Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Writing Center & You!

   As an avid English Major, let me be the first to tell you - my field is not for everyone. Sure, understanding the concepts and practices of what goes into making a good paper is important, but this doesn't imply that you are needing a die-hard fan of Chaucer, Hemingway, or Peter Elbow. Far from it. Most people will fully understand that a Nursing, Business, Engineering, or Math student might not be too keen about the symbolism in a Keats poem. That is not only fine, it's understandable - many, many English majors dislike calculus, data analysis, and courses that have words like "thermodynamics" in them.

   The issue exists that we all, as college students, must complete a broad spectrum of courses as determined by the state in which we live. This is one aspect of how college preps you for ( what some might call with a tone of disdain ) "the Real World." I've always disliked people who and separate the College World from the non-College World primarily because a challenge is still a challenge in both: having to tackle a tough analysis paper in English can be just as ( if not, not ) vexing than having to work on a presentation for a business meeting that includes departments you don't know: both of these force you to think and plan outside your comfort zone. Passing the paper or passing the presentation both hinge on your ability to handle the situation before you.

   Well, while the "Real World" has a bevy of resources for you to call upon, so does the the College World. Few departments believe in tossing their students to the wolves, alone, thus they provide you with resources that you can make use of to tackle hurdles that come your way. In the case of handling English and Writing assignments the first resource I want to tell you about is the Writing Center.

   For those who might not be fully aware, the Writing Center is a special space on the second floor of the Business Building in room #202. The Center is staffed by numerous, well prepared Gradate Students. These students sometimes from from diverse Majors, not just English. Some of them are TA Instructors here and might even be teaching one of your courses, or they might have a unique background that will prove especially useful for your needs.

   The most important thing in my experience ( having worked in the Center myself for almost two years ) is to tell you this: the tutors genuinely want you to succeed and will never help you less than you want to be helped. They have worked hard to handle all variety of comers, from freshmen, to students working on doctoral papers, or veterans. I've never personally seen such a great group of people try to help people who are great writers, they just don't quite know it themselves yet.

   If you ever have questions about a course, or a writing style, or how to handle your analysis approach ( or even understanding what an analytically devised approach IS ) - anything is OK to talk about. You don't even have to have a paper, you can simply come in, schedule an appointment, and then you can brainstorm.

   Here is the link to our UTT Writing Center's website --- http://www.uttyler.edu/writingcenter/

   One of the next resources ( one I've mentioned here before ) is our Library. Just like the workers who are in the Writing Center, the Library staffers are specially trained to help you succeed in your research. If you come in with ( for example ) a paper assignment on "Chaucer and Why Chaucer is Awesome," they can help you locate not only physical books of our man Chaucer, but also e-books, journals, and what we have on our J-STOR databases.


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