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Writers' Workshop--Free Writing Support

FAQs for Faculty and Staff

Feel free to contact the Workshop if you have any additional questions or would like to know more.

Who are the writing consultants?

Am I allowed to assign or require a student (or an entire class) to visit the Writers’ Workshop?

What can students expect from a visit to the Writers’ Workshop?

How do I help students prepare for a session with a writing consultant?

Will I be notified if one of my students sees a consultant in the Writers’ Workshop?

If I assign a take-home exam, will writing consultants help my students with the exam?

Can I see a consultant for my own writing--grants, research, etc?

Who are the writing consultants?


The Writers’ Workshop staff is comprised of graduate student consultants and faculty consultants from a variety of backgrounds.   Chosen for their writing ability and teaching experience, the consultants meet regularly for ongoing training and professional development.  Learn more about them by clicking here.

Am I allowed to assign or require a student (or an entire class) to visit the Writers’ Workshop?


We urge students in any discipline, at any stage in the writing process, and at any level to visit the Writers’ Workshop. At the same time, the goals of both the writer and the Workshop are typically best met when writers seek assistance of their own volition. If required to work with a consultant, students may view the demand as a punishment rather than a learning opportunity. In addition, sheer numbers prevent us from being able to become a required part of course or work expectations. For these reasons, we ask that you avoid assigning Writers’ Workshop appointments, particularly to entire classes. However, we appreciate that you strongly encourage writers to work with one of our consultants and look forward to meeting with them.
(See also “Will I be notified if one of my students sees a consultant in the Writers’ Workshop?”)


What can students expect from a visit to the Writers’ Workshop?


Our writing consultants will work with any undergraduate or graduate student at any level skill level and at any stage in the writing process. While we do not proofread or edit papers, we are happy to help writers learn strategies for finding and correcting their own errors.  Our primary focus is on larger concerns, such as organization, structure, cohesion, development, coherence, and so on. We have conversations with writers in order to develop their skills, rather than doing the work for them.  Consultants will help students try to understand writing assignments or comments made on written work, but they do not offer their opinions of the assignment itself or the instructor who gave it.  Likewise, grades are strictly between the students and their instructors.  We cannot predict the grade a writer might get nor will we comment on any the writer has received.

If you are interested in a session for your own writing, you can find more information on what to expect here.

How do I help students prepare for a session with a writing consultant?


Remind your students to bring the assignment sheet or whatever guidelines they were given for the course requirement they are writing. If not an assignment, they should bring other relevant materials; for example, they should bring the job posting if they want to discuss a cover letter for a job application. They should also bring a hard copy of whatever they have written so far, even if it is a very early draft.  Finally, encourage students to read about consultants’ backgrounds in order to find a good fit for the type of writing they are doing.

You can also send students the link to our page featuring information on what to expect for a session, which can be found at: < http://www.d.umn.edu/writwork/main/expect.html >.

Will I be notified if one of my students sees a consultant in the Writers’ Workshop?


While the Writers’ Workshop does not send notifications of student visits to faculty or staff, a summary of each session is sent via email to the person with whom the writing consultant worked. Students may choose to share that summary with their instructors or supervisors, but that is their responsibility.  Due to privacy concerns, we cannot sign a document verifying a student’s visit.  

If I assign a take-home exam, will writing consultants help my students with the exam?


Individual faculty members must decide whether to allow students to see a writing consultant to discuss a take-home exam. Such permission must be given in writing on the exam instructions, on a syllabus, or through a separate document.  If you plan to allow students to seek help with a take-home exam, it’s best to notify the Writers’ Workshop at writwork@d.umn.edu well before the exam date. 

Can I see a consultant for my own writing--grants, research, etc.?

Yes, the Writers’ Workshop is open to all staff, faculty, and students on campus.  In order to make sure the needs of UMD students are met, we request that staff and faculty limit themselves to one appointment per week.

 

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