Writing Center Policy

Mission statement:

The ODU Writing Center (WC) provides free individual and group tutorials to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students working on writing projects for any course; WC tutors are not editors or proofreaders. Tutors coach and encourage students to achieve independence in the composition and revision of their own work.

The WC upholds the International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity and will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”

We don’t edit; we teach!

Quick Links to topics most commonly asked about:

Overview: The following Writing Center guidelines help students and professors understand operational procedures and the mission of the WC. These guidelines ensure the smooth running of the Writing Center. Not following these policies may result in students being denied the privilege of using the Writing Center’s tutoring services for the remainder of the semester or longer.

Appeals: The Writing Center may not work with students on appeals, including grade appeals or academic conduct cases. The Writing Center will refer students to their professors and/or the Office of Academic Integrity.

Appointments:

Number of appointments allowed per week: Students can have one scheduled appointment per week and one drop-in, or they may have two drop-ins.

Proof or verification of appointments: The WC issues verification emails automatically every Friday for proof of attendance (once the student clears his/her tutor to do so at the end of an appointment). Students may also request a paper slip. Please note that the Writing Center does not evaluate the student.

Recurring appointments: Students may come in four weeks in a row. Because the WC is not a private tutoring service, the Director reviews standing appointments after four occurrences. The WC will request that students frequently using the service keep a progress log to track learning. Please remember one scheduled appointment can be made per week, and a student may have either one scheduled appointment and one drop-in per week, or two drop-ins.

Requesting a specific tutor for your appointments: Provided that a particular tutor is available during the hours that you request, he or she can see you on a regular basis (with the tutor’s consent and approval of the Director).

Missed appointments and cancellations: When the Writing Center is booked, the only way students can get appointments is if we have a cancellation. When the WC is full, you may be able to get an appointment at ten minutes past any hour if someone doesn’t show up for an appointment.

Late policy for appointments: All appointments begin on the hour. We hold the appointment for 10 minutes. If a student doesn’t show up, the appointment is considered a no-show and will be given away to a drop-in student. There is no penalty for cancellations, but there is a penalty for no-shows. Please remember that our appointments are in demand. Being a no-show means taking away an appointment from someone else. Students are allowed three missed appointments per semester (without any attempt to contact us and cancel or reschedule ahead of time). After three appointments are missed, a student cannot schedule an appointment for the rest of the semester. However, drop-ins are allowed. At the start of each semester, we will reset the list.

Required appointments:

The Writing Center is a voluntary service. The WC has a limited number of tutors and appointments and is unable to offer teaching assistance for individual instructors, courses, or departments.

Drop-ins: Drop-ins are run on a first-come, first-serve basis. The focus of drop-in appointments is on specific, pointed concerns, using help docs as a centerpiece. As such, features of traditional appointments, such as reading the paper out loud, may be forgone either on the basis of necessity or for the sake of brevity. All Writing Center rules apply during drop-in appointments.

Distance appointments: The Writing Center does not make distance learning appointments for students who have access to campus under any circumstances.

For a distance appointment, call the WC directly at 757.683.4013 so that a tutor can talk you through the process. We will reserve a virtual room for your appointment online.

Proof of an appointment: The WC provides students with verification. It is up to the student whether s/he wants to provide that to the instructor. Most students do. In order for the appointment to receive verification, it must last at least 20 minutes. Substantive feedback is difficult to achieve in less than 20 minutes. Because of the high volume of students who come in and pressures on tutors to manage the office and tutoring appointments, we cannot keep lists for individual professors. The WC would like it to remain the students’ choice to seek our services.

No-shows: Please let the Writing Center know if you are unable to make your appointment (call 757.683.4013). After three missed appointments, you will be unable to schedule an appointment for the remainder of the semester. You may, however, come in for a drop-in.

Controversial topics: The Writing Center can help students with papers including controversial topics, but papers that do not meet ethical standards required by the Office of Academic Integrity will not be permitted. This may include plagiarized work or writing that can be deemed offensive. Please refer to the following statement for examples. The International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity states that writing centers will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”

Disability: In accordance with all university policies and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Writing Center is accessible to all students. The WC will work with students and with the Office of Educational Accessibility to provide accommodations for students with special needs.

