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How the Herbert Writing Center Can Support Your Students

Writing is key to helping students learn, clarify, organize, and articulate important concepts, ideas and information.  Students improve as writers when they are provided with instruction and guidance relevant to their assigned tasks and the opportunity to revise with feedback. We’re here to help you guide your students through their writing processes and to help your students perform well as writers.

 

Let your students know about our services

Students in any subject and course on campus can get writing help from the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center.  If it’s writing, we can help! Please let your students know about us.

  • Include the following language on your syllabus and/or on your Canvas site:

Getting feedback from the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center while you’re in the process of working on a paper is a great way to improve the quality of your writing. You’re encouraged to talk with trained writing tutors about getting started on a paper; organizing your ideas; finding and citing sources; revising and polishing final drafts; grammar; and more. For instructions about how to make and attend online appointments, see https://writingcenter.utk.edu/making-and-attending-appointments/. Updated information about JAHWC services is always available at https://writingcenter.utk.edu.

 

Referring students: Some guidelines for instructors

We are always eager to help your students. However, due to the volume of students we serve (last year, more than 18,000 student visits), we’re unable to provide effective help when an entire class is required to visit all at once. Therefore, please do not require your entire class to visit all at one time.

Instead, set up some guidelines for your students to follow.

  • The most effective arrangement when referring a large number of students usually looks something like the following (and you’re welcome to use this language in your communications with students):

Students are encouraged to get feedback from the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center; see What can you talk about with a writing tutor? and https://writingcenter.utk.edu for more details about how they can help you and  about how to make appointments. Arrange for an appointment as early as possible in your writing process, and visit no later than at least two days before the assignment deadline. Keep the survey request email you receive after your appointment (to share as needed as evidence of your visit). 

  • Stagger your students’ visits.  Ask one group to visit for one paper, another group for another paper, etc.  Always, require that students visit at least two days in advance of the assignment deadline (so that they can get an appointment, which wouldn’t be possible if they all tried to visit on the day a paper is due).
  • Let us know what your assignment is. If you refer students to us, please send a written description of the assignment your students are working on so that we can best help them. You can e-mail it to us at writingcenter@utk.edu.
  • Individual student referrals are welcome anytime. If there’s particular information you want to share that will help us work with a student you refer, please contact us at writingcenter@utk.edu.
  • Need proof of attendance? Ask students to forward you our automated survey request email, which is sent out each evening to each kept appointment.

 

Are writing centers only for “bad” writers?

Some people mistakenly think of writing centers as a “remedial” service.  However, while we certainly can and do help writers who have demonstrated some kind of writing “problem,” we work with ALL writers at all levels of ability and prior training. For example, a great many honors students seek out writing feedback because they’re committed to producing excellent written work. As all faculty know from firsthand experience, all writers benefit from the opportunity to engage in conversation and receive feedback about their writing.

 

Teaching Resources

In Summer 2020, we hosted a series of Zoom workshops to assist faculty in all departments with the process of (re)designing classes to include online and hybrid instruction. The focus was on best practices and methods for becoming more efficient and effective in responding to student writing. See more information, including recordings of each of the workshops, on this page.

The “IW” Grade

For more information assigning the “IW” Grade, see our page on the “IW” Grade procedure.

Teaching a “WC” Course

The Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center provides resources for teachers of Written Communication (“WC” courses. For more information, see our page on Teaching a “WC” Course.