Writing lab guides students to success

“During the average college career, no matter the major, students write an uncountable number of academic papers. For some, skimming through class reading assignments for 15 minutes and then producing a coherent argument on paper is an art. However, for those who have yet to reach that level of excellence, the University of Akron is willing to help.”

During the average college career, no matter the major, students write an uncountable number of academic papers.

For some, skimming through class reading assignments for 15 minutes and then producing a coherent argument on paper is an art. However, for those who have yet to reach that level of excellence, the University of Akron is willing to help.

In 30 minutes, students can develop better writing skills with the help of a free service at UA.

The writing lab, located in Carroll Hall 217, offers students the opportunity to hone writing skills in order to produce better papers. Tutors help guide students in the direction they need to go in order to improve their writing.

We are not a proofreading service, said Tobin Terry, lab tutor. We are more about developing the process as a writer.

At the lab, tutors brainstorm and ask students questions about their papers, instead of just giving answers.

It is more about asking questions than giving answers, Terry said. We want it to be the writer’s project, something they can be proud of.

Each semester, about 6,000 students come to the lab seeking help with everything from basic papers to dissertations, said Marjorie Keil, writing lab coordinator.

Terry recalled the time he helped with a polymer science engineering dissertation. He did not know anything about the content, but was still able to help with the formatting and structure.

Students are benefiting from this service, according to the writing lab’s most recent student satisfactory survey. It states that 93 percent of students were highly satisfied with their experience at the lab.

We also survey faculty every semester, and the majority tell us that they see improvements in the writing of students who work with our writing specialists, especially when students visit the lab several times throughout the term, Keil said.

The tutoring staff in the Carroll Hall writing lab consist of one retired professor and three graduate students who all have bachelor degrees. Two of the students are working toward a master’s degree in English, and one is working toward his masters of fine arts in creative writing.

The writing lab is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.