We appreciate the support from instructors who encourage students to use the UK Writing Center. The majority of students say that they find out about the Writing Center from their instructors.
Although we hope that every UK instructor strongly encourages students to visit the Writing Center, we ask that instructors do not require a student to make an appointment. If all students in a class must schedule an appointment within a specific time frame, it is unlikely that we will have open appointments available that fit every student's schedule before the deadline. We have also learned from experience that not every student who is required to make an appointment actively participates and learns during the session. Requiring the visit can send the message that merely scheduling an appointment and showing up for it should mean that the assignment grade will improve. However, only if students are engaged in learning during the writing consultation will they learn something that they can apply not only to the writing assignment at hand but also to other writing assignments.
Each writing consultation lasts 45 minutes; therefore, we focus on specific writing issues that students identify, or that we identify, as most pressing. We do not have time—nor is it effective or wise—to try to address all writing issues on every page of a student paper in a consultation that lasts 45 minutes.
Each consultation will have a different outcome because each one is different. Some students actively participate in the learning session; others do not. Some students provide assignment instructions; others do not. When we ask students if they want to work on specific issues, some students helpfully direct us to one or two primary concerns while other students tell us that they need help with everything. Similarly, some students share detailed feedback from their instructors and peers, allowing us to help them review their writing with these comments in mind. Other students, however, do not provide instructor or peer reviews. Moreover, each student is at a different stage of writing, and each student communicates with us differently.
In our consultations, we help students learn how to review their writing from the reader's perspective. We help students understand how to fulfill assignment requirements, write for a specific audience, and learn academic standards of edited written English. We help students learn editing and proofreading strategies, but we do not merely direct students to "fix" grammatical errors. Finally, we help students locate and use online and print resources to help them follow models of formatting and documentation style, but we do not do the work for the students.
Consultation results inevitably vary—in all Writing Centers. Becoming a more effective and confident writer requires patience and sustained effort over time; one consultation is only a beginning.
From time to time, students ask us to provide documentation for consultations because their instructors have required the Writing Center visit. What we can do, at the student's request, is email a client report to the student, who can then choose to share that report with the instructor.
Please do not send entire classes of students to the Writing Center. We can accommodate only so many clients at a time due to our scheduling and staffing limitations.
We would love to visit your class to talk about our Writing Center services. Contact the Director, Dr. Lisa Schroot, to schedule a Class Visit.
If you have questions, or if you would like to plan a Class Visit, please email Dr. Lisa Schroot, Director of the Writing Center, at Lisa.Schroot@uky.edu.
Thank you for supporting the UK Writing Center!