Writing Center Services

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The Writing Center can help you to improve individual essays and papers, but it can also help you to improve your overall writing process. Taking a "process approach" is usually much more beneficial than taking a "product approach," for it grants you an opportunity to refine your skills as a reader, a critical thinker, a planner, a writer, a reviser, a proofreader, and an editor. Instead of simply bringing in a complete draft (a product), students are encouraged to visit the Writing Center during each phase of the writing process.

During the Pre-Writing Stage, WITs can help you to...

  • Better understand an assignment or prompt
  • Form a response to a reading or topic
  • Brainstorm and generate ideas
  • Organize and focus your ideas
  • Craft a working thesis statement
  • Revise and develop your thesis statement
  • Create an outline or a concept map
  • Plan out a research agenda

During the Drafting Stage, WITs can help you to...

  • Review your assignment, thesis, and outline before you begin writing
  • Develop strategies for overcoming writer's block
  • Create a schedule for your drafting process that leaves time for subsequent drafts/revisions
  • Break your assignment down into stages
  • Develop strategies for being flexible and "improvising" as your paper develops
  • Consider different patterns of development for your supporting paragraphs
  • Assess your textual evidence and make informed decisions about when to quote, paraphrase, and summarize

During the Revising Stage, WITs can help you to...

  • Get a fresh perspective on what you have written
  • Offer constructive feedback on your draft
  • Assess the content and organization of your argument
  • Refocus your paragraphs toward your thesis
  • Improve the coherence of your argument
  • Incorporate more transitional words/phrases
  • Achieve greater precision with your word choices
  • Outline structural and substantive changes
  • Assess the unity and coherence of your individual paragraphs
  • Analyze and improve your evidence
  • Make "macro-level" changes to the paper
  • Eliminate unnecessary words, sentences, or paragraphs
  • Create a "reverse outline"

During the Editing Stage, WITs can help you to...

  • Improve your skills as a proofreader
  • Slow down and assess the quality of individual sentences
  • Identify patterns of error
  • Increase sentence variety
  • Improve your sentence structure
  • Identify and eliminate punctuation errors
  • Check your citations, both in-text and bibliographical
  • Create a list of priorities before you turn in the final draft

During the Evaluation Stage, WITs can help you to...

  • Read through and understand your professors' comments
  • Set goals for your next assignment based on these comments
  • Reassess and improve your writing process

 

 

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