Discontinuance of service or dismissal of students: Students may not misrepresent themselves in any way when scheduling an appointment. Such misrepresentations include, but are not limited to, falsely identifying yourself as another student, falsely identifying yourself as a student when you are not enrolled at ODU, or identifying yourself as a student once you have graduated. In certain cases, we may contact the Office of Academic Integrity to pursue disciplinary actions against any students who are violating the “Code of Students Responsibilities.”

Disruptive behavior: The Writing Center reserves the right to end sessions and ask disruptive or disrespectful students to leave. If at any time a student is deemed unsafe, tutors will call Campus Security to report the student.

Editing: The WC does not line-edit or proofread.

Employment: The Writing Center is staffed by graduate students from the English department who have received assistantships. Graduate Program Directors (GPDs) select the tutors who work in the writing center. At this time, the WC does not have positions for undergraduate students or hourly-paid tutors.

ELC students: The Writing Center serves ODU students currently enrolled in classes as part of the regular educational programs for graduates and undergraduates. Students enrolled in the ELC (English Language Center) receive writing help at the ELC and cannot make appointments at the Writing Center until they have matriculated as part of a regular program. Exceptions are made for students in the “Bridge Program” in the ELC because those students are enrolled as both regular admissions and ELC students concurrently.

ESL: The term ESL stands for English as a Second Language, and many in the writing profession use the term loosely to indicate students who are learning English (despite whether it’s a student’s second, third, fourth, etc., language). The WC offers assistance to currently enrolled students who are learning English. The WC is unable to offer services to non-academic staff, spouses, students at other universities, or members of the general public.

Exams: If students seek help on exams, the WC needs written permission from an instructor via an email to the WC Director. We ask instructors to email the Director and state their name, course title, and whether or not permission is for an entire class or for individuals within the class.

 

Ethics: The WC expects students to offer writing that meets ethical standards, including those of the University Office of Academic Integrity. Plagiarized writing or work misrepresented as a students’ own will not be discussed in conference. Furthermore, the Writing Center can help students with papers including controversial topics, but papers that do not meet ethical standards required by the Office of Academic Integrity will not be permitted. This may include plagiarized work or writing that can be deemed offensive in regard to the International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity, which states that writing centers will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”

Extra credit: The WC discourages the use of its services for extra credit.

False Representations:

Students may not misrepresent themselves in any way when scheduling an appointment. Such misrepresentations include, but are not limited to, falsely identifying yourself as another student, falsely identifying yourself as a student when you are not enrolled at ODU, or identifying yourself as a student once you have graduated. In certain cases, we may contact the Office of Academic Integrity to pursue disciplinary actions against any students who are violating the “Code of Students Responsibilities.”

Grades:

For students:

We can’t predict grades, and your grade on an assignment should be something you discuss with your instructor. We respect the confidentiality of every tutorial session and keep your records private. Evaluation is reserved for professors; however, we are here to encourage you to become better critics of your own writing. We cannot try to guess at your grade.

For faculty:

The WC requests that tutoring visits not be connected to grades in any way (for a grade, extra points, or extra credit). The WC cannot control the students’ use of tutors’ advice once the student leaves the WC, and we cannot predict how the student will represent their experience or visit to the WC.

Groups: The WC can provide assistance with collaborative papers. We ask that all group members be present. The tutor can only work on the parts written by group members who are present. In other words, parts of a document written by a group member not at the appointment cannot be covered. A group member must be present to get an appointment verification to give to an instructor.

Lab rules: The Writing Center will ask you to log in with your UIN at the front desk if you would like to use the Writing Lab. When possible, available tutors can help students in the lab with brief questions. Tutors who need computers to work with students for tutorials have priority use of the computers; in the event that a tutor must use a computer, you may have to log off and return at another time. In addition, we ask that students not eat at the writing lab. The lab is for currently enrolled students only. Please refrain from phone conversations when using the lab. See disruptive behavior for more information.

