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FAQs About the Writing Center

What is the mission of the Writing Center?

The Writing Center helps students to become better, more confident writers. Our mission is to collaborate with students as advocates for their academic success by not focusing on grade increases or what must be fixed, but instead, focusing on developing their confidence in what they produce and ensuring they feel supported along the way.

Why do my students still have errors in their papers after submitting to the Writing Center?

Students always have the option to choose what they will revise and what they will not. We respect the fact that their work is their own. At the Writing Center, we do not promise that work will be perfect after receiving our feedback; instead, we focus on the major aspects of revision we believe the students should focus on. We do not identify every single error. Learning to write and improving one’s writing ability is a process, and we respect the fact that this takes time.

How long does the Writing Center spend on each paper?

All submissions are allotted a maximum of 45 minutes for review. We encourage students to submit portions of larger papers as they create them.

How can I encourage my students to use the Writing Center?

1. You can incorporate a blurb about the Writing Center in your syllabus or GAP page. Feel free to copy what you see below:

The Writing Center offers free, personalized written or video recorded feedback to students of any level on any assignment. Simply submit your document to us through this link (access with your @Westcliff.edu email) and we will return your feedback within 48 hours. You can choose how you would like your feedback provided to you: color-coded, video-feedback, or comment on everything. If you have a simple question, you can always email writinghelp@westcliff.edu

2. Include the Writing Center tab with the link to the website to your GAP course. For help with this, please reach out to IT.

3. Request a Writing Center specialist to come into your course to discuss the Writing Center and how it functions or to conduct a workshop related to a particular writing topic. To request this and see a list of pre-set workshops, please see here.

4. Explain to students how beneficial engaging in the process of review can be, both for their academic performance and their future careers.

How will I know if my students use the Writing Center?

You can make the submission mandatory if you wish to see the feedback provided to the students. They will select ‘yes’ to the question regarding if it was made mandatory on the submission form, and the Writing Center team will bcc you on the feedback sent.

How do I get my students to practice APA 7th?

We have a practice test on our resources tab. You can find it here (access with your @Westcliff.edu email). You can always use our premade Kahoot, found here.

Should I make grade decisions based on Writing Center feedback?

No. This is a support service, and students should be graded only on the final version of their assignments. All students have the authority to decide what they change in their work and what they do not. Additionally, we do not comment on every single mistake. We focus on major errors.

Can I allow extensions on submissions for students to make changes to their work if they use the Writing Center

Yes, it is up to your discretion to allow students a 1-2 day extension to make the revisions the Writing Center has recommended per assignment. Please just ensure you are still inputting grades by the specified deadlines. If you have questions, contact your program chair.

Can graduate students submit work?

Yes, graduate students can submit their work for review. However, once graduate students begin work on the dissertation, they must use the service options provided by the Doctoral Writing Center.

Do students need to have a full draft before submitting to the Writing Center?

No. Students can submit partial or full drafts to the Writing Center. Some students even submit assignments with questions because they do not understand the assignment instructions. We are happy to provide guidance and considerations for the further direction of their work.

Is there a limit on how often a student can use the Writing Center?

No. Students may use the Writing Center as they need.

Can the Writing Center help me with my own work?

Yes. The Writing Center can help review a manuscript for publication if the faculty member is submitting to WIJAR. In the future, we hope to provide this service for grant review and publication review to any journal, but as of now, it is limited to submission to WIJAR.