Since 2005-06, when we piloted the in-class writing workshop program, we've grown the program from a healthy yearly delivery of 60 sessions to over triple that number: 190 in 2017-18!
In 2017, the workshop program was recognized by SLAC-WPA, receiving the Deborah Martinson Award for Writing Program Excellence.
Most workshops will include some kind of presentation on a writing principle, including examples, followed by a hands-on exercise. The best sessions happen when students bring their own drafts to the workshop for further revision.
A list of the most typical topics of the workshops follows.
- Invention (brainstorming, freewriting, diagramming, thesis drafting)
- Thesis Statements
- Body Paragraphs (unity, flow, thorough development)
- Paraphrasing and Quoting
- Citing Sources
- Sentence Boundaries
- Punctuation Problems (especially commas)
- Stylish Prose (Concision and Diction)
- Finding and Fixing Passive Voice
- Peer Feedback
- Delivering Oral Presentations
We are happy to tailor any of the above topics to your specific needs, and we are also always excited to put together entirely new workshops on particular issues or assignments. Don't hesitate to ask!
If you would like to request a workshop for your class, please contact Assistant Director Justin B. Hopkins. We look forward to working with you!
Assignment Review Service
Part of the Writing Center's mission is to aid members of the F&M community at any stage of their writing process. In the Fall of 2015, the Writing Center piloted a service for professors that allowed them to get feedback on their prompts from our student tutors. After the success of the pilot, the Writing Center is excited to announce we will be continuing this new service in 2021-22.
Writing Center tutors are uniquely qualified for the task of providing this kind of feedback, as each can approach a prompt with both a trained eye and a student's sensibility. This insight enables tutors to identify the elements of an effective prompt and provide constructive feedback on points such as visual clarity, organization, and the potential for misinterpretation.
To receive feedback on one of your assignments—or for more information—please email the Director of the Writing Center, Dan Frick. He will remove any identifying information from the prompt before sending it to at least two Writing Center tutors for review. Professor Frick will return the tutors' feedback within 48 hours.