Misrepresentation: Appointments are for currently enrolled ODU students only. Writers who are not currently enrolled students may not use the WC. Due to limited space, the WC will ask university employees to use the library computers. The WC is not budgeted to work with the community at large. Students must present a University I.D. Also see

False Representation.

Multiple papers: The WC asks students to bring one paper to work on for each visit. Multiple papers cannot be addressed in one visit.

Plagiarism:

The WC expects students to offer writing that meets ethical standards, including those of the University Office of Academic Integrity. Plagiarized writing or work misrepresented as a students’ own will not be discussed in conference. The Writing Center cannot get involved in plagiarism disputes. Students must work with their professors and the Office of Academic Integrity in these cases.

Safety: The Writing Center reserves the right to end sessions and ask disruptive or disrespectful students to leave. If at any time a student is deemed unsafe, tutors will call Campus Security to report the student.

Services: Appointments are for currently enrolled ODU students only. Writers who are not currently enrolled students may not use the WC. Due to limited space, the WC will ask university employees to use the library computers. The WC is not budgeted to work with the community at large. Students must present a University I.D.

Space: The WC is for writing tutoring or the writing lab during open hours. The WC refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker are for WC use only.

FAQs for Faculty

FAQs for Faculty

Below are the most common questions we get from faculty about the Writing Center.

How can the Writing Center help my students? The WC strives to help students become better writers by teaching them how to develop self-editing skills. We don’t “fix” papers, but instead we focus on a combination of grammatical/sentence-level concerns and larger, more global concerns such as development of ideas. For more on this topic, please see the Purdue OWL’s discussion of Higher and Lower Order Concerns.
What is the mission of the Writing Center?
The Writing Center (WC) provides free individual tutorials to undergraduates and graduates working on writing projects for any course; WC tutors are not editors or proofreaders, but they coach and encourage students to achieve independence in the composition and revision of their own work.The ODU Writing Center upholds the International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity and will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”
How can I encourage students to use the Writing Center? Please include information about the Writing Center on your syllabus and call 757.683.4013 at any point in the semester to arrange a Writing Center visit. A tutor will come to your class to explain the WC service to students; the presentation takes only a few minutes of class time. Here is a paragraph that you can copy and paste onto your syllabus:The Old Dominion University Writing Center is open to all currently-enrolled students on campus. Students may seek help with their writing projects for a variety of courses and meet with a tutor to discuss anything from brainstorming to learning how to proofread their own work.The WC offers supplemental instruction to help students improve their writing strategies. Instead of providing a proofreading service, we offer tutoring sessions that assist students in learning to proofread their own work, in getting projects started, and in developing the writing process for a paper.The WC offers 45-minute appointments with our graduate student tutors who work with individual students or groups. Most tutoring sessions are by appointment; drop-in appointments are provided when tutors are not in a scheduled session. For distance students, we use Adobe Connect for online appointments. Call 757.683.4013 for an appointment, see us in person in the Learning Commons in the Library, or log on to tutor.odu.edu to make an appointment.
Can I require all of my students to come to the Writing Center? No. The Writing Center has a limited number of tutors and appointments and serves the entire student population. Both the WC and the students experiencing required appointments face pressures from the practice, as explained below.

