What to expect:
- 1-on-1 and small-group meetings
- 30–60-minute appointments
- Writing instruction to apply to future texts
- Access to resources designed to enhance learning and understanding
- Specific feedback on the text
- Audience and genre-centered instruction
- Focus on higher-order concerns like analysis, organization, synthesis
- Lessons on lower-order concerns: grammar, punctuation, proofreading
What to expect:
- Individual appointments for assistance with grants, publications, abstracts, and responding to student writing
- Guidance on crafting writing assignments for comprehension, reflection, communication, and professional development culminating in portfolio development
- Support with:
- Developing the necessary components in a writing assignment/assessment
- Incorporating written components across the COM, MSBS, and PA curriculum
- Scaffolding writing assignments
- Creating effective rubrics and methods for writing assessment
Do I need an appointment?
To keep things running smoothly, the Writing Center operates on an appointment system. You can schedule an appointment by going to https://mywco.com/rvu
I don’t have anything written yet; should I cancel my appointment?
The Writing Center can help at all stages of the writing process, whether you’ve got a solid draft or are still in the brainstorming stage. Plan on bringing any notes, feedback, or ideas you’d like to incorporate into your writing.
I have class during all the available appointments; how can I get help?
If you are unable to attend a face-to-face session but you still want to get some feedback on your paper, your best option is to schedule an Asynchronous Time Slot. This will reserve time to have your paper looked at even though you aren’t available. After your appointment, you will receive an update to your appointment. The update will include your paper with my comments and an explanation of the comments I made.
I just need someone to edit my paper; can you do that?
The Writing Center seeks to improve writers, not just texts, so for that reason, it is not an editing service. However, I can teach you revising, editing, and proofreading skills to give you the confidence to write without needing to find an editor.
What’s the best way to improve my writing?
In short, practice! Good writers aren’t born that way; writing is a skill that can be developed and improved with practice. Reading a lot is also a great way to get familiar with what good writing looks (and reads) like. The Writing Center has many resources available to students: books to check out, handouts to refer to, and example papers from different genres. Students looking for general writing tips are also encouraged to bring in old writing to sessions to get tailored, specific feedback and instruction.
I have some writing I’d like to work on, but it’s not for an assignment; can I visit the Writing Center?
Absolutely! The Writing Center is available to help with all types of writing, whether that is personal communication, professional documents, or creative writing done for fun. Students and faculty should feel free to bring in any writing they want feedback on, regardless of the impetus for writing.
Why should health science students care about writing?
From a professional standpoint, writing skills are necessary to obtain grant funding, propose and publish research, and even communicate with patients and office personnel via emails and memos. Writing is also a knowledge-transforming activity; to write well about a topic, students need to really understand it, and the writing process itself helps students to engage in metacognition and transformative learning. Reflective writing promotes lifelong learning, helps curb burnout, and improves professionalism and patient care. Additionally, because most medical students’ undergraduate careers do little to provide them with writing instruction and practice, students who don’t engage with writing during medical school may never develop the skills they need to communicate or reflect in a meaningful way. Writing, like any other skill, must be developed and maintained with practice and support. Traditionally, students with a biology/premed background weren’t assigned much, or any, writing in their undergraduate careers. Fortunately, good writing comes from good practice; the Writing Center is here to empower students to communicate effectively.