By Emma Smith
The University of Findlay Delong Writing Center has a new home. It was once housed in the basement of Old Main but now you can find it located in the Center for Student Life and College of Business, room 135.
“By moving the Writing Center to a more central, visible, and lively space, students can more easily access support for their writing projects, whether they are just starting them, in the middle of it, or finalizing their work,” Dr. Courtney Bates, the director of the Writing Center said.
The new home is strategic in the high traffic placement across from the food court area in the Student Life Center. But it’s also bigger, offering more room for social distancing during this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As students walk into the writing center they will find spread out tables, accurately placed seating, wipes, masks, and hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of illness.
According to www.findlay.edu, the writing center is designed to help students in the planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading activities that go along with writing as well as citing one’s work.
“In any given semester, for each week, we plan for about 40 hours of tutoring at the graduate level and about 24 hours of undergraduate level tutoring. That can vary and I anticipate demand may start climbing now that it’s so easy to schedule online, everyone knows about Zoom and we have a new central location,” Bates said.
Before the pandemic, the center was offering tutoring appointments in person and online but Bates says that students have been utilizing the zoom and email appointments more than ever.
One of the biggest things that Dr. Bates wanted to stress to students unfamiliar with the Writing Center was the fact that you can book an appointment with a tutor at any point in the writing process.
“Students do not have to wait till they have a rough draft to meet with a tutor, but a tutor can walk them through any step of the process,” Bates said. “Tutors can help [them] better understand the assignment or give them ideas.”
She also said, that the Writing Center can be a great tool for students to use in order to stay on track and prevent procrastination.
There are many different ways that a student can take advantage of the tools the Writing Center has to offer. Students can schedule and appointment through starfish or take advantage of the evening walk in hours from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
There are 21 students tutors this semester, so those looking for help have a lot of variety to choose from when trying to find a tutor that is a good fit for them.
Students interested in becoming a tutor must have passed English 106 with a B or higher and be recommended by an instructor from a writing-intensive class. Hiring usually takes place in the late fall so that the student can plan to take the mandatory training class, English 490 in the spring semester. Students then have to successfully complete the course in order to be eligible to tutor. The course is three credits and is an advanced writing course that focuses on literature, literary theory, writing, linguistics, teaching and tutoring. Students can rest assured that their tutors are qualified to work with them.
Dr. Bates also suggests trying multiple different tutors to see who works best for each student personally and trying out the different options for appointments. The Writing Center offers in person, Zoom and email appointments to allow students the flexibility to work on their papers in the way they feel most comfortable.