By Mel Beasley, CSB Marketing Assistant
No matter how talented you are at writing, there is no one who can write the perfect draft. Now that we have that out of the way, I wanted to let you know how to move one step closer to transforming your rough draft into a polished A+ essay by using a completely free campus service: The UNCW campus writing center located in DePaolo Hall. Students can schedule one-one-one appointments with a writing tutor or drop in the writing lab to get help with formatting issues or revision. As a writing tutor myself, I’ve literally seen it all come through the door from misplaced modifiers, run-on sentences, disorganization, passive voice, and everything else under the sun. Students often make the same three to four mistakes over and over which cause them to remain stagnant in their writing. Here are some ways the writing center can help you improve your essay writing.
Tutors care more about what you’re trying to say rather than the mechanics of your paper.
Students coming out of high school are very focused on writing at a prompt and format, not realizing that college affords for more flexibility in craft and style. Writing tutors will help you embrace this flexibility and explore your personal creative writing process. Rather than pointing out every grammatical flaw in your essay, tutors will focus on what the paper is about through casual conversation. Talking out your essay with someone else helps you hear the organizational flaws in the essay and may uncover a weak or misdirected thesis statement.
Tutors adapt to your personal learning style and adjust to match your writing level.
I consider my personal writing process to be very routine—I like it to stay the same—however, I have realized that my process is not always effective or useful to every tutee. Some of us like to have one cup of coffee by our sides, a movie soundtrack blaring, and a window nearby before we begin writing. Some of us like to outline our entire paper or story, while others prefer what I call “spaghetti style” writing where they simply throw out everything on the page and fix it later. We all have a different writing process and a different learning style. At the writing center, you can expect tutors to learn your style and try to help you learn based on that.
Tutors connect with tutees on a peer-to-peer level and guide them to find the answers to their own questions
There is much to appreciate about the kind of close writing collaboration which takes place at the writing center because it allows you to constantly challenge your own process as a writer. Though not all my tutees intend to write on a larger scale beyond school, I try to remind them that their voices are valuable. Tutors are your peers who you can bounce ideas off in a judgement-free environment. Our goal as tutors is to help students reach a point in their writing where they don’t have to use the writing center as much because they can find errors and correct them in their essays on their own.