  1. the WC may not be able to schedule the required appointment because our appointments are full; this results in a great amount of student anxiety
  2. the students who are required to come in may not feel a need for our services and may occupy an appointment desired by a student who is unable to get on our schedule
  3. we do not have the number of staff to support individual writing instruction for all of the students in a single course; tutors support but cannot replace instruction
  4. students often resent required appointments and do not learn as much as invested students
How will I know if my student came in for an appointment? The WC issues verification emails automatically every Friday for proof of attendance (once the student clears us to do so at the end of an appointment). Students may also request a paper slip. Please note that the Writing Center does not evaluate the student.
What sorts of records does the Writing Center keep regarding appointments? The WC keeps confidential visit notes in an appointment database.
May I see the visit notes to see what happened during an appointment? No. Visit notes are confidential between the Writing Center and the student. In the event that a dispute arises, the WC must first ask students their permission for sharing the records with professors. For legal matters or academic integrity cases, the WC must follow FERPA guidelines and university legal procedures.
Will you tell me if students bring in a midterm or a final exam? Yes. We will not work with students on any exam without written permission from an instructor. We ask instructors to email the Director and state their name, course title, and whether or not permission is for an entire class or for individuals within the class.
Can I require students who are struggling to come in or require it for a grade? No. Please recommend and encourage the student make an appointment, but we caution against involving the Writing Center in a grading issue. The Writing Center services are voluntary and student-centered, and having students see our services as punitive or involved in grade arbitration goes against our mission. The WC also doesn’t have a large enough staff to accommodate private tutoring or teaching assistance for any one student or professor.
Can I suggest that students go to the Writing Center for extra credit? No. The WC discourages the use of its services for extra credit. Giving extra credit for a WC visit might give students incentive to have an appointment, but most will come in just to get the points. Many times students in for extra credit are not interested in working with tutors, and due to high demand for the WC services, students who voluntarily visit may be unable to get in when the WC is filled with students seeking extra credit. In addition, towards the end of the semester, most students seeking extra credit will try to visit and find themselves unable to be seen; this situation frequently results in bargaining and negotiating for a “proof” slip with tutors unable to control the situation.
I have a student who needs help with writing. I’d like to require him/her to receive regular tutoring. May I schedule that for him or her? No. The WC doesn’t have the resources to provide this level of tutoring for any one student or instructor. Students who would like to use the WC frequently will need to follow our appointment rules. In keeping with the WC mission, we would also like to promote our services as applicable for all writers and not as remediation.
Should I include a Writing Center visit as part of a grade? No. Students often cannot get appointments because the WC is full, and required visits conflict with the mission statement of the Writing Center.
What alternatives do I have to requiring students to visit the WC?  SmartThinking: Although online tutorials or feedback cannot replace a WC visit, ODU offers the SmartThinking service as part of Blackboard. It’s under the Tools section. The service is free to all students and is available 24 hours a day. However, the tutors on the site get busy and may need a turn-around time of a few days on a paper during peak times of the semester.A visit from the Writing Center: At any time during the semester, a WC would be happy to come to your classroom and discuss how our services work. Please contact the WC at 757.683.4013 to request a visit.Online Help Documentation: [fill this in once the website is complete]Meet the Director: The Director can help you with pointers for assignments and ways to improve writing in your course.
Will you provide me a list of names of my students who have come in?  No. Because of the high volume of students who come in and pressures on tutors to manage the office and tutoring appointments, we cannot keep lists for individual professors. There are also privacy/FERPA rules.
Who are the writing tutors?  All of the writing tutors in the WC are graduate students from the English department
May I send students to the Writing Center who missed a class session or a writing consultation with me?  No. Writing Center visits cannot replace course-related activities or requirements. Writing Center work supplements and complements course instruction. In addition, the WC cannot accommodate entire class visits without prior arrangements and cannot substitute for a cancelled class.
My students tell me they didn’t get help with citation styles/commas/their theses/organization/development, and their papers still have errors even after they come to the WC. Why does this happen?  Writing Center tutors are not editors or proofreaders. Tutoring appointments involve many skill sets and reviews of writing concerns. For example, an appointment may focus on a thesis, working on an introduction or conclusion, or paragraph development, in addition to formatting. One appointment may not address all of a student’s concerns. Students may not implement all, or any, of the tutor’s suggestions.
 I have students who are learning English. How can the WC help them?  The WC offers assistance to currently enrolled students who are learning English. We have tutors trained in helping English language learners and can assist you with our English help documents. Please note that the WC is unable to offer services to non-academic staff, spouses, students at other universities, or members of the general public.
We use Citation Style X in our discipline. Can my students get help with that?  Yes. Tutors help direct students towards resources for improving citation in particular disciplines, and tutors receive training in a range of citation styles, but Writing Center tutors do not edit or correct citations for each instance. Tutors show students how to find information on the various citation styles.
What happens if a student has a bad experience and wants to report it? Please contact the Director, who will reply to your request.
 May I also get help from the Writing Center for my work or for designing assignments? Yes. Please contact the WC Director if you’d like help designing assignments. For more in-depth assistance, you may be interested in contacting the Instructional Designers at ODU’s Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT).

