If you’ve never been to the KU Writing Center,
here are some things you should know.
The Writing Center staff is not a team of proofreaders. That is, our goal is not to sit down, red pen in hand, and “correct” your work. Instead, WC staff are skilled readers and writers who can talk to you about your writing and your assignments, analyze your needs, and offer advice and information to help you revise and grow as a writer.
So, when you visit the KU WC, you should expect:
To have a conversation with the staff member.This surprises some folks, who imagine a tutor will be silently reading and correcting a draft while they look on. Nope! The tutor will ask you friendly questions about your assignment, your priorities, and your thinking. In this way, we aim to help you understand your own writing and improve it in the context of the course and assignment.
To share your specific concerns or needs with the tutor. Sometimes it is difficult to know just what your own draft needs. It can be even harder to articulate your concerns to someone else. So, before you come into the center, think a bit about what specifically you’d like to work on. Do you have trouble with organization? Are you not sure of your thesis? Do you lack details? Are you unfamiliar with the required format? If you can’t quite figure out what you need, that’s ok; the tutor will take some time to talk with you and look at your work and help you figure it out.
To take notes, revise, or write. Often times, the tutor won’t even be holding a pencil; instead, he or she will offer ideas and advice and invite you to write down what you find important. We aren’t Supreme Know-It-Alls: we’re just practiced readers and writers who can offer you informed feedback. You are the writer; you need to decide what to take away from the conference and use.
To do some legwork. While our staff is very knowledgeable, we don’t have every answer to every question. We do, however, have references and resources in the center, and together you and the tutor can look up answers to questions you have.
When possible, we ask that you bring:
- a copy of the assignment on which you are working
- any other guidelines provided by your professor
- any sources you used
- the name of the the course and the professor.