Roanoke College

Faculty FAQs

Back

What other services does the Writing Center offer?
Do tutors edit or correct papers FOR student writers?
Who should go to the Writing Center?
How can I encourage my students to use the Writing Center?
Will I know if a student visited the Writing Center?
My student went to the Writing Center, but his/her paper still has problems—what happened?
Can faculty and staff be tutored in the Writing Center?
What other services does the Writing Center offer?
How can faculty assist the Writing Center?

What do student writers do in the Writing Center?

The Writing Center at Roanoke College is a place where writers working in any discipline and at any level of competence meet with trained peer tutors in informal, one-on-one tutoring sessions that focus on writing.  In half-hour long tutorial sessions, tutors may help writers brainstorm ideas, construct or improve a thesis or hypothesis, incorporate sources appropriately, and/or show them how to identify grammar errors and teach them strategies for correcting those errors.

Do tutors edit or correct papers FOR student writers?

No.  Tutors are trained to understand the difference between productive collaboration and unethical collusion.  Tutors will not proofread, edit, or revise papers FOR writers.  They work WITH writers to teach them effective writing strategies and processes and help them learn to apply those techniques to their writing assignments.

Who should go to the Writing Center?

Anyone who wishes to become a more effective writer can benefit from tutoring; even professional writers discuss the effectiveness of their work with others before sending it out for publication.  Although tutors do help writers who are struggling with the basics, the Writing Center is NOT a dedicated remedial service.  Struggling, competent, AND advanced academic and creative writers are all welcome at the Writing Center.

How can I encourage my students to use the Writing Center?

One of the best ways to introduce your students to the Writing Center is to request a Tutor Class Visit.  A Writing Center Tutor will visit your class and talk for five to ten minutes about the Writing Center’s services.  Faculty can also include Writing Center information on syllabi, and distribute the Writing Center’s bookmarks or stickers, which include tutoring hours.  Faculty members who award extra credit might consider offering it to students who attend workshops, grammar crammers, or playshops.  If you wish to require attendance at a particular workshop, alert the Writing Center Director, who can work with you on scheduling and sign-in sheets.

Will I know if a student visited the Writing Center?

Yes, you will receive a notice each time a student visits the Center for an assignment in your class. 

My student went to the Writing Center, but his/her paper still has problems—what happened?

There may be several factors at work here.  First, the student may have come to be tutored very late in the writing process, maybe even the day the paper was due.  When that happens, the tutor has to help the student writer decide what aspect of the paper to work on—the student may need help with thesis, organization, and comma errors, but there is only time to tackle one of those problems.  Also, tutors provide feedback and instruction, but since the student writers ultimately make the decisions, sometimes they may choose not to follow a tutor’s advice, or they may need several tutorials to take in a concept fully and learn to apply it.  The Writing Center’s mission, ultimately, is not to provide a quick fix, but to help students grow as writers, which leads to improvement over time.  It’s a bit like the old adage: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Can faculty and staff be tutored in the Writing Center?

Yes, faculty as well as staff are welcome to sign up for an appointment.  You may elect to be tutored by a trained undergraduate tutor or request an appointment with the Writing Center Director, who holds a limited number of writing consultation appointments each week.  Tutorials and consultations last thirty minutes.  If you would be interested in participating in a faculty writing group, please contact the Writing Center Director.

What other services does the Writing Center offer?

The Writing Center also offers a variety of writing workshops, grammar crammers, and creative writing playshops for students and faculty.  Please see the Workshops/Playshops list as well as the Services for Faculty.   If you wish to suggest a workshop topic, please e-mail us!  The Center is also in the process of developing a Resource Library of books, including all current style guides as well as books on writing pedagogy that faculty may consult at any time.

How can faculty assist the Writing Center?

The most important way faculty can assist The Writing Center is to encourage students to make appointments with tutors.  Faculty support makes students more eager to seek help with their writing, and when a tutor is invited to make a class visit, students see that the instructor values good writing and the tutorial process.  Faculty can encourage students to visit The Writing Center early in the writing process, and they can encourage students working at all levels of competence to use our tutorial services and attend workshops.