Students, tutors, and teachers 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.
Accessing Writing Center Services (Fall 2020)
Important Notice: The Writing Center will accept submissions for the fall beginning August 24, 2020. See our turnaround times below.
Graduate students working on theses and dissertations will want to be sure to consult our Web page regarding Services for Graduate Students.
Due to Covid-19 precautions, the Writing Center is closed for face-to-face consultations at this time.
Be prepared to provide us with the following information:
- the name of the class
- the type of assignment (resume, research paper, analytical paper, book review, etc.)
- the kind of help you are looking for
Be prepared to send us any assignment sheets given by the teacher.
To utilize the Online Writing Center click on this link, then choose “Enrol Me” and the Moodle course will begin to show on your Moodle dashboard.
Students should expect a response according to the following schedule:
Document Submitted by 5 p.m. This Day
|Expect a Response by 8 a.m. This Day|
If your document is submitted after 5 p.m., it is treated as if it came in the following day. So if it is submitted after 5 p.m. on Monday, it will be treated as if it was submitted to us on Tuesday.
Be prepared to check your email frequently; we may have questions.
Practice patience as we shift to this mode of delivery.
What to Expect From a Consultation (What We Do)
We generally begin by asking the writer to identify issues of concern. This is consistent with our intention to put the writer in the center seat.
We will, however, 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 your paper is a source-based one, such as a research paper, we will look to 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.
If you are interested in learning more about the UL Lafayette Writing Center and its services, please stop by to visit us in Griffin 107 or call the Center at 337-482-5224.
Assistant Directors: Chrystyn Albarado and Em Tielman