For Professors Who Require Students to Write: We Lessen Your Load
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Assigning Writing in Your Classroom: Two Aims
Writing to Learn: Students can learn a great deal by writing - about themselves and about course content. Providing frequent ungraded opportunities to write allows students to work through ideas, explore concepts, and generate opinions before responding to a graded assignment. Note-taking, outlining, free-writing, and journaling are all ways that students use writing to examine topics, learn, and remember.
Writing to Communicate: By writing, students learn the conventions and rhetorical practices of your discipline. Helping students develop proficiency as writers contributes not only to learning what is expected in the discipline, but also to developing skills that enrich self efficacy. Providing students with opportunities to write allows them to convey concepts being learned and show their developing skills in critical thinking.
Helping Your Students Become Better Writers
As an educator, you understand the importance of using writing to assess the knowledge of your students. However, what you expect of your students and what they are capable of producing in their writing may be incongruous. Aside from informing them of your expectations in class, there are several steps you can take to help your students become better writers:
Better Assignment Design Means Better Student Papers
If you want stronger papers, you need to design stronger assignments. Improving what you do with writing in your classes is key to the success of your students. Giving them a well-designed assignment is essential. The Writing Center can help you by offering the following services:
Plagiarism is a topic of ongoing concern within the WOU community. To prevent plagiarism, you need to take an active part in designing courses that educate students about the academic conventions of scholarly research. To clarify your commitment to high standards of academic integrity, you can take the following 6 steps:
The first step toward preventing plagiarism and encouraging original scholarship is to make students aware of how American academic institutions define and address plagiarism, and how and why academic scholarship defines and values originality and intellectual integrity.
How Will You Know When a Student Uses Our Services?
At the end of each session, the tutor provides the student-writer with a gold-colored confirmation slip to serve as proof of her/his visit. While most students are not required by their instructors to seek writing assistance, they often choose to attach the slips to their final papers as evidence of their investment in your assignment.
Writing Intensive Courses and Information
A writing-intensive course includes formal and informal writing as integral parts of learning: that is, students in W courses write not only to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter (tests and research/term papers) but are engaged in informal, exploratory writing; writing that they use to push their thinking, to deepen their understanding of the subject matter, and to explore questions they have about the subject at hand. In a W course, the goal is to give students as many opportunities as possible to write (exploratory writing-to-learn using informal formats and writing-to-show-knowledge in formal assignments), to receive feedback from their peers and their instructors during the writing process, and to demonstrate how to write in a particular discipline, understanding the requirements regarding writing styles inherent in that discipline.
The Writing Center offers whole-class or small group Spotlight Workshops where a writing specialist and a writing consultant come to your class on a specified date to work with your students on their drafts. The writing specialist models for the group what would be done in a regular Writing Center tutorial by 1) reading aloud the assignment instructions, 2) reading aloud a volunteer's essay, 3) discussing with the student-volunteer the content and/or grammatical error patterns (s)he found within the paper, and 4) giving strategies on how to self-correct the errors. Spotlight Workshops are effective in that all students benefit from them; most often, errors addressed by the specialist with the student-volunteer are common errors that other students make and need to learn how to self-correct. Moreover, Spotlight Workshops show students and professors, in an authentic context, how the Writing Center works to empower students to become stronger writers of their college assignments.
As international students seek to negotiate a new language and understand course content, you may face challenges when meeting the needs of this student population. The director and professional staff in the Writing Center can aid you in promoting international student success by providing consultations and workshops to better understand the writing issues these students face.
We provide you with specific support by
Additionally, through specialized workshops and individual consultations, an English Writing Specialist for International Students serves as an academic and cultural resource for the international student population and the tutors who work with them in the Writing Center.
Because many Spanish-speaking students possess oral proficiency in English, they are often mistakenly believed to possess written proficiency in English as well. As a Writing Center, we have learned that the majority of Spanish-speaking students enrolled at WOU are fluent in the everyday oral tasks and social interactions required of Spanish and English but are still in the process of acquiring literacy skills in both languages. An English Writing Specialist for Spanish-Speakers can specifically aid you in promoting these students' success by providing consultations and workshops to better understand and teach to the writing challenges these students face.
We provide you with specific support by
You can read articles about the challenges of Spanish-speaking students from the field of Linguistics, Bilingual Education, and ESOL to inform your theoretical and pedagogical direction of second-language writing research:
Lessons our Writing Center has Created for Instructors of Latino Students
Latino Students in Higher Education: Websites
Writing Center 503-838-8286 | or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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