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Writing Center

Students, tutors, and faculty focusing on writing form the Writing Center community and create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere in which writers work with other writers. Visitors to the center are encouraged to discuss their writing and writing in general.

The Center's overarching concern is to help the members of our academic community become better writers, and to this end, our goals are these:

  • Helping clients enhance their writing skills
  • Helping clients move from writer-based to reader-based prose
  • Helping clients see the value of creating multiple drafts
  • Helping clients see strengths and problems in their writing
  • Helping clients learn to proofread their writing
  • Empowering clients to own their writing
  • Nurturing creative ideas

We work with writers at any stage of the writing process. The Center welcomes students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines and also offers resources for those writing in English as a second language.

In Person Tutoring Services Fall 2022 (beginning August 29)

Regarding the Online Writing Center (the OWC): The OWC was a temporary measure during Covid to support the university's emergency transition to online and hy-flex courses. We are grateful for the flexibility of our tutors and students during a difficult time and, in keeping with UL Lafayette's mandate for fall 2002, the Writing Center is returning to in-person tutoring sessions in our new location in the library. It is important to us to accomodate folks with different levels of accessibility, so please contact us at writingcenter@louisiana.edu if we can make your writing experience better.

In person tutoring services will be provided at the Writing Center's new home in Dupre Library. We will have signage, but if you cannot find us, just ask the folks at the Reference Desk. We are next to the microfiche area.

We are still firming up our schedule, so the hours listed below are currently subject to change.

Our planned hours are

Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Closed during University holidays and breaks.

 

What to Expect From a Consultation (What We Do)

It is helpful to us to understand your issues of concern. This is consistent with our intention to put the writer in the center seat.

We will comment on higher order concerns (thesis, supporting discussion and evidence, coherence and logic) if we see these as problems, as these are usually the most important areas of concern for instructors and other readers. If we don't understand your argument or if we think you need more explanation, we will tell you so. If the organization is not clear, we will also tell you this.

If it seems to us that the work you have submitted does not fit the assignment as you have given it to us, we may return it to you unmarked and explain this is why we have not made any comments. We may ask you to speak to your teacher to clarify the assignment for you or for us.

If your paper is a source-based one, such as a research paper, we will see whether the sources seem to be cited appropriately and correctly, though we will rely upon you to identify particular problems or concern. (If you have paraphrased text or put it in your own words, you will want to mention this as it will need to be cited properly.) If we have concerns that there are problems with plagiarism or errors in citing sources, we may ask you to address these problems first and then return with the assignment for a follow-up consultation.

We address grammatical errors last (unless you ask us to address them first), usually by pointing out a consistent problem or two and providing a model for correcting the problem. It is not unusual for us to direct students to one of the many online resources that can help a writer overcome the problem (exercises and the like). We might also direct the paper's writer to our own lists of resources that we have found to be helpful (many of which are posted at the bottom of the Student Links page). Some of the tutors have other favorites to which they may direct the writer.

Our Limitations (What We Don't Do)

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all walk-ins; therefore we encourage students to make appointments, especially during the midterm and the last weeks of the semester when demand for our services is high.

We are not proofreaders or editors; our mission is a teaching one (to help writers working with us to become confident and independent). It is not our place as tutors to go through an assignment and correct all of the errors as an editing service might. We do not rewrite faulty passages.  If we see a consistent grammatical or mechanics error, we will demonstrate methods for correcting it, and we will point to a resource or strategy you can use for correcting it on other occasions.

With respect to citing sources correctly, we will direct you to what sources we know of (usually the Purdue OWL, Excelsior OWL, and those resources our library and other university libraries have posted online), but we will not go through the essay and correct all citation errors for you. We will help you locate the answer to any question about citations to the best of our ability so that you can correct errors yourself. Since we don't always know when you are citing sources and when you are not, it is your responsibility as a member of our academic community to point out these places if you wish our help in citing those sources correctly. Bookmark any online sources and bring in any print sources so we can better help you. We do not take responsibility for pointing out places citations or quotation marks should have been used if we were not told when and where you were paraphrasing or quoting sources.

We cannot guarantee that your work (essay, letter, paper, etc.) fits the instructions given to you. If your text does not seem to fit the rubric or assignment sheet you have provided to us, we will suggest you contact the instructor for clarification. There may be instructions that you have not shared with us, or instructions may have been given that you were not present for or did not hear, or the teacher may have preferences that we had no knowledge of. Occasionally, an assignment is new to us, too.

We do not offer an opinion as to grades or as to how the teacher might evaluate the work you show us. We encourage you to visit your instructor with these kinds of questions.

We do not offer a guarantee that every piece of advice we offer will result in a higher grade. Our experience suggests that writers see the benefits of working with us over time.

We do not claim to always have "the right answer." Writing is about choices, and we do our best to make our anyone working with us aware of their choices. Occasionally, an assignment that is new to you is new to us, too. If you have questions about any of the advice we have given you, we encourage you to consult with the instructor.

 

Contact Us

Writing Center Director: Dr. Nichole Stanford

Email: nichole.stanford@louisiana.edu

Writing Center Email: writingcenter@louisiana.edu