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Writing Center assists all students

Rachel Brown

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Hanna Jones visited the Writing Center for the fourth time since her second week of class. She said she was encouraged by her professors and Writing Center representatives to utilize the center’s resources from the very start of school. It may come as a surprise to some that Jones is not a freshman, or even an undergrad; she is a first year graduate student completing a master’s program in social work.

“[The Writing Center] has helped me to recognize a couple of smaller errors in grammar and such,” Jones said. “So it’s helped me edit my own papers in addition to having somebody else read my work to find errors.”

Although she did not have significant trouble writing before coming to the Writing Center, Jones has still found many benefits as a client. Like Jones, University of Alabama students from every discipline find consistent guidance and assistance from the Writing Center.

“Our bread and butter is the one-to-one consultations,” Luke Niiler, said assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center. “It’s all about my staff or consultants, working with students or clients on their written work in progress.”

The Writing Center offers a variety of services to all students. Niiler said the center assists students with everything from essays and historiographies to dissertations and lab reports.

The Writing Center welcomes all students of any writing ability. Students are able to schedule an appointment with a consultant online Monday through Friday or attend the after-hours walk-in sessions in Gorgas Library from 7-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday for a quick consultation before a paper is due.

“I love racing moments like that,” he said. “That’s what I call teaching at the point of need. ‘Lets put everything else aside. I am ready to learn,’ and we’re here for you,” Niiler said.

Whether students need help figuring out a prompt, formatting their essay or improving their writing overall, Niiler said the Writing Center has the ability to help.

“This sort of one-on-one attention is an anomaly in universities today,” he said.

Consultants at the Writing Center range from experienced undergraduate students to experienced teachers, but Niiler said all possess a common passion for writing.

“We are writers first that love to talk about writing with other writers,” he said.

Niiler said about half of the clients the Writing Center sees are returning clients, and he hopes that they can continue to build relationships with even more students in the future.

“I think the one thing people will take away from coming into the Writing Center is we’re trying to develop habits of mind,” he said. “I mean the sort of practices employed by working writers – dedication, time management, commitment to craft, willingness to sit down and rethink, revise, redo and understand that writing does not occur in a vacuum but rather for a purpose, for an audience.”

 

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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
Writing Center assists all students