This page has specific information and resources for faculty members to use in order to incorporate The Writing Center into your classes. We help with any form of writing at any stage of the writing process, so feel free to contact us (email@example.com) and ask how we can help you and your students! To request a class presentation or workshop, please contact Director Scott Chiu directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instructors can find classroom resources, helpful writing handouts and tips below.
Classroom Writing Support
If you don't teach composition, providing students with writing guidelines in the classroom can be a time-consuming and arduous task. Here are some simple ways to talk about writing in the classroom:
- Global vs. Local - Global writing refers to large scale mechanics, such as generating a strong thesis statement, critical thinking and analysis, integrating evidence, and fulfilling the genre/prompt. Local writing refers to writing style and sentence-level mechanic, such as grammar, diction, syntax, and concision, choppiness, etc. As a rule, ask students to focus on the GLOBAL before the LOCAL.
- The Car Wash Analogy - While grammar is a significant part of writing and communication, sometimes pesky grammar mistakes are less important than analytical thinking and originality. As a general rule, remember the Car Wash Example: If a car is really dirty and has no engine, giving it a car wash will not make it run. Fixing the engine (the content of a paper) would help the car much more than giving it a car wash (the grammar).
- Thinking before Writing - Brainstorming and generating ideas is a major part of the writing process. Without a clear direction or central point, a student cannot write a focused draft. The clarity of the writing often comes from a student's level of thought development. Papers that don't meet length requirements are often lacking adequate brainstorming.
- Writing Requires Steps - Students may struggle with writing because they try to compound the writing process into one step; they aim to create strong ideas, write clearly, and integrate evidence all in one draft. Yet, even the most skilled writers have difficulty multitasking in this way. Instead, the best writing results from taking one task at a time and creating multiple drafts.
- Writing is a Tool - Emphasizing that writing is a strategy of learning is a productive way introduce writing in the classroom. Assigning low-stakes writing (writing not for a grade) might encourage students to use writing as a tool, not merely a product.
Faculty can use a number of assignments and powerpoint presentations to help students learn about important writing related topics and use The Writing Center regularly.
The Writing Center Visit Reflection Assignment
APA Citation Guide
MLA Citation Guide
Chicago Citation Guide
- Holistic Rubric - A general rubric with broad descriptions of requirements that make for quick grading. These are useful for short or low-stakes assignments.
- Analytical Rubric - A thorough breakdown of writing elements and mechanics that allows instructors to itemize requirements and assign points for different skills. These are useful for longer papers or high-stakes work. Sample Here: Analytical Rubric
- Sample Rubric For Student Papers
- Sample Rubric for Oral Presentations
Refer your students to this list of best tips for writing!
- Writing is a Process - The approach to each stage of writing will differ depending on the assignment, but you should always put the work in and not take short cuts.
- Start Early - Start when the assignment is given and make a plan to work on it in sections for a certain amount of time.
- Research First - Before generating ideas, find out what research it out there that addresses the prompt.
- Brainstorm Interesting Topics - While brainstorming ideas, make sure you choose a topic that interests you; it can help improve the strength of your ideas.
- Don't Forget the Prompt - At each stage of writing, continuously look over the prompt to make sure you’re following the guidelines.
- Cite as You Write - Keep a list of each source’s bibliographic information so that anytime you quote, summarize, or paraphrase a source, you can add the citation right away.
- Global Before Local - Revise global aspects of writing (analysis and structure) before local aspects (sentence structure and grammar).
- Do Multiple Drafts - The first draft should focus on getting your ideas onto paper, the second draft should solidify global aspects of the paper, and the final draft should focus on style and grammar aspects for clarity.
- Read Out Loud - If you read your paper out loud, then you’re more likely to catch some run-on sentences, awkward phrases, or grammar mistakes.
- Be Patient - Writing is a difficult task and it’s hard to put your ideas into concise words, so don’t stress and take a break when needed.
The Writing Center would appreciate your comments and feedback about our services. To help us improve our resources, please click on the survey link below or send an email to Director Scott Chiu at email@example.com. Thank you!