Writing Center

The Writing Center, located in Garner Hall 110, provides assistance to undergraduate and graduate students with all types of writing, including research paper writing, essay writing and crafting resumes and personal statements, among other forms of writing. Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with professional tutors to develop the connection between writing and knowledge while addressing specific writing problems. Although tutors assist students in the editing process, tutoring sessions ultimately seek to develop stronger writers, not produce perfect papers.

Provided Services

Walk-in tutoring sessions (30 or 45 minutes)

During these sessions, students work in collaboration with a tutor on their writing concerns. Given the time limitations of the typical 30-45 minute session, it is impossible to consider all the problems in a student paper. That is why at the beginning of each tutoring session, students and tutors set up the priorities based on the nature of a specific writing context. Typically, tutors start with the Higher Order Concerns such as understanding of the assignment, thesis/focus of the paper, organization, flow, and voice. Then they move on to address the Lower Order Concerns, i.e., grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, usage, and spelling. Tutoring sessions are not intended to produce impeccable papers; rather, the goal is to teach students to become more capable writers so that they can use this knowledge to bear in future papers. An assessment tool, the analytic rubric developed by the Writing Center tutors in collaboration with the Writing Center Coordinator, is being used during the tutorials to assess student writing. The scores on the rubric of those students who attend the Writing Center six or more times will be compared in order to obtain data regarding student learning outcomes. These data will also provide useful insights in regards to what other services must be designed to meet student individual needs.

Appointment-based tutoring sessions (60-90 minutes)

Even though appointments are not required, for papers that have 10 or more pages, students are recommended to schedule a one- or one-hour and 30 minute appointments allowing them to spend more time with a tutor. Appointments are scheduled by phone or an e-mail sent to the Writing Center Coordinator.

Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Online Writing Lab provides asynchronous online tutorial services primarily for students taking classes off the main campus; however, students who are enrolled and take classes at the Main Campus can also utilize this service.

Customized tutorials on avoiding plagiarism, sentence structure, documentation styles, essay structure, grammar, and mechanics (one hour per week)

This seminar focuses on basic sentence grammar skills. At the beginning and at the end of this seminar, students are required to take two pre- and post-assessment tests to determine if the seminar produced any impact on their learning. One of the diagnostic tests included into this seminar is the Test of Written Language (TOWL). Also, web-based pre- and post-assessments provided by the Pearson Publishing My Writing Lab are used in the 7-week Sentence Grammar seminar. The topics covered during this seminar include: 1) phrases, clauses, run-ons, and comma splices; 2) fragments; 3) subjects, verbs, and subject-verb agreement; 4) pronoun case, pronoun reference, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and point of view; and 5) combining sentences. This seminar is useful for any students who wish to refresh their knowledge of the basic sentence grammar skills, including English Language Learners (ELLs).

  • Writing Workshops
  • Modern Language Association LA Documentation Style
  • American Psychological Association Documentation Style
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Essay Structure & Grammar
  • How to Write a Position Paper?

The MLA and APA Documentation Style workshops provide students with the introduction to the conventions of various documentation styles such as MLA and APA. The Avoiding Plagiarism workshop provides students with a definition of the concept of plagiarism, informs students about the cases where citations are not needed, and, most importantly, clarifies what effective paraphrase is. The Essay Structure and Grammar workshop focuses on the writing process, the structure, and the organization of a college essay. Comma usage is covered during the second part of this workshop. How to Write a Position Paper introduces students to the concept of one of the most frequent college writing assignments, i.e. a position paper. During this workshop, students are taught a specific technique called “Frames.” This engaging, collaborative technique stimulates and shapes students’ thoughts as they work as a group trying to identify the pros and the cons of a controversial issue and take their own stand on the problem.

Brief phone consultations with a tutor for students who have submitted their papers to OWL (available two times a week)

Since the services of the OWL are conducted via asynchronous mode of communication (email), the brief phone consultations with a tutor provide students with the so much needed live interaction. Students can seek clarification, ask a question, and/or request an appointment with a tutor in the Writing Center.

Classroom/course “Quick Talks” visits

The Coordinator of the Writing Center conducts classroom/course “Quick Talks” visits as per the request of the individual faculty members. The topics covered during these visits usually include a brief overview of the Writing Center services or focus on the topics covered during the on-campus workshops.

Writing Center Sign-In System

By logging in to the Writing Center’s sign-in station at http://doitapps.barry.edu/TSWL/Manager, faculty can verify their student attendance to the Writing Center.

Writing Center Website (announcements, links, resources)

The Writing Center website provides students with the detailed information about the Writing Center’s services, hours of operation, the mission statement, policies and procedures, and the list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Three of the five writing seminars currently offered by the Writing Center had been videotaped and can be accessed for viewing on the Writing Center’s website. Most importantly, students can access a variety of handouts created by the Writing Center’s tutors. These handouts focus on grammar, the essay writing, and the conventions of the APA styles. Also, students can access the handout containing the list of useful and reliable links such as dictionary.com, apastyle.org, and others

Writing Center Fall 2018 Hours of Operation (August 27-December 14)

Mondays/Wednesdays9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesdays/Thursdays9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fridays9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Writing Center will be closed on September 3, October 5, and November 22-November 25.