Dixie Sun News » Writing Center Produces Quality Articles and Confident Writers

Corbin Caldwell, a Spanish major from Vernal, guides Alexandra Grange, a psychology major from Punta Arenas, Chile, through his essay. The Writing Center is a free resource available on campus to help students with their writing assignments. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.

Everyone knows that feeling of anxiety that arises when you sit down to write an article and you don’t know where to start. You might try writing a few paragraphs, only to delete them because they don’t sound right. If this describes your past experiences with document writing, it might be time to change your writing habits.

The writing center, located on the fourth floor of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building, provides support for students who need an extra pair of eyes to read their papers and writing assignments.

Noah Washington, a communications junior studies major from southern Jordan, is the coordinator of the center. Washington said the writing center is designed to help students identify their own mistakes and learn how to correct them.

Currently, the Writing Center has eight tutors, some of whom who specialize in certain styles of formatting. Washington said the center has an ESL tutor, a Modern Languages ​​Association tutor, and the center trains and certifies an American Psychological Association tutor. Jennifer Farnsworth, a history and social sciences major from Springtown, Texas, specializes in the Chicago-Turabian style.

Farnsworth said, “Chicago style is the style of formatting specifically used for the story. So in a lot of my studies, that’s the kind of writing that I had to use over and over again.

Along with specialized tutoring, Farnsworth said students have access to tutorials through the writing center that cover topics such as active and passive voice, how to construct thesis statements, sentence fragments and how to create a literature review.

Haylie Jacobson, a junior English education student at Riverton, is training to become an APA tutor. While at the center, she found success asking students questions aimed at helping them better articulate their writing difficulties. Jacobson said asking questions, rather than telling them what to do, encourages students to develop the skills they need to improve their writing on their own.

Confidence is one of the biggest benefits students can gain from visiting the writing center, Washington said. Tutors are trained to provide honest yet helpful feedback to ensure students to leave the center knows more about their handwriting than when they entered.

Jacobson said he’s noticed a similar confidence boost in students who continually use the writing center. Students will come and complain about the quality of their papers, but as they continue to visit, Jacobson said she’s noticed an improvement in both their papers and their level of confidence.

For students who don’t know where to start when tackling an assignment, Farnsworth suggested take notes while collecting research for your article and creating an outline. Outlines keep your paper organized and allow you to return to sections of the paper you’re struggling with after the other sections of the paper are finished, Farnsworth said.

“In my experience, just writing notes while you do your research and describing your paper, regardless of the type of paper, creates this opportunity to make your paper flow much easier,” said said Farnsworth.

Apart from the resources provided by at the writing center, Jacobson often asks students to use the library’s website. She said the website has citation guides to help students properly format their reference pages. Farnsworth also directs students to the library’s article database to help them find peer-reviewed articles to include in their papers.

If you are looking for additional writing support or expert tutoring, the Writing Center takes both walk-in and scheduled appointments. Washington encourages students to make an appointment so they have a set time to receive help. During finals and midterms, however, the center has an increase in appointments, so walk-ins may not always be able to receive help.

Scott R. Banks