University Writing Center (UWC) Frequently Asked Questions and Services for Faculty
Who works in the UWC?
In addition to the coordinator, the staff is made up of undergraduate tutors, sophomores to seniors, who have been recommended by faculty. All new tutors take a three-unit course in tutoring writing concurrent with their first semester of tutoring. While many of the peer tutors are English majors, we are working toward diversifying our staff. We strive to be a writing center for the entire CSUCI community, serving the needs of all writers on campus. The best way to do that is to hire tutors with a variety of majors.
How much help can the UWC give my students?
UWC tutors can sit down with students and brainstorm for ideas, think through a tentative organization, and be a sounding board for ideas. An early trip to the center may help students avoid becoming too attached to a draft that does not respond fully to an assignment. Later in the process, tutors can look over a draft and comment on places where coherence or clarity suffers. Tutors can also help students become more effective editors of their own papers.
We strive to help students learn to identify grammar and usage issues in their writing without acting as copy editors. This can take more than one or two visits to the center. Some students may benefit from making weekly appointments with a tutor to work on their writing. Tutors are taught to be mindful of the University’s definition of academic dishonesty as often involving "an attempt by a student to show possession of a level of knowledge or skill that he/she does not possess" (CSUCI 2009-2010 Catalog 60).
Should I require my entire class to visit the UWC?
Yes and no. The answer is "no" because when you send an entire class to the center within a brief window of time, some of your students might not be able to meet with a tutor -- we simply don't have enough staff to see twenty students from one class within the last few days before a paper is due. Another reason to avoid sending your entire class to the center is, although we appreciate your interest in helping students to become better writers, most of the time it is better that the decision to come to the center be made voluntarily by the student. Reluctant or resentful students don’t learn well and take time that might be given to students who are eager to improve. We hope you will continue to urge, exhort, and recommend that students come to see us.
However, once in a while there is a situation in which a certain student may benefit from the added accountability a visit to the center can provide. If you decide to require a student to visit the center, know that we can stamp, sign, and date the paper in order to "prove" that the student came to see us. Keep in mind, though, that if the student is reluctant or disengaged from the session, there is not a lot a peer tutor can do to help the student.
In a nutshell, please use required visits sparingly.
What are ways I could encourage students to use UWC services?
There are several ways you can encourage strong writing. Most important is to tell all your students that you and colleagues in your discipline value clear writing. If you speak to the class as a whole, then recommendations that individual students visit the center will be part of a continuing promotion of writing to learn. Here are some other methods of encouraging students:
- Include a statement about the writing center in your syllabus. Feel free to copy the
following paragraph and paste it into your syllabus:
The University Writing Center offers free one-to-one writing help to students at any stage of their writing process. Our goal is to work together with students to encourage effective independent learning. All CSUCI students are welcome to visit the Center Monday through Thursday 9:00 to 7:00 and Friday 9:00 to 12:00 or call 437-8409 for an appointment. We are located in the Broome Library, second floor, room 2360.
- Request an in-class visit from a UWC tutor. Tutors will make a five-minute presentation introducing the center and leave information with your students. Please fill out our In-Class Tutor Visit form: https://csuci.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4Gi0ndHN05zMQLO to arrange a visit.
- Work with the coordinator and a designated individual tutor early in the term. Depending on demand, a tutor can be assigned to a particular class so he/she can become familiar with the students, the assignments, and perhaps assist in group work. Our tutors are all undergraduates and can not conduct lessons or grade papers, but they are available to support collaborative learning. If you would like a tutor to be present in class, please contact email@example.com
- Request workshops for students on specific topics. If you perceive several students need reinforcement of a particular skill, you can urge groups of your students to arrange for sessions on special topics (e.g., writing summaries, MLA form, punctuation basics, paragraph conventions). The UWC has space for small group tutorials.
What if I want to communicate with the tutors working with my students?
Feel free to make specific comments and requests on the Instructor-Tutor dialog form . Students should present these forms at the beginning of a tutoring session and fill them out with their tutors at the session's end. Keep in mind that a limited amount of material can be covered in a 30-minute tutoring session.
While students are encouraged to bring along their assignment sheets (or access them on Blackboard), faculty are welcome to send their assignments and/or scoring guides to the UWC coordinator so tutors are familiar with them before the students come in.
Should I recommend a student who would make an excellent tutor?
Please do. We are committed to serving writers from across the curriculum and welcome student tutors from various majors. All tutors are required to have recommendations from two CSUCI faculty members. If the student takes your advice and applies to work at the center, expect a request for a recommendation -- see the form on