The Promethean

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Academic & Social News

Writing Center Officially Opens

Are you taking an English or writing-based class for the first time? Having trouble incorporating evidence into a research paper? Need a second pair of eyes on an essay? The Writing Center is a helpful resource for Saints of all years, majors and writing levels. Located on the lower level of the Standish library, the Writing Center offers free assistance to students and faculty.

Students and academics often have misconceptions about the Writing Center, thinking of it as a place where essays are sent to be “fixed.” Instead, peer tutors help students work through the writing process and develop patterns that positively impact their writing. “At the Writing Center, you’ll get more than just a simple proofreading of your paper,” said Olivia Fleming ’19, a student leader and peer tutor in the Writing Center.  “We help with everything – from brainstorming once you have your assignment to organizing your thesis, helping to incorporate quotations and evidence, and more.” Fleming still utilizes the center, even as a tutor: “I have still gone in and made appointments to help me think through starting an assignment and seeing if my thoughts made sense.”

Some students can feel intimidated by the prospect of visiting the Writing Center. Julianna Rauf ’19, a student leader and peer tutor in the Writing Center, shared her advice on making that first appointment in the Writing Center. “It’s perfectly normal to have that barrier up, where you don’t want to seek help because it seems embarrassing,” she said. “But here at Siena, it’s a supportive community and you’re only going to get better by reaching out for help.” Fleming also provided some guiding words. “There’s absolutely no reason to be nervous. No matter what you come into the Center with, you should feel more confident about your assignment when you leave us,” Fleming said.

The Writing Center is also a useful resource for all students, including international students and English Language Learners. There is a professional tutor, Ms. Gina Greco, available Monday through Thursday. Kayla Allbright ’20, coordinator for the International Student Mentoring program and Writing Ambassador for the new Bonners, advocates for how much the Writing Center helps students. “It’s the most underrated place on campus for academics,” Allbright said. “It can help people so much and not enough people utilize it. I wish everyone at least once in their Siena career would come because it’s not hard to come to a forty minute appointment and it’s so helpful.” She added, “I wish my freshman year I had known about it and I had used it.”

The Writing Center benefits both students and peer tutors. Rauf said, “My favorite thing is seeing the diverse talent across all Siena students on campus. It’s really amazing to see what people can compose. It’s amazing to see everyone’s mind and perspective, to see how well people critically think about things but to see them improve over time.”

For students’ convenience, Siena’s Writing Center is open Sunday through Friday: Sundays from 2-6 p.m., Mondays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Fridays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Appointments are encouraged to guarantee a session with an available tutor. Appointments can be made online at appointmentquest.com, and a link is available on the Writing Center’s webpage.

Here are some tips for students to maximize their appointment at the Writing Center:

  • Expect to spend 45 minutes to an hour with your consultant
  • Come well in advance of due dates
  • Visit, revise and visit again
  • Bring hard copies of your drafts and assignments or have your laptop on hand
  • Prepare to discuss “big” issues, like purpose and idea development
  • Remember, we’ll help you proofread, but we are not a last-minute editing service

Students with further questions should feel free to stop by the Writing Center in the library or contact writingcenter@siena.edu. 

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