Faculty FAQs

My student's assignment has quite a few grammatical errors. Can your staff help with this?

At the WRC, we emphasize "global" over "local" concerns. This means that we tend to emphasize qualities like argumentative structure and organization over grammatical content. This does not mean that tutors will not assist students with revising at the sentence level; rather, we want to emphasize that our goal is to facilitate a conversation about students' writing. Tutors will guide students as they comprehend grammatical concepts and then apply editing strategies.

Can I require students to visit the Writing and Reading Center?

Although some programs mandate visits to the WRC (e.g., College Now), we ask that instructors generally encourage them to do so. While it is possible to receive confirmation of a student's visit, we just ask that you be conscious of the fact that we have a limited number of staff. During busy times of the semester—especially midterms and finals—it may not be possible for all students to make appointments.

In encouraging the students to visit the WRC, it is helpful to us if you reinforce that students cannot expect tutors to "fix" every aspect of an assignment. The session will be collaborative and conversational. We appreciate if students come prepared with specific questions and/or sections of their assignment that they'd like to work on with their tutor.

What goes on during a session?

Our goal at the WRC is for students to learn effective, long-term strategies for improving writing and academic reading. Students should expect then to be active participants in sessions.

Students can make appointments for any stage of the writing process. They may brainstorm ideas on a topic with the tutor, work on drafting/organizing, and/or meet with a tutors for final feedback before submission. 

It is helpful for students to bring assignments and assignment prompts to sessions, as well as any other materials pertaining to an assignment (e.g., feedback on earlier drafts). 

Who works at the WRC and what kind of training do they have?

Tutors come from a variety of disciplines and majors. They are trained onsite through participation in weekly workshops, self-paced training exercises, focused observation and mentoring. We hire undergraduates as well as graduate student tutors who are particularly well-equipped to work on upper- and graduate-level projects. Furthermore, the center's Graduate Assistant is available upon request to tutor for graduate-level topics, theses, dissertations, personal statements, and resumes. Information about our current staff members can be found here

I have a strong writer in my class; how can I recommend them for employment? 

We're always looking for effective communicators to join our staff, although we typically only hire new tutors for the fall semester. Please encourage interested individuals to contact an administrative staff member for information on how to apply or email us the names of students you recommend.   arc_writingcenter@umassd.edu 

What other assistance do you offer? 

One additional service we offer here at the WRC is our conversation partner program. In this program, international students are paired with native speakers who meet on a weekly basis to practice conversational English in a low-stakes environment.

You are always welcome to bring students by the WRC for an introduction to the space/how to make appointments. We can also offer custom workshops on particular aspects of writing practice. Please contact a member of our administrative staff to arrange these services.