MSU Denver’s Writing Center offers myriad services and opportunities for students as well as faculty and staff.
August 14, 2018
There is probably a lot you don’t know about the Metropolitan State University of Denver Writing Center. As the fall semester approaches, take a moment to reacquaint yourself with all the ways the Writing Center can make your courses more dynamic and your students more successful. There’s even something in it for you!
1. The Writing Center doesn’t cater only to struggling student writers.
The Writing Center helps any student with any writing project, whether it’s school-related or not, according to Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Ph.D., who heads the Writing Center. The center helps students with every aspect of writing, including understanding their assignment, figuring out how to break a big project down into manageable chunks, supporting their point, drafting, revising and editing — and is valuable for writers of all skill levels.
2. It’s also a great resource for faculty.
Writing Center staff members are happy to give class presentations that target particular areas of writing support, such as how to not procrastinate, how to document sources or how to organize paragraphs. They are happy to consult with faculty about how to create engaging writing assignments and help faculty improve the quality and depth of their comments and feedback. Fun fact: Most faculty spend too much time making comments that don’t help students improve.
More resource details are available on the center’s website.
3. Faculty members are the Writing Center’s greatest champions.
Sixty percent of the students who use the Writing Center say they heard about the resource from a faculty member, according to Kleinfeld. As such, Writing Center staff depend on faculty to spread the word. A simple way to do this is simply including a Writing Center blurb in their syllabi.
4. It’s all about perspective.
“Students are much more likely to show up engaged and with a positive attitude at the Writing Center when faculty present going to the Writing Center as a smart thing for all writers — rather than a thing for bad or struggling writers,” Kleinfeld said.
Some faculty mention to students that they themselves seek out good readers when they are writing an article or high-stakes document and then explain how going to the Writing Center is similar.
5. Spanish-speaking assistance and resources are available.
Kleinfeld has observed that professors are often concerned about the best way to help their non-native English-speaking students. In response, the Writing Center is piloting a program this fall called Roadways into Developing English Skills (RIDES) specifically designed to help English Language Learners improve their English grammar and usage skills.
6. It’s possible to be “plagiarism-proof.”
Many faculty are worried about plagiarism. Rather than focusing on catching plagiarists, faculty members who work with Writing Center staff can get help developing assignments that require original writing — and get tips on using SafeAssign to help students learn about effective source use.
7. The Writing Center wants you to WITS.
Through the Center for Teaching, Learning and Development, the Writing Center facilitates a faculty-and-staff write-on-site group called Write It This Semester to jump-start your professional/passion projects and keep the creative juices flowing. WITS will meet Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m . beginning Sept. 6. To join, email Kleinfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.