Writing Center Policy

Mission statement:

The ODU Writing Center (WC) provides free individual and group tutorials to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students working on writing projects for any course; WC tutors are not editors or proofreaders. Tutors coach and encourage students to achieve independence in the composition and revision of their own work.

The WC upholds the International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity and will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”

We don’t edit; we teach!

Quick Links to topics most commonly asked about:

Overview: The following Writing Center guidelines help students and professors understand operational procedures and the mission of the WC. These guidelines ensure the smooth running of the Writing Center. Not following these policies may result in students being denied the privilege of using the Writing Center’s tutoring services for the remainder of the semester or longer.

Appeals: The Writing Center may not work with students on appeals, including grade appeals or academic conduct cases. The Writing Center will refer students to their professors and/or the Office of Academic Integrity.

Appointments:

Number of appointments allowed per week: Students can have one scheduled appointment per week and one drop-in, or they may have two drop-ins.

Proof or verification of appointments: The WC issues verification emails automatically every Friday for proof of attendance (once the student clears his/her tutor to do so at the end of an appointment). Students may also request a paper slip. Please note that the Writing Center does not evaluate the student.

Recurring appointments: Students may come in four weeks in a row. Because the WC is not a private tutoring service, the Director reviews standing appointments after four occurrences. The WC will request that students frequently using the service keep a progress log to track learning. Please remember one scheduled appointment can be made per week, and a student may have either one scheduled appointment and one drop-in per week, or two drop-ins.

Requesting a specific tutor for your appointments: Provided that a particular tutor is available during the hours that you request, he or she can see you on a regular basis (with the tutor’s consent and approval of the Director).

Missed appointments and cancellations: When the Writing Center is booked, the only way students can get appointments is if we have a cancellation. When the WC is full, you may be able to get an appointment at ten minutes past any hour if someone doesn’t show up for an appointment.

Late policy for appointments: All appointments begin on the hour. We hold the appointment for 10 minutes. If a student doesn’t show up, the appointment is considered a no-show and will be given away to a drop-in student. There is no penalty for cancellations, but there is a penalty for no-shows. Please remember that our appointments are in demand. Being a no-show means taking away an appointment from someone else. Students are allowed three missed appointments per semester (without any attempt to contact us and cancel or reschedule ahead of time). After three appointments are missed, a student cannot schedule an appointment for the rest of the semester. However, drop-ins are allowed. At the start of each semester, we will reset the list.

Required appointments:

The Writing Center is a voluntary service. The WC has a limited number of tutors and appointments and is unable to offer teaching assistance for individual instructors, courses, or departments.

Drop-ins: Drop-ins are run on a first-come, first-serve basis. The focus of drop-in appointments is on specific, pointed concerns, using help docs as a centerpiece. As such, features of traditional appointments, such as reading the paper out loud, may be forgone either on the basis of necessity or for the sake of brevity. All Writing Center rules apply during drop-in appointments.

Distance appointments: The Writing Center does not make distance learning appointments for students who have access to campus under any circumstances.

For a distance appointment, call the WC directly at 757.683.4013 so that a tutor can talk you through the process. We will reserve a virtual room for your appointment online.

Proof of an appointment: The WC provides students with verification. It is up to the student whether s/he wants to provide that to the instructor. Most students do. In order for the appointment to receive verification, it must last at least 20 minutes. Substantive feedback is difficult to achieve in less than 20 minutes. Because of the high volume of students who come in and pressures on tutors to manage the office and tutoring appointments, we cannot keep lists for individual professors. The WC would like it to remain the students’ choice to seek our services.

No-shows: Please let the Writing Center know if you are unable to make your appointment (call 757.683.4013). After three missed appointments, you will be unable to schedule an appointment for the remainder of the semester. You may, however, come in for a drop-in.

