The Writing Center is dedicated to supporting writing across campus. We offer one-to one feedback sessions for students, faculty, and staff, as well as custom workshops and presentations. 

In our 1-1 tutoring sessions, writers work with a tutor on a specific writing project. Writers can come in at any stage of the project, whether they're just getting started or putting final touches on a project. Our tutors offer critique, praise, and suggestions, but the writer is always in charge: writers set the agenda for the session, draw from their own knowledge and experiences, and make the final decisions about their writing. We believe all writers benefit from a reader, and this process of feedback and conversation is central to the writing process. 

What should I expect if my students visit the Writing Center? 

The goal of a feedback session is to move a writing project forward and to teach the writer something about writing in our 45 minute sessions. Writing is highly individual and context-dependent, so we focus on helping writers better understand their options. Rather than aiming for a "perfect" project after a single session, our goal is to help writers develop transferable skills through attentive, focused discussion of the writer’s paper. The work is incremental, but deep learning always is.

As tutors, we usually start by focusing on the big picture: has the writer accomplished what the prompt or guidelines call for? Is the writing achieving what they want to achieve? How's the organization, structure, format, argument, evidence, citations, genre, conventions, tone, and design of the project? Once the writer feels good about these big picture concerns, we move to sentence-level issues like spelling, grammar, and other errors. We especially try to focus on patterns of error so we can help writers learn how to proofread and edit their work independently. However, good writing is not (just) the avoidance of error, so unless otherwise asked, we begin with the big picture.  

How do I tell my students about the Writing Center?

Most writers hear about the Center from their professors, so thank you for spreading the word! First, it's always beneficial to talk with your students about your own experiences with writing: hearing how you approach the writing process and seek out resources like writing centers, writing groups, and writing buddies does a lot to normalize the idea that writing isn't a "one and done" skill.

Second, we are happy to come to your class for a class introduction. You might also include this language on your syllabus and Canvas site:

All writers improve with practice and feedback, so as a student in this course, you are encouraged to use the Writing Center (in Robert Bell 295 during weekdays, Bracken Library First Floor West in the evenings, or online during any of our regularly scheduled hours) to get additional feedback on your writing. The Writing Center offers free planning, feedback, and accountability sessions (in person and online) to all students composing essays, reports, reflections, research projects, web content, lesson plans, slideshows, poster presentations, resumes, and other digital or print texts. To schedule a free appointment to discuss your writing, go to http://www.bsu.edu/writingcenter. Online and in-person appointments are available; however, plan ahead because appointments book quickly!

Can I require all of my students to go to the Writing Center?

The Writing Center has a limited capacity for appointments. In many cases, we cannot accommodate all of your students visiting in the same week. But we'd still love to work with your students! If you want to send an entire class our way, consider: 

* Offering extra credit for visiting the Writing Center! Refer to our sample extra credit assignment for more information. 

* Requiring students to visit the Writing Center, but allowing them to choose when they visit. (Make sure to check in and remind students about this requirement frequently.) Generally, students get more out of these visits and are better prepared when they reflect on what they need help with before they come in. Please use our sample assignment to make sure you prepare students for their visit. 

* Work with us to bring a few tutors to your class for a peer workshop instead.

How will I know if my students use the Writing Center?

We leave it up to students to determine if they want you to know when they come in. If they do, they’ll tell us and we will email you a session summary. (We do not sign or stamp papers.) If a student says they have attended and you did not receive an email, ask them to contact us and we will resend.

Can I visit the Writing Center? 

Yes! The Writing Center is available to everyone in the Ball State community, and about 3-5% of our visits are with faculty and staff. All tutors are trained to work with a variety of types of writing. You can learn more about our tutors by going to our schedule and selecting an appointment slot; when you choose an appointment time, the tutor's bio will appear on the appointment form.