consultant can email the log of the session to that faculty member at the end of the visit.
- In the weeks before a paper deadline, give students five minutes in class to create a profile in our scheduling system (doane.mywconline.com) and book an appointment.
How can I use the Writing Center in my courses?
- Invite us to join you in class: the Writing Center can visit and provide a brief five-minute overview.
- Don't cancel class: we can create tailored activities to lead whole class meetings in your absence. Send us information about writing assignments in your class, and we will create an activity to help support your students prepare.
- Need a writing resource? Contact us to see if there's something we could recommend or create to help support writing in your courses.
How do I choose a citation style for my students to use?
Faculty sometimes ask which academic citation style is best to require their students to use. The short answer? Whichever style serves the situation best. Some questions to consider:
- Which style is most commonly used in your field? or Which style is most commonly used in the field of your average students' major?
- If students were to submit their work for publication, which style is used by the publications they'd be submitting to?
- Which style best reflects the values of the type of writing you're asking students to do? (For instance, APA emphasizes the dates and recency of sources, whereas MLA is more focused on handling direct quotations and crediting the authors behind the sources.)
What do I need to consider when writing a syllabus?
In addition to information about the Writing Center, we suggest also including text that creates an inclusive and open environment for your students to write and learn:
- Religious inclusion statement: email Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Leah Rediger Schulte (email@example.com) for language to help students know the rights and accommodations available for religious expression.
- Diversity & inclusion statement: email Chief Diversity Officer Luis Sotelo (firstname.lastname@example.org) for language to signal to students that your class welcomes and makes space for a variety of identities and interactions and will be free of discrimination.
- Accommodations: email Director of Student Support Services and ADA Coordinator Anita Harkins (email@example.com) for language to inform students about the services available regarding accommodations for documented disabilities and learning challenges.
How do I offer constructive feedback on student writing?
Providing feedback on student writing is an important process, and it doesn't have to consume all your time outside of class. "I'm not a writing teacher" is not a deal-breaker: students expect to learn from you as a writer and scholar in your field. Build from your own writing experiences and expertise. For perspective, lots of research has been done about effective writing feedback: this online guide provides a short overview of best practices.
How do I create effective writing assignment prompts or instructions?
Besides the syllabus, an assignment sheet is often the only place students have a chance to review a teacher's explicit expectations for a paper. Consider these guidelines as you articulate your instructions.