We strongly suggest mentioning the Writing Center on your course syllabus or in relation to specific writing assignments. (However, we ask you not to require your entire class to come to the Writing Center.) For your syllabi, please feel free to use the following paragraph to introduce the Writing Center:
The Writing Center at UW-Madison helps undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines become more effective, more confident writers and believes that all writers benefit from sharing work in progress with knowledgeable, attentive readers. Writing Center instructors are here to work with you at any stage of the writing process—from figuring out a topic or planning out a long-term project, to making major revisions in an early draft, to polishing grammar and style. The Writing Center offers one-to-one consultations between writers and instructors at its main location (6171 Helen C. White Hall), at several satellite locations around campus, and online through Virtual Meetings and Written Feedback. The Writing Center also offers many workshops on different aspects of academic writing, provides individualized writing mentorships, offers a series of weekly writing groups, and hosts an extensive online Writer’s Handbook. To learn more, visit writing.wisc.edu, call the Writing Center at (608) 263-1992, or stop in and see us in 6171 Helen C. White Hall.
As for directing students specifically, something like the following works well:
If you would like some help organizing ideas for your paper or some constructive criticism of a draft, make an appointment to see a Writing Center instructor.
Please encourage students to come early in the process of writing a paper. A last-minute visit does not allow adequate time for instruction.
Link to Us
Please share our URL with your students. If you have a course website, please consider adding a link to the Writing Center!
Class Visits & Co-Teaching
Your students are more likely to visit the Writing Center after a member of our staff has made a brief presentation about our services in your class. Every year, we make such presentations in undergraduate and graduate courses across campus.
Click here to learn more about arranging a class visit.
The Writing Center can help students who need intensive work on their writing, but it’s also essential to advise such students to set up regular, ongoing appointments with the same instructor.
Required Visits & Extra Credit
We’re eager to have you encourage your students to work with Writing Center instructors, but we ask you not to require your entire class to come to the Writing Center, to give extra credit for coming, or to have us sign attendance verifications.
Our instruction relies on extended dialogue, which requires student-writers to take an active role in conferences. We’ve found that when students are required to come to the Writing Center (or are coming only to earn some extra credit), they are often less likely to participate in this dialogue and to consider revisions to their drafts, which undermines our ability to teach effectively. As a result, we waste students’ time and, because our instructional time is limited, we end up denying appointments to other students who want to come to the Writing Center. We serve the entire student body of the UW-Madison and we’re often booked to capacity, so we must allocate our resources as fairly as possible across the many different courses taught at this university.
We’re happy to work with you to find effective ways to help students excel with the writing assignments in your course. To explore these options, please contact us at writing.wisc.edu.