We help students address their assignments, understand the conventions of academic writing, and learn how to revise and edit their own work.
The Center's writing consultants are mostly graduate students in the Department of Literature, with a few selected undergraduate interns. They undergo a rigorous, 10-hour training program and continued professional development as part of their commitment to the Writing Center.
We encourage students to set up regular appointments to talk about their work. They may schedule up to two sessions a week.
We like to meet with students throughout their writing process to discourage the last-minute "fix it" attitude—we don't just proofread or copyedit papers but work with students.
We can work with students on any writing project, but for a take-home exam, we require written (or phoned-in) permission from you, the instructor.
2. We're a resource to support your teaching
We have a wide assortment of handouts—on paper and online—that explain basic elements of the writing process (Getting Started, Effective openings, Crafting a Thesis), discuss common writing issues (Writers' Block, Transitions, Better Sentences) and strategies (Editing tips, Interpreting Assignments, Writing Critical Analysis), and outline the basics of using and citing sources in various disciplines.
Writing consultants can visit your class, either for a brief introduction to Center services or a 10-15 minute mini-workshop on basic concerns such as crafting a thesis statement or "writing and citing research."
3. We can offer feedback on writing assignments
Writing consultants see many students and their assignments every week, so we're a great source of feedback and advice on students' interpretations of writing assignments.
Here's a powerpoint presentation about avoiding misunderstanding and creating effective assignments that we have given to faculty groups on campus: "What We Say, What They Hear: Assignments Lost in Translation"
4. Please put us on your syllabus...
We ask that you not "assign" a visit to the Center, (we aren't designed to handle large numbers at once and students tend to see a required visit as a chore, not an opportunity), but we encourage you to add a note about the Writing Center on your syllabus and even offer a bit of extra credit, if you so choose—please see syllabus insert below.
We do have forms we can furnish to students when they visit, so you can request they get this "proof" when they come in.
The Writing Center offers free, individual coaching sessions to all AU students. In your 45-minute session, a student writing consultant can help you address your assignments, understand the conventions of academic writing, and learn how to revise and edit your own work.
The Center is now located on the first floor of Bender Library.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday
Call 202-885-2991 to arrange a session.
Meanwhile find the Writing Center website — with its weekly blog — at www.american.edu/cas/writing/ and on Facebook.