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For Teachers

Class Visits

If you would like someone from the Writing Lab to visit with your class, we will be happy to do so in-person, or via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Visits to the Writing Lab are best scheduled in the first weeks of the semester, when there is less likelihood of disrupting tutoring sessions. Visits can be especially effective if they are scheduled right after students are given the first paper assignment; we can then invite students to make an appointment with us before they leave the Writing Lab.

Please schedule your visit in the first 6 weeks of classes.

Please schedule visits to the Writing Lab with the Writing Lab's Director, Dr. Nichole Stanford, at

Required Visits/Bonus Points--A Writing Lab No-No!

We discourage teachers requiring visits, whether face to face or asynchronous, or offering bonus points for visits for this reason:

We have a small staff (8 tutors for a campus of more than 16,000 students); bonus points and required assignments for an entire class can mean between 15-30 hours of tutoring, since our appointments run 50 minutes. Oftentimes students who attend only to meet a requirement or to get bonus points end the session early, taking up an appointment time that could otherwise be used by a client who really needed or wanted an appointment. We don't want to shut out clients who want to be tutored in favor of clients who are really only there for bonus points. As for required visits--they generally don't work well for either tutor or tutee. The tutee may resent being forced to attend, and then the tutor has to deal with an uncooperative or angry tutee.

We do know the argument that sometimes we as teachers need to lead students to the resource in order for them to learn about it or see the value of it, but please encourage the student to attend by explaining the benefits of tutoring (perhaps you have been to tutoring yourself?), or by escorting an individual student to the Writing Lab in a friendly way. But please do not require visits or offer bonus points for going to tutoring. Certainly encourage students to visit us, but never make it a punishment. Attending tutoring is, after all, its own reward.

Some Resources for Teachers

The following is a brief annotated list of pertinent sites with topics ranging from teaching ESL students to preventing plagiarism:

  • Teaching with Writing: This Web site from the University of Minnesota provides help with designing writing assignments, responding to and grading writing assignments, writing with sources (and preventing plagiarism), workign with non-native speakers of English, and other aspects of teaching with writing.
  • Strategies for Preventing Plagiarism: This site by Robert Harris, author of The Plagiarism Handbook, looks at the causes of plagiarism and strategies for preventing and combating plagiarism.
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab: This Web site has a wealth of resources for both students and teachers. In addition to help with matters of grammar and mechanics, the Purdue OWL also provides help with APA and MLA style and different types of writing assignments.
  • Excelsior OWL: This Web site has resources not only for students but for teachers, too (see the three tabs at the top of the page). They have a multimedia presentation on Avoiding Plagiarism that instructors will find to be helpful.
  • Grammar and Punctuation (University of Bristol, UK): This is an easy to use Web site with basic rules and examples. Do remember this is a British web site and some of the conventions are different than they are in English (but some TESOL writers will be familiar with British rules).