Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Write Site at TWU

Whether it’s the first paper assignment of the semester or a final exam essay, writing can be a taxing process. When it comes to putting thoughts to paper, especially for academic writing, people frequently encounter problems with grammar, citation and organization of the paper. More often than not, writers may get overwhelmed to the point that they don’t know where to start. Like any other student going through college, those attending Texas Woman's University (TWU) are familiar with the road blocks that can occur while writing papers. Luckily, the Write Site is available to assist anyone that is part of the TWU community.

The Write Site is a tutoring center where students can be guided through the writing process. The physical offices of the writing center are based in two locations on the TWU campus. At the Classroom and Faculty Office Building (CFO) in room 129, students can walk in to make their appointments or set up a consultation meeting ahead of time on their website. From 9 a.m. to 5p.m. during Monday through Thursday or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays, the Write Site office of the CFO is open to members of the TWU Community. For those who may not be able to go to the Write Site during its office hours can utilize the writing center’s second office. For students that need writing consultations at later hours, the Write Site office located at the Blagg-Huey library is open Sundays through Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. When long distance and schedule conflict becomes an issue, the Write Site easily remedies the problem by offering students online services. 

“For our online students or people who have trouble getting to either of our brick and mortar locations,” states Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Denny. “We have our online writing lab, our OWL, and we have two types of OWL appointments.” As the Write Site coordinator explains, online writing lab provides students with asynchronous or synchronous online sessions. For asynchronous online meetings, Write Site patrons can electronically submit their papers and will receive feedback through email within 48 hours. Using headsets and webcams, the synchronous appointments between the student and the tutor are similar to face-to-face meetings in that both participants actively engage in a critique of the paper via computer screen. These are some of the few examples of how the Write Site has made their services available to students on and off campus. Still, what kind of services does the Write Site provide and what do they hope to accomplish in helping TWU attendees? 

According to Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Denny, the mission of the Write Site is more than just helping students to write great papers. For the Write Site coordinator and other consultants of the writing center, the primary objective in assisting their patrons is to teach them to become better writers. Although the Write Site does not provide proofreading and editing services, the writing center focuses on several topics involving the overall development of a paper.  This is not to say that proofreading and editing is completely absent from the sessions, but rather the tutor helps Write Site patrons recognize patterns of grammatical errors as well as how to correct them. Services primarily given by Write Site consultants range from pre-writing and planning, proper citations and making sure that the evidence shown throughout the paper is consistent with the main thesis of the assignment. While undergraduates in freshman English courses take advantage of the writing center, Write Site services are also beneficial for students from other disciplines. 

We spoke with two freshmen students about their experience with the Write Site. Tiona Pratt is a nursing major and Morgan Bower is studying biology as a major. They use the Write Site for assignments that they have in their English course. They use the face-to-face option for writing assistance. Ms. Pratt and Ms. Bower like to use the Write Site to aide in proper use of citations in their papers, to help plan their papers and make sure they are on the right track for their assignments with content and organization. They both like the Write Site because it is not a lecture class. They enjoy the down to earth atmosphere and how the people helping them are organized and helpful. 

Another student we spoke with is a TWU master’s student in nursing who attends courses at the Dallas campus. She first found out about the Write Site via email and on the TWU website. She was currently using the Write Site for her research paper about health organizations. She thinks the online option is the best feature of the Write Site, because it is easier since she lives and attends school in Dallas. She likes how she can submit a paper and they will evaluated and provide feedback in two days. She uses the Write Site to ensure she has all of the correct APA formatting and that the paper flows correctly. 

Just as the Write Site is made available to students, other TWU members take advantage of the writing center that goes beyond course assignments. “We offer to faculty and staff the same services that we offer to students,” says Dr. Philips-Denny. “We also offer help not only with academic writing projects, but with personal writing.” The Write Site often assists their patrons with non-academic writing projects such as grant applications, cover letters and even novels. For faculty members and staff, the Write Site not only helps out with matters concerning the critique of papers, but also helps them to organize workshops where students are invited into collective sessions that aim to improve certain aspects of writing. The Write Site is a great resource to use and provides services that benefits students in particular and the TWU community overall.

We want to take the time to thank all of you who took the time to interview with us. We appreciate your input on the Write Site. If you need more information about the Write Site or need to make an appointment with a writing consultant, go to website at

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