Write It This Semester (WITS)
Faculty Writing Program
WITS (Write It This Semester) will meet on Wednesdays from 8-10 in CN 103 this semester, beginning February 5th.
The MSU Denver Writing Center can help your students in any stage of their writing process, for any assignment – including summary/response papers, journals, case studies, research projects, collaborative projects, digital projects and presentations.
As we are writing experts, rather than experts in your discipline and your discipline’s writing conventions, please note that we cannot provide students with feedback on the accuracy of their content. However, we can help students with any aspect of their writing process and with elements of their writing that transcend disciplinary concerns.
For example, we can help your students determine whether their writing has a clear thesis statement or focus, whether their points are developed, whether sources are integrated and cited appropriately, and whether they have done what your assignment requires.
Thank you for wanting to encourage your students to use the Writing Center!
We, like most writing centers, discourage faculty from requiring their students to come to the writing center. This is because when students are required to come, they tend not to take the session seriously and thus the session can be unproductive.
To be productive and instill the habit of visiting the Writing Center, visits must be positive experiences for students. We recommend that you encourage students to come on their own volition or incentivize visits with extra credit opportunities.
In some circumstances, required visits can be helpful. If you would like to require a Writing Center visit, we suggest that you follow the protocols outlined below.
For an in-depth discussion of this issue, please visit https://dept.writing.wisc.edu/blog/a-case-for-compulsion-on-requiring-whole-class-writing-center-visits/
If you plan to require your students to visit the Writing Center, please do the following to ensure that your students’ experience in the Writing Center is positive and productive:
In addition to all of our other services, the Writing Center also offers support for faculty writing.
We have a number of professional writing consultants on our staff who can help faculty members with their own papers and/or books for publication, writing clear syllabi and assignment prompts, etc.
Additionally, we offer a writing program for faculty called "Write It This Semester," better known as "WITS." The WITS program is available during each semester.
- If you would like to join the WITS email list, contact our Writing Center Director, Elizabeth Kleinfeld.
For Fall 2020, we are doing something a little bit different. Instead of our normal class visits, we are offering Writing Center Hangouts. Thee are 15 minute group conversations about writing and the Writing Center, facilitated by Writing Center consultants. Hangouts will be scheduled at different times on different days during the first three weeks of the semester and you will receive an email confirmation about any of your students who attend. We recommend that you encourage or require students to attend a Writing Center Hangout to coincide with their first writing assignment.
For a list of dates and links to the session, please go here.
We can come to your class to help facilitate peer review sessions.
We offer several different presentations for classes, and will happily design a custom presentation to meet any specific faculty needs. Some examples of topic-specific presentations that we have offered in the past include:
Virtual Presentation Sessions
If you teach online, don't worry -- we can help you with that as well! We offer 'Zoom' meetings where we can facilitate any of the above sessions.
To schedule a workshop or presentation, you can fill out the form, here. Please give us 2-4 weeks advance notice, to ensure availability.
Help your students help themselves! Many of your students may not be aware of all of the helpful resources found all over campus, like the Writing Center. We would like to encourage you to use our handy Student Services Scavenger Hunt assignment, adapted from Professor Ansburg’s in the Psychology Dept.
You can send your students on a digital scavenger hunt, a physical one, or both. And this form is completely customizeable. Feel free to add departmental specific resources and/or something specific to your course.
We recommend assigning this in the first week or two of the semester as a group building activity to help your class get to know each other and learn about our services. It would also be a good extra credit assignment!
We would appreciate it if you do use this that you let us know by filling out this quick questionnaire so that we can prepare for your students in the writing center.
After a writing center session with one of our tutors, if a student needs proof of the session, they only need to as, or they can bring a copy of the form with them.
After the session the student will be asked to fill out the form, sign and date it, and we will stamp it. We have stamps for both a regular 40-minute appointment, and a 10-minute quick appointment.
Please note that we will not stamp blank forms.
A great new textbook about the myths of writing called Bad Ideas About Writing (Open Source)
There is a new journal specifically about writing paper prompts.
A really great blog for writing instructors.
Get IT in Writing Handout UPDATED-pdf: Simple strategies to encourage your students to use the Writing Center and help us ensure productive sessions with your students.
Blurbs you can copy and paste into your syllabus about the Writing Center: Students are most likely to come to the Writing Center in a timely manner if they know about us and our services early in the semester. Why not mention us in your syllabus? Feel free to simply copy and paste the blurbs here right into your syllabus or assignment sheets.
Make an appointment for a class orientation: Orientations last about 10-15 minutes and provide an overview of our services and policies. Students are 40% more likely to visit the Writing Center on their own if they've been to an orientation. We recommend that you bring your entire class to the Writing Center for the orientation, but if that's not possible, one of our writing consultants can visit your class and do the orientation in your classroom.
How to make required WC visits work These guidelines will help you make sure your students do more than simply show up at the Writing Center.
Writing Center Session Reflection Forms You can give this form to students when you tell them about the Writing Center. It explains what the Writing Center does and doesn't do and has space for the student to write a brief reflection on the session afterwards. You can ask students to submit the completed (and stamped) form to you after they work with a consultant.
Faculty Referral Form : Use this form to refer a student to the Writing Center.
Flyer: "Be Unpredictable": You can print it out or simply send students the link.
Faculty Survey of Writing Center Services: Let us know how we can best support you and your students. We would love to hear from you!
Ben Rafoth's essay, "Why You Should Visit Your Campus Writing Center": Consider making this short essay a required reading for your students.
This article on Peer Review proposes a model for in-class peer review based on the Flower and Hayes model on revision processes. According to their findings, “Often lower-ability writers benefitted more from receiving feedback from lower-ability reviewers, while higher-ability writers benefitted equally from receiving feedback from lower-ability and higher-ability reviewers. This result leads to the practical recommendation of grouping students by ability during peer assessment, contrary to student beliefs that only feedback from high ability peers is worthwhile"(Patchan and Schunn 227).