The end of the semester is closing in and that massive paper is raining down on students’ springtime bliss. Where to begin? How are the sources supposed to be cited?
Questions like these are common at the Oklahoma State University Writing Center. The free center provides the necessary feedback for students throughout the writing process - from brainstorming to drafting to editing techniques.
“The Writing center is one of the best-kept secrets on campus,” said Dr. Rebecca Damron, writing center director. “We’re able to give each student individual attention to their writing.”
Sessions are staffed by trained consultants, usually English department graduate students, and last about 50 minutes. Students may make up to two appointments per week. Each appointment is different and consultants tailor the time to meet the students where they are in the writing process, says Damron.
“We like to spend time with the students on the background of the assignment and do some goal setting for their writing when they leave,” Damron said.
In addition to one-on-one consultations, the center also provides other services to assist with the process, including English as a second language workshops, grammar and mechanics workshops and additional services to graduate students.
Pencil Pete, an online chat engine that allows students to ask a live consultant quick questions about style and technique, was introduced last semester.
“We know that students are more in-tuned with technology, and we saw that they would be more likely to log on to a computer and ask questions rather than pick up a phone,” Damron said. “Pencil Pete is an easy way to quickly access information.”
Pencil Pete is available on the homepage of the Writing Center and is staffed during regular business hours.
In addition to the main location in Morrill Hall, the center also staffs four more on campus. Branch locations are in the Edmon Low Library, Cunningham Library in the Donald W. Reynolds School of Architecture Building, Spears School of Business and Agriculture Hall. Satellite centers are first-come-first-serve and do not require appointments.
The Writing Center is located in 104 Morrill and is open from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. To make an appointment, visit osuwritingcenter.okstate.edu or call 405-744-6671. During Finals Week, the center has limited hours and students are recommended to plan ahead.
By Mason Waldvogel