Frequently Asked Questions

Promoting the Writing Center to Your Students

Q: How can I tell my students about the Writing Center?

A1: Encourage your students to use the Writing Center at all stages of their work on written assignments. You might incorporate the following paragraph (or a similar one) into your syllabus.

    WRITING CENTER
    To help you with writing assignments, peer consultants are available in the Writing Center, 1205 Tawes Hall. The consultants can help you with all aspects of your writing process, from generating ideas to organizing your thoughts to revising your prose. Check the website for current semester hours. Daytime hours include both appointments and walk-in (call 301-405-3785 for a 30 or 60 minute appointment), while evening hours are walk-in only. To make an appointment, go to umd.mywconline.com. The Writing Center also maintains limited walk-in hours in 2101 McKeldin Library.

A2: Call 301-405-3785 and request information cards to distribute to your students.

A3: Bring us into your classes. Show your students our informative video at YouTube. A consultant would be happy to visit your class to explain what the Writing Center does (and does not do). We offer 5-10 minute orientations about Writing Center services. (The YouTube video URL is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF0SFAwhyOU)

A4: Bring your class to visit. Class visits offer us an opportunity to introduce your students to the Writing Center and its services. A visit also assures that they will know our location. Should you decide to arrange for a class visit, please let us know in advance so that we can have the necessary personnel on hand to provide your students with a comprehensive overview.

Tutoring Report Slips

Q: How can I learn what happened in my students' tutoring sessions?

A: Objective descriptions of sessions can be sent to you if students request them. Students must provide the teacher's name and email address. If you wish to receive report slips for your students' visits, ask them to supply these details and check yes on the report slip giving us permission to forward the information.

Recommending or Requiring Visits

Q: Can I require my students to visit the Writing Center or offer them extra credit for doing so?

A: Indeed, you may do either; however, without planning, these incentives can create some problems. We encourage you to speak with us ahead of time, so we can be better prepared for these tutoring sessions, and you can better prepare your students. Our consultants can offer more help to your students if you provide us with a copy of your assignment, and any notes on your specific expectations, both in terms of the assignment and the Writing Center's assistance with it. If we know when to expect an influx of students and what they are working on, we can give more focused help. Remember, if you wish to receive report slips for your students' visits, ask them to supply these details and check yes on the report slip giving us permission to forward the information.

Q: If I use an incentive to get students to visit the Writing Center, what should I tell them beforehand?

A: Explain to your students what you expect and what they can expect. We can help them best if they come with specific questions about parts of their paper that they want advice about. They need to know that we are not experts on their topics; the expertise is their domain, but we can help them with communicating information effectively to an audience. Students also need to be reminded that we are not an editing or proofreading service. Again, don't forget to tell your students to give us permission to have their report slips sent to you.

Remind them to sign up early for a daytime appointment, especially during the middle or end of a semester, and explain that evening walk-in hours may mean a wait and a shorter session.

Questions about a Student's Session

Q: What if I have a question about a student's tutoring session?

A: Please call or email us! We're always interested in feedback. If you or a student feels there is a problem, please let us know as soon as possible. We can't solve problems--or prevent future problems--if we don't know about them. Contact the director or an assistant director by phone at (301) 405-3785 or via email to writadmin@umd.edu. Once again, we can only supply information to you if your student has given us information to send a tutoring report slip. With your name and the student's name, we can then find the consultant's written report of that session. We can ask the consultant what he or she remembers about that session, focus on your particular concerns, and then get back to you to resolve any issues.

Other Writing Center Assistance for Faculty

Q: What other support does the Writing Center offer me?

A: For suggestions on creating more effective writing assignments and other information on incorporating writing into your classroom, see the Campus Writing Board website.