A Cure for Blank Page Blues and First Draft Fuddles

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Published on November 24, 2015

HCC’s Writing Across the Curriculum Center welcomes all students to come for one-on-one tutoring appointments for help with any writing task. Literary analyses, APA research papers, arrest reports, internship application essays…tutors are happy to assist on practically anything with words. Beyond the center’s Lafayette locale lies its Beacon Hall annex in the second floor lounge, where tutors are free to help whoever approaches the designated table. But the center has not only expanded the physical locations it operates from but its services as well. This semester, two themed writing workshops were designed by coordinator Karyn Smith and tutor Ed Fians to specifically address concerns with beginning and revising papers.

The first workshop, “Start! 30 Minutes of Hands-On Help with Topics and Theses,” ran from October 26 through November 9. The second workshop, which is running now until December 7, is titled “Revise! 30 Minutes of Hands-On Paper Improvement.” It takes place every Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1-1:30 p.m., and it offers help for students who feel stuck with their current drafts.

“We work on strategies for revisions, strengthening theses statements, editing and citations – really, whatever the need is for the session,” Smith said.

Smith also discussed the ways in which the workshops differ from standard tutoring appointments.

“The workshops offer broader tutoring than the one-on-one sessions,” she said. “Opening it up to multiple people helps because we always see somebody else’s work more clearly than we see our own.”

Though the workshops focus on specific stages in the writing process, they are still inclusive in that they can include many concerns within those stages.

“The models for the workshops are broad enough that they encourage students to drop in, but they’re specific enough so that they know what they’re getting,” Smith said.

The workshops are open to all students, in all classes. Don’t think a revision workshop would help with what ails you? Let your voice be heard!

“Students should always feel free to give us feedback. We want to be a thriving, active writing center,” Smith said. “If they’ve been to a workshop or to one-on-one tutoring, we’d love to hear their thoughts. If they see a workshop and it doesn’t apply to their concerns, we want to know if there’s a different theme they’d like to see.”
If you’d like to sound off, contact Smith at [email protected]