Take Your Writing to the Next Level at the Writing Center
Marist's Writing Center Helps Students Work Through the Writing Process
Of all the resources Marist has to offer, the Writing Center is one of the most useful for students of all majors, minors, and class standings. Located on the third floor of the Library in room 334, the Writing Center helps about 2,000 students per semester develop their papers, correct grammatical errors, and reach their highest writing abilities.
"The writing center will help any student at any writing level at any point in the writing process, so students can come in when they don't even have anything written yet just for help with the brainstorming part of the assignment. They can come in with a draft that they're working to develop or organize, or they can come in with a finished draft or something that they're revising for help with word choice, grammar, or things like that," said Writing Center Director Angela Laflen.
With the multitude of essays students will have to write throughout their time in school, regardless of their major, solid writing skills are essential to a successful college career. The services offered by the Writing Center can help students develop these skills over time, no matter what your writing ability is.
"You can't really know how your writing sounds to someone else. No one does, on any level of writing ability, so our best service is offering that outside perspective," said Laflen.
Gaining another person's perspective on any given essay is crucial to writing a solid paper. Many of the Writing Center tutors are current adjunct professors at Marist or former professors themselves, so they have a uniquely comprehensive idea of what professors are looking for in any given prompt.
"The most common problem I see with students is a difficulty with understanding the prompt," said Writing Center tutor and former professor of Writing and Philosophy Josh Mark. "The prompt is sometimes so wordy that the student loses their way in it from the beginning of it to the end. That's really the number one problem that I see students come in with, besides simple grammatical things or mechanical things that happen."
Other Writing Center tutors are freelance writers who tutor at the Center part-time, or even Marist students who have exceptional writing abilities. The Center employs four students this semester, one of which is working on an internship there.
"I've been working there for six weeks, and I tutor about 10 to 15 students per week," said Jessica Recce '17, a student employee and intern at the Writing Center. "The best part of working for the Center is watching students leave the tutoring session feeling more confident in their writing. After graduation I plan to become an English teacher, and a big part of my job will be to help my students improve their writing. By working in the Center, I'm developing the skills that will help me be a better teacher."
Recce also cited development and understanding as a common problem for students. "I think the most common issues that I help students with are support and development. Students come in after working on a paper for days, and they are experts on their paper subject. But as a tutor who is looking at the paper for the first time, I help students see where they might need to expand on a point or add additional evidence from a source to support their ideas."
The tutors themselves also specialize in certain areas of writing if you need help stylistically with papers of a certain subject. For example, if you need a Science paper proofread, the Center can find you a tutor that has either majored or taught in that field, or who is particularly familiar with that type of writing, as it can be different from typical English papers.
"We will soon have a list of our tutors and their shifts, and also any special expertise that they have. So, people who are particularly good in certain areas will be identified there [on the website]," said Director Laflen. "Any tutor should be able to work with you, but it's just good to get that inside approach sometimes."
Students who want to take advantage of the Writing Center's resources and insights can make an appointment online at http://www.marist.edu/writingcenter/. The Writing Center also takes walk-in's if a tutor is available. During midterms and finals week, the Center becomes particularly busy, so making an appointment is the best way to secure your session. It is a resource unique to the Marist academic community, and incoming students will find it particularly helpful when trying to navigate the complexities of college writing.
Written by Shannon Donohue '17
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