Mines students are great with numbers, but for many of them, words pose a huge problem. The Writing Center is more effective at helping students sharpen those skills now that appointments can be made online.
Kathy Varani, a writing consultant for the Writing Center, discussed the recent change, “This is a big step forward because ever since I have been here we have had a paper schedule where we write everything down. It gets messy and confusing.” Students sign up for an account online, can see available time slots, and sign up for an appointment.
Since the new system was implemented, Varani is pleased to see that “our response has increased so much.” Instead of dealing with phone calls for new appointments or cancelling appointments, the consultants can focus on the students. Varani said of the new system, “It is very streamlined. I am finding it very easy to work with.”
Writing Center consultants help students with work at any stage in the process. Especially if writing is not a student’s strong point, an appointment can make a big difference. Varani talked about one of her clients she is working with now, “She has her first draft and then what we worked on today will become her second and then she’s going to come back with that and let someone else read it. And then she can feel good about the work she put into it.”
Help from the Writing Center leaves the students with a polished finished product, but also gives them skills for the next written assignment. Varani explained that consultants teach students by “not really telling them, but facilitating them, so they can think about it on their own.”
She thinks it is important for students to develop proper writing techniques on their own. “Basically, we’re here to help students learn how to write their papers better and give them the help they need and direct them to other sources.” Instead of telling students what to do, consultants provide their students with resources they can reference later in future projects.
No matter your current ability level, the Writing Center is a useful tool for developing skills needed in any profession. Varani said, “I like to build a sense of confidence in my clients, so they walk out of here really feeling like they’ve done something for themselves.”
Since they are there to help students, the attitude of the Writing Center consultants is always friendly. Varani said, “I’m a believer in really being positive with my clients. Because I really do love helping them. It’s great to see somebody walk out and say, ‘Yeah I can do it now.’”