Library’s writing center helping students improve

Category:  News
Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 7:07 PM
Library’s writing center helping students improve by William Stevens
Pictured above, Dr. Robert Holderer, director of the writing center, works with a student on a paper. | Contributed Photo

Writing papers is not always easy. It seems that sometimes the words just don’t come out right. So what is a student to do? They go to the writing center.

Located in room 203 of the library, the writing center is in a central location; ensuring students can find it with little to no trouble at all. Dr. Robert Holderer, the director of the writing center, has office hours there every day.

Being the director of the writing center means Holderer must balance quite a few responsibilities.

“I set up schedules, I hire tutors and train them,” Holderer said. “I also work with students as a writing consultant. I basically do everything that needs to be done here.”

The writing center is a relatively new addition to the campus, forming within the last 20 years or so. It was established in 1993, according to Holderer.

“I directed it for about the first 10 years until, I believe, about 2001. Then, it was passed on to somebody else,” he said.

“I took it over in the spring semester of 2014 (once again).”

Since the writing center seems to be a newer institution, the question remains: Are students using it?

“I honestly don’t believe students take as much advantage of the writing center as they should,” student Amber Prost said. “I have been told about it in pretty much every class, but I only used it one semester.”

It seems the only time students use the writing center is when it’s required of them.

“When I worked there, there wasn’t a lot of people that would come in,” former volunteer for the writing center, Caira Stauffer said.

“I was also told by some people that they were there because the professors told them to be. Plus, I know from my own experience that some professors wouldn’t accept papers without proving that I had been there.”

If it’s promoted more, Stauffer believes the writing center has potential to become a better-known institution on campus.

For those interested in tutoring opportunities, look no further.

“Anybody can come,” Holderer said. “We’re looking for students that have at least a B in English 101 and 102.”

It seems that some of the problem is the way students come into the writing center.

“A lot of times students come in and they think the problem is that they don’t know grammar or punctuation,” Holderer said.

“When we look at the draft, it isn’t just a matter of grammar or punctuation, but the fact that sentences are laying down next to each other, but they’re not connecting to each other.”

It seems Holderer is working at the writing center to help students understand what they are writing. “We’re here to help students in any part of the process,” he said. “When they get an assignment, they can come in and talk to us and we can help them to clarify ideas in their own mind and give them direction.”

William Stevens is a staff writer for The Spectator.

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