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How You Can Encourage Students to Use the Writing Center

The Writing Center can help students from all academic levels and all majors, so we welcome you to encourage students to use this free resource. One of the best ways to inform students about our services is to set aside time in one of your classes for a staff member to present a 10-minute orientation about EIU's Writing Center. The staff member can give your students a brief introduction about the center, provide brochures and handouts, and explain how we can help them become stronger writers.

In addition, feel free to copy the two paragraphs below into your course policy or syllabus:

I encourage you to use EIU's Writing Center located at 3110 Coleman Hall. This free service provides one-to-one conferences with writing center consultants who can help you with brainstorming, organizing, developing support, documenting your papers, and working with sentence-level concerns. The writing center is open to help any student from any major at any stage of his or her writing process, and its system of one-to-one conferences demonstrates value and respect for individual writers, all of whom can benefit from feedback about their works in progress.

To schedule an appointment, you can drop by the center (3110 Coleman Hall) or you can call 581-5929. The writing center is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Friday hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What Students Need to Bring to Writing Conferences

When students come for a conference in the writing center, they should bring these items:

  • The instructor's writing assignment or writing prompt
  • A printed copy of the paper or a laptop or a flash drive with the work in progress on it
  • Questions and ideas


What Students Can Expect in a Writing Conference

During a one-on-one conference, here is what students should expect during the session:

  • We will offer a stress-free and open environment regardless of the student's major or class level, at any stage of the writing process
  • The sessions will promote thinking about documents from a reader's perspective
  • Consultants will ask questions that will prompt students to think about how to refine and support their ideas
  • Consultants will offer advice on how to efficiently and effectively revise and edit their own work

What We Do Not Do in a Writing Conference

During a one-to-one conference, consultants will not do these:

  • Write the paper for them
  • Grade their papers

Why Students Should Come in Early for Writing Conferences

You should recommend that students should come in early for an appointment for these reasons:

  • If they come in early with their writing assignments and ideas, our consultants can help them understand and analyze writing assignments
  • If they come in early, we can help them brainstorm ideas
  • If they schedule an appointment early, conferences with writing center consultants can act as a mini-deadlines to keep them on task and motivated
  • If they come in early, they can assure themselves spots in the Writing Center's busy schedule (this is especially important during peak times, such as mid-term and near the end of the semester).