CCT wants to provide support beyond regular classes for students to develop their writing. For us, it's not about whether you know the difference between it's and its. We see writing improvement in broad terms as students conveying their distinctive voices and thinking through writing and developing their voices and thinking through writing, sharing writing, and revising in response to comments.
Here's a CCT version of the key Writing Competencies
If instructors urge you to get help, do not take it as a negative judgment, but as a sign that we care about your personal and professional development beyond getting a grade for the course we are teaching. Note also that almost all successful writers hire editors to help improve or re-envision their writing.
It is important to note that the overall goal of CCT efforts in this area is for students to develop a long-term approach to helping themselves, understanding their weaknesses, and establishing professional relationships that provide needed assistance. If you get peers or friends to correct your assignments, you are probably not helping yourself in the long term. It is much better for the peer or friend to convey the principles and perhaps edit a small piece to serve as a model.
From the University
The Graduate Writing Center in the Campus Center Building provides free tutoring sessions
for UMB students looking to develop their writing skills. These are weekly, one-hour meetings, and students are excepted to come each week with something to work on; tutoring sessions are not one-time meetings to go over a paper before you hand it in, but are designed to help you develop sustaniable growth in your writing abilities. Tutoring is available during fall and spring semesters, and can also be arranged during winter and summer breaks. More information can be found at http://www.academicsupport.umb.edu/graduatewritingcenter.htm
or call Academic Support at 617-287-6550
(open until 6pm).
Students who cannot commit to weekly tutoring can attend free workshops
at the Academic Support Center in the Campus Center. No commitment or reservation is required for these workshops, just show up with your work. As with tutoring, these workshops are designed to help you develop your writing, not just edit your paper. Several workshops are available each week during the fall and spring semesters (see current schedule below). Call Academic Support at 617-287-6550
for more information.
Spring 2009 Workshop Schedule:
Wednesdays: 5pm - 6pm
Academic Support also has some general writing tips at http://www.academicsupport.umb.edu/rwsscenterresources.htm
(or downloadable as a pdf
From paid assistants
to be developed
Arranging study groups with fellow classmates is a good way to review material outside of class and get feedback on your work before you had it in. In past semesters, students have arranged times to meet weekly in evening or on weekends to support each other in working on projects and writing papers, and have also helped each other through email.
We hope to convene a regular writing support group each semester. In fall '09, this will be from 5.30-7.30 (place TBA) so that anyone enrolled in one of the two Tuesday classes can come for at least one hour of the two. You should bring paper you are currently working on for a class or a paper from a previous semester to review. The issues to be addressed will be based on the CCT Writing Competencies
Daniel, D., C. Fauske, P. Galeno and D. Mael (2001). Take Charge of Your Writing: Discovering Writing Through Self-Assessment
. Boston: Houghton Mifflin (CCT now has several copies to lend to students
, but "new" copies available well below list price on amazon.com) (Galeno is a CCT alum.)
*Purdue University has an extremely informative and user friendly website that includes everything from tips on working through the writing process and organizing your writing to grammar information and formatting guides. Their website is http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
; use the Navigation menu on the right side of the screen to find the information you need.
*If you're not sure if the word you want is "then" or "than", or when to use "whom" verses "who", Common Errors in English Usage is the site to go to at http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html
. The bottom half of the page has an alphabetical list of commonly misused and confused words, and clicking on the terms you confused about will bring you to an explanation of proper use.