Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

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 our “Making and Attending Appointments” page. Updated information about JAHWC services is always available at our home page

 

Referring students: Some guidelines for instructors

We’re 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 includes setting a deadline for students to visit us at least 3 days in advance of your assignment submission deadline.

Here’s a blurb to include on your assignment sheet or syllabus:

Each student is required to get feedback from a Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center prior to submitting the assignment due on [date].   

Arrange for your appointment as early as possible in your writing process, and complete your appointment no later than at least three days before the assignment deadline. Keep the survey request email you receive after your appointment and forward that to me as evidence of your visit.

Here are some additional guidelines/suggestions:

  • Stagger your students’ visits.  In classes with large enrollments, arrange students into groups and ask one group to visit for one paper, another group for another paper, etc.  Always require that students visit at least three 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 the director 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.
  • 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 the director at writingcenter@utk.edu.

 

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 “Faculty Workshops” 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.