About the Writing Center
Here's some information about what we do at the Writing Center. If you have any questions, please drop in and see us on the second floor of Schaffer Library (Rooms 226 & 227) — or contact the Director of Writing Programs at (518-388-6680).
- Why a Writing Center?
All students need to learn to write in new ways at the college level. Writing is closely linked to ways of learning and disciplinary-specific methods of inquiry. Although there are some common features of good academic writing that apply to everyone, there are also particular ways of writing that students have not learned in high school. Because Union College believes that good writing is essential to learning, we offer support to students as they learn to express their ideas effectively and appropriately at the college level. We can also help you address writing problems that detract from your credibility as a thinker and scholar.
- What is a typical tutoring session like?
After a minute or two of conversation, one of a Tutor's first questions is apt to be "What is the assignment?" then "What are you trying to say?" or "What points are you trying to make?" You and the Tutor will read your paper together. You may talk about support for your arguments and organization. Later you'll check for other concerns: Have you missed errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar? Have you chosen an appropriate format for your paper?
- Who comes to the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is is here to serve everyone in the Union College community. Every student is a writer at Union College. And every writer benefits from feedback to improve writing. We take writing seriously. But we respect writers (we are writers too!). And we respect the difficulty and the complexity of the writing and thinking process. Typically students who come to visit us want to do well in their studies and are convinced that the Writing Center is a valuable resource for all students. Remember that the Writing Center Tutors are hired not only because they are good writers, but because they are friendly, helpful people. They are trained to help you learn.
- Can you guarantee higher grades if I come to the Writing Center?
Our job is to help students become better writers. Usually you'll get better grades as a result of coming to the Writing Center, but not always right away. In any case, the writing always belongs to you--not the Writing Center Tutor--and you decide what, and how much, to change. The Tutor will never try to guess what grade you might get on your paper. That's between you and your professor.
- How can I let my professor know I've been to the Writing Center?
If you'd like to let your professor know that you've visited the Writing Center, ask the Writing Center Tutor to give you a professor form. You'll need to ask because Tutors fill them out only at your request. Professors know about these forms too and may ask you to bring them to class.