Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring 2011 NewsPrezi Available

The WVU Writing Center Spring 2011 NewsPrezi is available online. Check it out at:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Handle Instructor Feedback

Receiving feedback on our writing is often incredibly intimidating, especially when it comes from our instructors and professors. How can we make the most out of their feedback? And the more pressing concern, what do we do if we do not receive a grade we expected?

First, look over your instructor's comments, even if you received a great grade. Think about what improvements you can make for the next paper. Your instructors are experts, especially in your major, and the comments they make will likely apply to other coursework and will improve your writing in the long-term.

But it is tempting when we receive negative feedback to be angry, and to believe that the instructor "hates us." Take a day to calm down, and then speak to your instructor. You'll see that they're not hoping you'll fail but are actually invested in your success as a writer. Most instructors are willing to clarify their comments and help you integrate them into your writing. It is very important to speak to your instructor with respect and professionalism and to be sure to never accuse them of anything other than trying to help you.

If you feel uncomfortable speaking to your instructor, the tutors here at the Writing Center can do their best to work through your instructor's feedback with you. However, none of us can know exactly what your instructor was thinking, and we can't tell you what kind of grade your paper will get. Our goal is the same as your instructor's: to help you improve as a writer, but if you really feel confused by the feedback you received, we can't take the place of speaking to your instructor one-on-one.

Remember, instructors and tutors care about your writing and want to help you become a stronger writer. Never take negative feedback as a personal slight; instead, see it as our way of building you up toward success.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mid-course Corrections: Visiting the Writing Center at Midterms

It’s that time again—midterms. Maybe you had a few last week, or maybe this week is your “cram” time, but however you slice it, this is a stressful point in the semester.

One way to start alleviating that stress is to plan ahead and get your writing assignments done so you can focus on other important school items, like the tests and presentations at hand.

The WVU Writing Center can help you get a head start on any writing assignment you have, for any class. The tutors at the center range in major, class rank and expertise, so there is a good fit for everyone. You can bring in your papers at any point in the writing process—from simply brainstorming about a topic to putting the final touches on a 10-page piece.

Time management is an essential part of success in college and, really, in life. When you start to see that the next several weeks are crammed full of assignments and papers, take that time to structure your writing time. You probably aren’t going to sit down and write a 5-page paper all in one marathon typing session. Instead, you can make a few weekly checkpoints to stay on track, and on top, of your busy schedule. If you want to make sure you’re on track and staying focused, incorporate the center into those checkpoints to help ensure success.

Midterms and dead week are two of the busiest times for the center, so your best bet is to make an appointment to ensure you get to work with a tutor. You can make an appointment by stopping by G02 Colson Hall or by calling 304-293-5788. Good luck during this crazy time!