Thank you for your interest in the work of the Center for Excellence in Writing (CEW). Our goal is to work with you in our shared mission to promote the development and well-being of students. We welcome all communication (email email@example.com) and appreciate you connecting your students with the writing center resource.
We devote the majority of our resources to one-to-one consultations. Our consultants shape their work in each session based upon the unique goals and needs of the writer and the particulars of their writing situation. In other words, we are writer-centered. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all approaches. When your student visits us, they will get 45 minutes of our consultant’s time, a listening ear, a chance to talk through their ideas and dilemmas, and thoughtful feedback on their writing.
Writing ability is developed through active participation in communication situations and writing processes. Use of the writing center is an increased form of participation. Therefore, our users tend to be among the most hard-working and engaged writers on campus. Many make regular, even weekly, use of writing support. Many users are working on high stakes projects like personal statements and other application materials. Around 30 percent of our users are graduate students. More than half of our users are multilingual. Faculty and staff are welcome to use our service as well, and our consultants regularly make appointments with each other to “talk out” their writing dilemmas.
Our staff is comprised of one full time director, one GA, and between 30 – 40 writing consultants. Our writing consultants are all students. Our undergraduate consultants have generally been recommended by faculty members and have taken a semester-length course in Writing Center Theory and Practice as a prerequisite to employment. Our MA and PhD level consultants are from a variety of disciplines, and many of them teach writing in the University’s Academic and Professional Writing Program. Our consultants are not content experts, but they provide thoughtful feedback on both rhetorical and mechanical levels. We aim for ten hours of professional development each semester.
We would appreciate if you didn't! Writing Centers have practical and pedagogical reasons for discouraging instructors from requiring or incentivizing writing center use. Most importantly:
The good news is that this policy allows us to be available to your students when they need us. Positive experiences in the writing center will lead to regular use and intensified writing development!
We appreciate you connecting your students with our resource -- all students need and deserve this form of support. You can help us by
Working on extended projects such as theses or dissertations can be an isolating experience in which many of us begin to lose momentum or get bumped off course. Our writing retreats, weekly writing groups, and productivity workshops are designed to help graduate writers manage both the writing and non-writing parts of graduate work. Interested graduate students should email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for our graduate student list serve, check our website for upcoming offerings or follow us on social media.
To promote empowering ideas about getting through the writing process, keep an eye out for the “Write Through: Dissertation Inspiration” series which is distributed through The Graduate School and is also accessible through our website.
We love working with international and multilingual students. UB is fortunate to have students from all over the globe studying with us and those doing university work in a second (or even third!) language are really taking on a challenge! To serve multilingual students, we provide our consultants with a good deal of professional development informed by TESOL and Translingualism. We tend to do more sentence-level work with multilingual students, helping them to reformulate confusing sentences and find the words that most accurately convey their intended meanings.
International graduate students often work intensively with consultants over a long period of time, forming close and mutually beneficial intellectual partnerships. The progress they make regularly astounds us. In short, do not hesitate to direct your international/multilingual students our way!
The Center for Excellence in Writing encourages faculty to integrate writing into their curriculum in order to help students synthesize and transfer knowledge and get involved in the discourse of the discipline. Here are some resources.
From the Council of Writing Program Administrators, a comprehensive set of materials for faculty and students researching the teaching of Rhetoric and Composition. (CompPile)
Instructional support from UB libraries to assist in readying students for research projects.
Practical guides on responding to student writing and designing assignments that incorporate writing from the Harvard Writing Project.
A nice set of downloadable PDF guides from the University of North Carolina at Richmond to support faculty in the creation of informal writing-to-learn activities and formal writing projects.
UNC Chapel hill has a useful set of handouts for teachers incorporating writing into their curriculum:
Click here for support for teachers seeking to integrate more writing into their curriculum from Colorado State's WAC clearinghouse.
The following ELL language guides developed by Shea Menge, former CEW consultant, provide assistance for ELL tutors and educators to understand and respond appropriately to cultural and language-based differences in developing English writing skills. These guides cover the six most common non-English first languages found in the CEW.
Copy and paste the following language into your syllabus:
The Center for Excellence in Writing (CEW) is available to help you with your essays. Our appointments will be one-to-one via a virtual platform where you can see and talk to a friendly writing consultant and share your draft. We can help with planning, brainstorming, revising – really to help you to work through any obstacle you are encountering in the writing process. Go to buffalo.edu/writing to make an appointment. Should you have any difficulty, email email@example.com.
Our Main Center is 209 Baldy and we have a satellite location in Capen 128, inside the Tutoring and Academic Support Services center. Our remote consultations can be accessed through our website.
Each student is allowed three 45 minute sessions per week and many use these regularly! If a student needs additional assistance during an intensive period of writing, we usually are able to make an exception to provide more support.
We provide both in-person and remote synchronous consultations, and we are open Monday - Friday and Sundays including evening hours.
Students can schedule a remote or in person appointment through our website on the “Make an Appointment” page. Our system requires a quick registration. They can also come into our Main Location in 209 Baldy to schedule with our reception staff.
Absolutely! We want to create closer connections with classroom writing instruction and writing center support. We can work together in a variety of ways:
No. We are not a proofreading service. However, if the student indicates that they are on the final proofreading stage and that improving mechanical stability of their draft is a goal, we work with students on proofreading processes and identifying patterns of error or stylistic problems in their writing. In other words, our practice is pedagogical.
No! Students can make an appointment at any stage in their writing process. Many students come in with their assignment sheet and the consultant can help them to interpret it, formulate an effective topic, brainstorm, and even do preliminary research. Sometimes students run out of steam or get stuck in the middle of a draft and come in to work on development. And of course students are welcome to come in for a final lookover before they turn the paper in to you.
You may not. Particularly engaged students frequently integrate a writing center visit into their writing process. Students are of course free to self-report a visit to the writing center. If for some reason you need verification, with the student’s permission we can send you a session summary or a verification of their visit. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to request. We always welcome conversations with faculty about how best to support students, so do not hesitate to reach out.
No. Writing Center staff members will not discuss grades or make evaluative comments about assignments or papers during appointments.
The writing center is a resource, but students are still in charge of their own revision decisions. You never know what state the paper was in when the student visited the center. Many times students come in early in their drafting phase and the writing consultant never even gets to see the final draft. (Though they can always make multiple appointments.)
First, the writing center is not a proofreading service. Second, if the writer engaged in revision after the visit (which is great), then they have likely created new sentences which are vulnerable to error. As students’ expression of ideas grows more complex, their sentences can get more wobbly. It’s a sign of growth!
Absolutely! Many students choose to be regular users of writing center support. They can reserve up to three appointments per week, greatly accelerating their writing development. They can schedule regular appointments, and we’d love to work with them on their writing skills and process. Ideally, students working on overall writing improvement or a large writing project should work with a coach once a week.