Where is the Writing Center located? When is it open?

The Writing Center is fully online for spring 2021.  The Center is normally open on days when university classes are in session, and closed on days when classes are not in session (i.e., holidays and final exam weeks).

What type of help can my students expect to receive from the Writing Center?

We offer one-on-one consultations for students in all academic disciplines. We help students build confidence as writers, improve their drafts, and develop the skills necessary for long-term improvement.  

During their consultation, students can expect to collaborate with a thoughtful reader in a friendly, low-stakes environment. The student and tutor will review the assignment guidelines, talk through the student’s concerns and come up with strategies for improving the draft.  We try to allow time in each session for students to complete a hands-on activity, such as creating an outline, revising a paragraph, or finding a new source.  

Students can bring work at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to drafting or revising for content or style. 

Who works in the Writing Center? 

The Writing Center is staffed by both graduate and undergraduate students who are trained to work with writers from all academic disciplines.  Staff members receive ongoing and extensive training throughout the academic year.

I offer my students extra credit for visiting the Writing Center.  Can I receive documentation of their visit? 

After each consultation, students receive a report that summarizes their session.  You can ask students to submit their client report form as proof of their visit.

Can someone from the Writing Center  provide information about your service to my students?

To schedule a promotional visit, go to our Events page.

What services does the Writing Center offer for faculty?

All members of the UA community–including faculty and staff–  can schedule a writing center tutorial and get feedback on work in progress.  Faculty members can also get individualized help in designing writing assignments and incorporating writing instruction into classes.  For more information, e-mail us at writingcenter@ua.edu.

What kind of workshops does the Writing Center provide?

The Writing Center provides workshops on topics such as: avoiding plagiarism; business writing (memos, letters, e-mails); transitioning from high school to college writing; technical writing; research and using sources; the writing process; personal statements; APA and MLA formatting; and more.  To request a workshop, go to our Events page.

I sent my student to the Writing Center, but the paper still contained some grammatical errors.  Why is this? 

The Writing Center is a tutoring service rather than a copy-editing service. We prioritize higher-order writing issues (content, organization, thesis, etc.) over lower-order issues.  When dealing with mechanical or stylistic issues, tutors are trained to look for patterns of error rather than trying to correct each sentence.  For instance, tutors might help students to identify a recurring problem, show them how to correct it, then ask students to practice this grammatical concept. This approach means that we cannot normally address all mechanical issues in one session. If you encourage your students to visit us regularly, however, you will find that over time, these skills can and do improve.