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.

While we are more than happy to help students who struggle with grammar, our focus will be to provide them with a strategy to identify and connect errors. What we aim for is improvement in the student’s writing ability and such improvement takes time. Please encourage your students to follow up and return often to our center.

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

We discourage you from requiring that all of your students make an appointment with us because we cannot guarentee appointments for any particular time frame. 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. If you encourage extra credit for a class of 20 students or more please contact our office coordinator at [email protected].

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 [email protected], 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. Our 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. 

To sign up for an appointment with our Directors please email [email protected] or [email protected] or call our main Center number (202.994.3765).

Need Advice on Working With Multilingual Writers?

Thanks to funding from CCAS, the Writing Center has a "Faculty Mentor," who is available to work with faculty on developing best practices for working with multilingual writers. If you would like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with our Faculty Mentor, please contact her at [email protected] 
Related Resources

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.