Well, it is getting close to that time of year again. Everyone has begun to stress over their midterms, and especially their first essays of the year. No one wants to play catch-up with their marks during the semester, so getting a good head start on your essays is critical. One way that students can improve their writing skills is by making an appointment at MacEwan University’s Writing Centre.
Previously, the university did not have an official Writing Centre, and the process to get an essay reviewed could be tedious and frustrating. The new Writing Centre is all about capacity — helping as many students as possible. The Writing Centre is open to all students, regardless of faculty, so whether you need help with grammar or an essay, or you just need to polish up your writing skills, there is someone to help you out.
Geneve Champoux, the team lead at the Writing Centre, was enthusiastic about the capabilities of the new space. Previously, according to Champoux, students looking for assistance sometimes had to wait up to six weeks for an appointment.
While the friendly staff over at the Writing Centre are more than happy to look over your assignments and correct any grammatical or technical errors, but proofreading of assignments is strictly in violation of student policy, according to Champoux. The goal for the team at the Writing Centre is to instil students with the knowledge and confidence to effectively write on any subject.
“We want students to be independent writers, not that they’re dependant on us for every paper,” says Champoux.
The writing reviews are solely an educated second opinion regarding your grammar, mechanics, logical flow of ideas, and proper citation. As good as the tutors are at the Writing Centre, “We won’t be able to tell you if you analyzed The Yellow Wallpaper correctly,” says Champoux.
When you’re trying to solidify your understanding of the content, it would be best to first consult your professor. The instructors at the Writing Centre will even answer your questions to ensure that you do not commit acts of plagiarism.
Students can book 20-minute and 45-minute Writing Centre appointments online at http://macewanworks.macewan.ca. The shorter appointments have the most availability and can often be booked with short notice. When booking an appointment, you should keep in mind specifically what you are seeking help with and how long you think you will need to go over your assignment with an instructor.
To truly get a sense of the new Writing Centre, I booked a 20-minute appointment, and it was greatly to my advantage. We have all asked a friend to read over assignments, just to check the language, but reliability is a concern. In this case, one of the aids pointed out some writing errors and suggested how to avoid committing them again, and how to further improve my writing. Champoux notes that one of the Writing Centre’s aims is to give students the tools to improve their skills for future assignments.
“Students usually find something that they can take away and apply to their next paper,” says Champoux.
Photo by Casey Pollon