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Department of English
First-Year Writing Studio

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With the understanding that teaching writing is a complex, multi-faceted process, the Studio supports teachers of First-Year Writing by providing one-on-one consultations with students, offering writing-related workshops in the classroom, and reserving the computer lab for class sessions. Our graduate student staff can help students at any stage of the writing process. Though consultants generally conduct discussion-centered sessions, they are also available to help students learn to spot and correct grammatical and mechanical problems.

What the FYWS can do for instructors:

As you know, our job here is to help students to become better writers, not necessarily to better a specific piece of writing. The way that we help students with their writing depends on the stage of the writing and the needs of the writer. We prioritize high-order concerns (e.g. thesis, organization, paragraph structure) before moving to low-order concerns (e. g. mechanics, grammar, sentence structure). Therefore, we do not just cater to what the students want when they come to a consultation session. Instead, we provide them with a sort of reader-response reflection on their writing and show them how to apply that reflection in future writing.

Since we only work with ENGL 1100 and 1200 students, our consultants are given the chance to become very familiar with the syllabi and assignments in these two courses. Still, we know that we cannot replace your role in assisting students. We do not judge comments or grades students may receive, nor do we evaluate students' assignments or syllabi. What we can do is provide students with one-on-one sessions for which your valuable time may not allow.

The FYWS helps students:

  • Better understand the task
  • Find the various resources available for improving their writing
  • Understand the reader's perspective
  • Read, think, and write critically
  • Strengthen thesis statements
  • Brainstorm ideas for paper development
  • Research
  • Format works cited pages/bibliographies/paper headings