Below, we’ve collected answers to the questions we most commonly hear from faculty. Please send any additional questions to the Writing Center’s director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refer a student to the Writing Center
If you’d like to encourage one or more students to schedule a sessions, please complete our referral form. Students tell us that your referral is the most influential factor in their decision to use our services.
If you’d like to direct your full class to our services, consider using the template language below on your syllabus:
On the Writing Center
The Writing Center offers free support to all Baruch students; you can meet with a professional writing consultant one-to-one (by video, audio, and text-based chat) and in small-group workshops. The Center’s consultants will work collaboratively with you to deepen your writing and English language skills. At any step in the process, they’ll help you become a more independent, confident, and versatile writer. You’re encouraged to schedule your appointment well in advance of when your writing is due. Visit their website, writingcenter.baruch.cuny.edu, to learn more.
On Academic Integrity
The Writing Center can also help you evaluate and cite sources, recognize and avoid plagiarism, and learn the expectations of a range of citation styles. In one-to-one consultations, you can share your notes, drafts, and research materials with an instructor of college writing to ensure you’re using sources effectively. In addition to individual sessions, the Center offers a small-group workshop on “Understanding Plagiarism and Citation.”
Policy against required visits
Please don’t require your class to visit the center. Our reasons for this are both practical and pedagogical.
- Practical: We’re often booked solid days or weeks in advance, and we don’t usually have the resources to guarantee that individual students required to visit will be able to find an appointment.
- Pedagogical: Students who are required to go the Writing Center often come without the investment necessary to be productive, since our pedagogy requires active work and participation throughout the session or workshop. Students who come with the primary goal of getting a signature certifying they’ve been here tend to get a lot less out of our resources.
Click on a link to jump to the relevant question:
- Who can use the Writing Center?
- Who are your consultants?
- What happens during a Writing Center consultation?
- What doesn’t happen during a Writing Center consultation?
- I am concerned about a student’s writing or language skills. What should I do?
- Can someone come to my classroom to do a workshop on a specific writing topic?
- My student worked with someone in the Writing Center, but there are still errors/problems in his paper. Why?
- Will I know if my student has used the Writing Center?
- What if the consultant at the Writing Center tells the student something I disagree with?
Who can use the Writing Center?
All Baruch students—undergraduate and graduate—currently enrolled in a degree-granting program.
Who are your consultants?
Our consultants are graduate-trained teachers of college writing. Most hold graduate degrees in Writing, English, TESOL or a related field. In addition to their work in the Writing Center, they teach courses here at Baruch and at other institutions across the city, and many write or edit professionally. Their bios are available here.
What happens during a Writing Center consultation?
A lot of that depends on the student. Generally, though:
- Students spend the first 5-10 minutes of each session in conversation with their consultant, as we learn more about their concerns, their assignment, where they are in the drafting process, and what they’re hoping to get out of the session.
- After the student and consultant decide together what the session’s goals will be, they spend the majority of the 50-minute session working towards those goals.
- Students write a lot—taking notes, brainstorming, revising, and drafting new writing. They’ll learn and practice new techniques for reading, developing arguments, researching, and editing. There’s a lot of conversation and plenty of time to answer questions along the way.
- In the last 10 minutes, students write a session record with their consultant—they’ll get a copy, which will help them remember what they learned, how they learned it, and how they can practice it in future writing. If they give us your email address, we can also send a copy to you.
What doesn’t happen during a Writing Center consultation?
- Consultants will not edit, proofread, or otherwise re-write student’s work. They will happily help students develop editing and revision skills, though!
- They will not discuss (or make predictions about) grades. Where appropriate, they will encourage students to re-read the assignment prompt to ensure they are meeting all stated expectations.
I am concerned about a student’s writing or language skills. What should I do?
We’re here to help you support students with writing and language needs. You’re welcome to refer students to our consultations and workshops. We welcome, too, conversations with you about your students’ writing, whether concerning a whole class or a particular student. Contact us and we’ll collaborate to develop the support your student needs.
Can someone come to my classroom to do a workshop on a specific writing topic?
My student worked with someone in the Writing Center, but there are still errors/problems in the paper. Why?
Writing is a process, and improving writing takes time. Because we focus on long-term, transferable skills, you can expect each session to be packed and productive, but also to focus only on 1-3 key areas for improvement.
We also expect the student to continue to write and revise independently after a session. Note that we never directly edit or proofread students’ writing (though we help them develop strategies to do so themselves), so there may very well be errors after they leave the Center.
Will I know if my student has used the Writing Center?
At the end of a session, your student has the option to send you a copy of the session record, co-authored with their consultant, that summarizes the work they’ve done. Some students are reluctant to send this record, so we recommend letting them know if you’d like to receive these reports. If you’d just like to know if a student came to see us, you can call or email the front desk, where one of our assistants can check the schedule to confirm attendance.
What if the consultant at the Writing Center tells the student something I disagree with?
Readers often have different reactions to the same piece of writing; colleagues often have different approaches to teaching writing. It’s a good opportunity for conversation on these topics—with your student and with us. As a policy, you should know that we never discuss grades with students. If you have questions about the feedback your student received, please contact the center’s director at email@example.com.