In my role as the Boulder County Campus Writing Center coordinator, I have the opportunity to work with many students on their writing projects. It is a great part of my job. I love watching students’ potential unfold as we work together.
The college holds the development of good writing skills in high regard because strong communication skills give our students the foundation to be successful in any chosen academic or professional future. Our mission in the Writing Centers of this college is to guide students through this process and bolster their abilities to be effective communicators.
To Write Well, Start Early.
Procrastinating is one of the biggest obstacles I see students struggle with in their writing. It is human nature to put things off until the very last minute, and we all are guilty of it in some form or another. However, when it comes to writing assignments in college courses, the consequences of not starting early can be disastrous.
Writing well involves a process of planning, drafting, and revising. All three parts of this process are important, and if students don’t allow for adequate time, they don’t experience the full benefits of all three stages. Usually, when time is short, students will write a quick draft and finish just before the deadline. Lack of planning results in weak, disorganized writing projects because last-minute drafts mean there’s no time for review and revision. Student who get into the Writing Center early on in the writing process are often successful because they avoid the pitfalls of procrastination.
Make a Connection: Use a Writing Coach.
Writing Center instructors are like coaches. What we do for students is akin to what a coach or trainer does for an athlete. We offer tips and guidance when they are needed, and we push and encourage students to develop their own strengths in writing. We don’t do the writing for students. The students, like the athletes, finish the project on their own. The coach is there cheering from the side.
One of the side benefits to helping students with their writing in the Writing Center is the chance it gives for students to make a connection with a member of the college faculty. In the Writing Center, students get some individualized attention on their writing, and this serves a dual purpose. It will help students hone their skills and polish their writing projects, but working with a Writing Center instructor also gives students an opportunity to connect with a member of the college community.
Writing Centers are Here for Student Success.
The writing centers at all three campuses, as well as the online writing center, are true centers for student success. When students use the center to their full advantage, we see great things come about. The best payoff is for the students who have essays they can proudly submit to their instructors.