Getting Help

Accomplished writers include other writers at certain points in their writing processes, and as a student in English 1000 so will you. As you research, draft, revise, and proofread an assignment, you will want to consult with your instructor, peer-group members, and the tutors who make up the English 1000 community. Discussing your work with others helps you take into account the experience, viewpoints, interests, and expectations of readers and will make your writing more successful as a result.

Talk to Your Instructor
Your instructor is a valuable resource. According to many students, communicating with the instructor outside of the classroom proved key to their success in the course. All instructors hold regular office hours during which they are available to help students in person; some are also easily accessible by email. Check with your particular instructor to determine the most suitable times and means for working together outside the classroom. Such information should be given to you in writing in the course information handout provided at the beginning of the semester. In addition to particular times routinely set aside, many instructors are willing to make appointments for other times that may better suit your schedule.

Consider Suggestions from Peers
Peer-group members are important partners in the writing process. Since English 1000 emphasizes revision and peer review, you will likely have the opportunity to get feedback from other students, as well as to give them your assistance. Students often have trouble looking critically at the work of their peers because "critique" holds negative connotations for them, or because they simply don't want to offend classmates by suggesting their work is anything but wonderful. Empty praise, however, isn't helpful and doesn't really feel all that good. When providing peer reviews for others, use a constructive tone; don't just say "good" or "weak" but describe more fully what you do or don't like, as well as offer suggestions for revision; ask questions of the writer in the margins to help him or her clarify and more fully develop ideas. Your instructor will provide more specific guidelines for responding to classmates' papers. When you receive a peer review of your paper, ask for clarification if there are comments you don't understand. View critically the advice you receive, especially when it is conflicting, ultimately making your own decisions. And recognize that you as a person are not being judged. Take and offer helpful criticism in a spirit of team effort.

Consult a Tutor
In the Writing Center, any undergraduate student can receive writing assistance in 50-minute personal sessions from an experienced staff. These experienced graduate and undergraduate tutors can talk with you about any aspect of writing, from understanding the assignment and brainstorming, to organizing and developing drafts, to polishing final submissions. In addition, the Center offers consultations on avoiding plagiarism by properly finding, using, and documenting outside sources. The Writing Center is located on the first floor of the Student Success Center, across from the north entrance to Ellis Library. Call for an appointment, times, or information about evening tutoring sessions at 882-2493. Then, you can visit Writing Center's website to learn more about your tutor and their areas of expertise.

To get the most from the Writing Center, go early in the semester and go often! Be sure to take all relevant materials to your appointment, including the assignment sheet, notes, articles, and any earlier drafts with teacher comments.

The Online Writery offers writing assistance similar to that offered by the Writing Center and from the same experienced staff, only in a text-based medium. It is the goal of the Writery to respond to submissions within 48 hours. When you submit a draft via the cybertutorial form at the Online Writery website, you will describe the assignment along with your approach and concerns so that your tutor's response, sent to you as email, can be as useful as possible. The more information you give our tutors about your assignment, the more thorough their responses can be.