For GW Faculty
Sending Students to the Writing Center
The Writing Center works with students at all levels, from across the curriculum. We are a resource for students who struggle with basic writing, but we are also a resource for advanced writers working at the upper levels of their education, and everyone in between.
The Writing Center is not a proofreading/copy-editing service. While we are more than happy to help students who struggle with grammar, we ask them to engage and work with us on the subject so they’ll learn to correct the mistake on their own. What we aim for is improvement in the student’s writing ability.
You can send students who need help with group projects to the Writing Center. If you suggest going to the Writing Center, we ask you to tell your students that all contributing writers must be present at the appointment. We cannot discuss the particulars of a person’s writing if that student isn’t present. Alternately, we can work with individuals as long as we focus on their portion of the writing only.
Quite often, “Go to the writing center,” can sound like punishment, even when said with the best of intentions. When encouraging your students to go to the Center, it helps to specify what we can do to help them. For instance, “Have you thought about taking this to the Writing Center? They can work with you on [getting through a moment when you seem stuck] [helping you reorganize your paper when the structure isn’t working] [figure out what it is you really want to argue]?” helps students realize this isn’t after-school detention. It’s a service that can help them really improve their writing.
It is important to note that we will not discuss the content of appointments without the student’s permission. All visits are held in academic confidentiality.
Important Policy Information
If you decide to offer extra credit to those who take their papers to the Writing Center, our front desk office assistants can provide proof of attendance to the student after their appointment is over. We strongly recommend adding a reflective element to such extra credit--such as asking students to submit a paragraph about their experience in the Writing Center and how they revised their paper after the visit--in order to ensure that students seeking the extra credit actually come to the Center ready to engage in the collaborative work of having a peer discuss their paper with them.
The Writing Center is capable of helping with take-home essays assigned as midterm or final exams, but in order to do so we require an email from professors giving permission for the student(s) to make appointments. While it is an extra step, the university’s code of Academic Integrity means a system like this must be in place. You can send these emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, either for a specific student or blanket permission with the names of the course(s) included.
Professional Consultations for Faculty in the Writing Center
We are happy to work with faculty on assignment design. The directors are available to meet for individual consultations on assignment design. In addition--or alternately--faculty may find it helpful to work with our consultants--graduate or undergraduate--on how students are likely to read the assignment prompt.
Prof. Matt Riley - who holds consulting hours at the Mount Vernon campus (Eckles Library) - is available for consultation on articles for publication, grant proposals, or conference presentations. To sign up for an appointment with Prof. Riley, please use our online scheduling system
Need Advice on Working With Multilingual Writers?
If your students need help with the research portion of a project, GW Libraries provide research support. Their services include immediate responses and scheduled research appointments. You can find information on those services see the GW Library page.