Writing is key to helping students learn, clarify, organize, and articulate important concepts, ideas and information. Students improve as writers through practice, particularly when they are provided with instruction and guidance relevant to their assigned tasks and the opportunity to revise with feedback.
How can the Herbert Writing Center help students in your course?
There are a variety of ways faculty in any course on campus can let students know about Herbert Writing Center services:
- Let students know about the Herbert Writing Center by including information about our location and hours and our web site (writingcenter.utk.edu) on your syllabus.
- Provide students a copy of our general flyer.
- Make an announcement about the Herbert Writing Center at the beginning of the semester.
- Request an in-class presentation about our services. To do so, contact the director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arranging for your students to visit the Herbert Writing Center
The services we provide are described on our general flyer, and our locations and hours for each semester are posted at writingcenter.utk.edu.
We definitely can help your students! However, due to the volume of students we serve, we’re unable to provide effective help when an entire class is required to come in all at once. Therefore, please do not require your entire class to visit the Herbert Writing Center all at one time.
Instead, set up some guidelines for your students to follow. The most effective arrangement usually looks something like this (and you’re welcome to use this language in your communications with students):
Students are encouraged to get feedback from the Herbert Writing Center; see their locations and hours at writingcenter.utk.edu. If you do so, visit at least two days before the assignment deadline. Going by as early as possible in your writing process is the best practice. Ask them for a “Proof of Attendance” form. Review the Herbert Writing Center’s handout for information on how they can help you.
Individual student referrals are welcome anytime, and we provide “Proof of Attendance” forms upon request. If there’s particular information you want to share that will help us work with a student you refer, please contact the director at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s especially helpful to provide any key information about your expectations, such as the most important criteria you use to evaluate students’ work and/or the common issues past students have demonstrated—the things they most need help with. For example, if students are writing an analysis of a particular work, have you found that students have trouble articulating their main claim, organizing the parts of their argument, and/or providing credible evidence? Knowing your sense of what students most need help with can help us provide better feedback to your students.
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 training. For example, a great many honors students seek out feedback from the Herbert Writing Center because they are 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.
The “IW” Grade
For more information on working with the Herbert Writing Center for an assigned “IW” Grade, see our page on the “IW” Grade procedure.
Teaching a “WC” Course
The Herbert Writing Center provides resources for teachers in “WC” or “Written Communication” courses. For more information, see our page on Teaching a “WC” Course.