Controversial topics: The Writing Center can help students with papers including controversial topics, but papers that do not meet ethical standards required by the Office of Academic Integrity will not be permitted. This may include plagiarized work or writing that can be deemed offensive. Please refer to the following statement for examples. The International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity states that writing centers will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”

Disability: In accordance with all university policies and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Writing Center is accessible to all students. The WC will work with students and with the Office of Educational Accessibility to provide accommodations for students with special needs.

Discontinuance of service or dismissal of students: Students may not misrepresent themselves in any way when scheduling an appointment. Such misrepresentations include, but are not limited to, falsely identifying yourself as another student, falsely identifying yourself as a student when you are not enrolled at ODU, or identifying yourself as a student once you have graduated. In certain cases, we may contact the Office of Academic Integrity to pursue disciplinary actions against any students who are violating the “Code of Students Responsibilities.”

Disruptive behavior: The Writing Center reserves the right to end sessions and ask disruptive or disrespectful students to leave. If at any time a student is deemed unsafe, tutors will call Campus Security to report the student.

Editing: The WC does not line-edit or proofread.

Employment: The Writing Center is staffed by graduate students from the English department who have received assistantships. Graduate Program Directors (GPDs) select the tutors who work in the writing center. At this time, the WC does not have positions for undergraduate students or hourly-paid tutors.

ELC students: The Writing Center serves ODU students currently enrolled in classes as part of the regular educational programs for graduates and undergraduates. Students enrolled in the ELC (English Language Center) receive writing help at the ELC and cannot make appointments at the Writing Center until they have matriculated as part of a regular program. Exceptions are made for students in the “Bridge Program” in the ELC because those students are enrolled as both regular admissions and ELC students concurrently.

ESL: The term ESL stands for English as a Second Language, and many in the writing profession use the term loosely to indicate students who are learning English (despite whether it’s a student’s second, third, fourth, etc., language). The WC offers assistance to currently enrolled students who are learning English. The WC is unable to offer services to non-academic staff, spouses, students at other universities, or members of the general public.

Exams: If students seek help on exams, the WC needs written permission from an instructor via an email to the WC Director. We ask instructors to email the Director and state their name, course title, and whether or not permission is for an entire class or for individuals within the class.

 

Ethics: The WC expects students to offer writing that meets ethical standards, including those of the University Office of Academic Integrity. Plagiarized writing or work misrepresented as a students’ own will not be discussed in conference. Furthermore, the Writing Center can help students with papers including controversial topics, but papers that do not meet ethical standards required by the Office of Academic Integrity will not be permitted. This may include plagiarized work or writing that can be deemed offensive in regard to the International Writing Centers Association’s (IWCA) policy on diversity, which states that writing centers will “inclusively serve all students, including members of underrepresented groups such as people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and people with a range of abilities, economic needs, and linguistic expression.”

Extra credit: The WC discourages the use of its services for extra credit.

False Representations:

Students may not misrepresent themselves in any way when scheduling an appointment. Such misrepresentations include, but are not limited to, falsely identifying yourself as another student, falsely identifying yourself as a student when you are not enrolled at ODU, or identifying yourself as a student once you have graduated. In certain cases, we may contact the Office of Academic Integrity to pursue disciplinary actions against any students who are violating the “Code of Students Responsibilities.”

Grades:

For students:

We can’t predict grades, and your grade on an assignment should be something you discuss with your instructor. We respect the confidentiality of every tutorial session and keep your records private. Evaluation is reserved for professors; however, we are here to encourage you to become better critics of your own writing. We cannot try to guess at your grade.

For faculty:

The WC requests that tutoring visits not be connected to grades in any way (for a grade, extra points, or extra credit). The WC cannot control the students’ use of tutors’ advice once the student leaves the WC, and we cannot predict how the student will represent their experience or visit to the WC.

Groups: The WC can provide assistance with collaborative papers. We ask that all group members be present. The tutor can only work on the parts written by group members who are present. In other words, parts of a document written by a group member not at the appointment cannot be covered. A group member must be present to get an appointment verification to give to an instructor.

