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Recommending the UWC to Students


  1. Include a statement in your syllabus that addresses the importance of written communication skills in all career fields. For instance, "Communication skills, both oral and written, are essential to your college and career success; consequently, I recommend that you attend the University Writing Center for assistance with the communication assignments for this class.";

  2. Avoid presenting the University Writing Center to your students as a form of punishment. We can make a difference with your students only if they come, and they will not come if they are embarrassed or degraded into doing so. Suggesting that students use the services of the UWC and/or building in points for using the UWC often works better than requiring them to attend. We are here to help in any way we can, and that often means giving students the confidence to overcome their writing weaknesses and fears.

  3. Identify students early on who seem to be having more trouble than the rest and discuss how the University Writing Center can help. If we reach these students early enough and stress the importance of enhancing their writing skills, they are more likely to succeed in all their courses. Remember, though, that the UWC is not only for weaker writers.

  4. Request UWC visits in all your classes early in the semester. A writing assistant will visit your class, pass out UWC bookmarks, and explain UWC services. Sometimes seeing a friendly face makes the difference in getting students to seek help.

  5. Suggest that your students come to the University Writing Center for at least two visits for each writing assignment. We constantly stress to students that one session will provide a starting point, but multiple appointments will allow them to make revisions and to get further feedback each time. Multiple visits will allow students to address a variety of concerns, such as content, organization, wording, and grammar, since 25 to 50-minute sessions usually allow for discussion of only one or two major areas of concern.

  6. Assist students in being prepared for their sessions and in having realistic expectations of the sessions. Students who attend the UWC with assignment sheets and/or notes on the assignment in hand are more likely to have productive sessions that help them to meet their needs as writers. Students need to understand that the UWC is not a "fix-it shop";; rather, the UWC is a place that attends to their individual needs as writers, giving feedback and instruction that they can immediately apply to the assignment at hand as well as employ in other writing tasks. You can also send us copies of your assignments for our Assignment Notebook.

  7. Encourage them to join a Creative Writing Group. They can sign up by calling, emailing, or dropping by the UWC.

For more information, please call the UWC at 904-8237. You may also email Assistant Director Caty Chapman directly at cbchapma@mtsu.edu. We look forward to working with you to enrich our students' learning experiences.