Lab rules: The Writing Center will ask you to log in with your UIN at the front desk if you would like to use the Writing Lab. When possible, available tutors can help students in the lab with brief questions. Tutors who need computers to work with students for tutorials have priority use of the computers; in the event that a tutor must use a computer, you may have to log off and return at another time. In addition, we ask that students not eat at the writing lab. The lab is for currently enrolled students only. Please refrain from phone conversations when using the lab. See disruptive behavior for more information.

Misrepresentation: Appointments are for currently enrolled ODU students only. Writers who are not currently enrolled students may not use the WC. Due to limited space, the WC will ask university employees to use the library computers. The WC is not budgeted to work with the community at large. Students must present a University I.D. Also see

False Representation.

Multiple papers: The WC asks students to bring one paper to work on for each visit. Multiple papers cannot be addressed in one visit.

Plagiarism:

The WC expects students to offer writing that meets ethical standards, including those of the University Office of Academic Integrity. Plagiarized writing or work misrepresented as a students’ own will not be discussed in conference. The Writing Center cannot get involved in plagiarism disputes. Students must work with their professors and the Office of Academic Integrity in these cases.

Safety: The Writing Center reserves the right to end sessions and ask disruptive or disrespectful students to leave. If at any time a student is deemed unsafe, tutors will call Campus Security to report the student.

Services: Appointments are for currently enrolled ODU students only. Writers who are not currently enrolled students may not use the WC. Due to limited space, the WC will ask university employees to use the library computers. The WC is not budgeted to work with the community at large. Students must present a University I.D.

Space: The WC is for writing tutoring or the writing lab during open hours. The WC refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker are for WC use only.

The Writing Process

Writing is a recursive process. Sometimes you will draft, revise, and then realize that there is more drafting that needs doing. At the same time, here are the three stages of writing and some help docs in case you get stuck.

Getting Started: Invention, Research, and Thesis Statements

Drafting

Revision 

Revision

Revision is a key part of finishing up an assignment. Give yourself time after drafting to revise before you submit an assignment. The help docs below will help you to revise assignments.

Drafting

Paragraphs

Organizing paragraphs is essential to organizing meaning. These docs will help you to organize paragraphs and develop transitional expressions to move readers through your argument.

Conclusions

Academic Genres

Oftentimes, when we are tasked with a writing assignment there are several writing conventions that our audience expects us to conform to. These help docs will lead you through the basics of some of the most common writing genres that one comes in contact with in college.

Composition Course Genres

Business Writing, Technical Writing, and Professional Genres

Academic Genres for Graduate School Applications

Grammar and Mechanics

Many students come into the writing center looking for help with grammar and mechanics. Below are some guidelines that can help you to better understand the reasoning behind many of the issues with mechanics that we see on a regular basis.

In the writing process, checking for proper grammar and mechanics is mostly a lower order concern. This means that you should get the paper written out before you spend a great deal of time worrying about whether or not a comma is set in the right place. We have organized the page to coincide with  Quick Access: Reference for Writers, the writing manual recommended by Old Dominion’s English department.

Grammar Basics

Parts of Speech

Sentences and Words

Punctuation and Mechanics

Tips for Multilingual Learners

Multilingual English Speakers

These are documents most often requested by our students for whom English is not their first language.

This collection was originally created for a workshop with the Office of Intercultural Relations in the fall of 2014, but is updated frequently to match contemporary English and match the best ways to help teach grammar and mechanics.

If English is not your first language and you are looking for more help than a tutoring sessions can provide, we recommend you look into the services that ODU’s English Language Center can provide through classes and community partnerships.

There are many ways to contact the ELC:

English Language Center

1108 Dragas Hall

Norfolk, VA 23529

757-683-4424 (office)

757-683-4640 (fax)

elc@odu.edu

Getting Started: Invention, Research, and Thesis Statements

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is getting started. This page contains help docs that deal with invention (the process of coming up with ideas), research (finding and assessing relevant sources), and beginning our papers with the thesis statement.