Faculty Information

The BYU Writing Center supports faculty and staff who teach writing or who work with student writers. If you would like additional information about how the Writing Center can help you as you work with writers, please contact us.

Supporting Writers

Supporting Faculty

Recommendations for Helping Students Use Writing Center Services

  • Familiarize yourself with Writing Center goals, services, and resources
  • Introduce students to Writing Center services: show our introductory video; include a description of services in your syllabus; schedule a class visit from a writing tutor; use online materials in class
  • Help students make the best use of the Writing Center by
    • encouraging them to visit the Writing Center early in the writing process
    • having them bring relevant materials (assignment description, rubric, drafts, notes, feedback, etc.)
    • giving them specific directions or instructions to focus on while working with a writing tutor
    • reminding them that tutors aim to help writers improve their writing, not fix their papers for them
    • encouraging them to use the Writing Center often
  • Explain the importance and common practice in academic and professional settings of sharing writing, inviting feedback, and revising

Syllabus Statement

To encourage your students to use and benefit from the BYU Writing Center, consider inserting information about our services in your syllabus. A sample is provided for instructors to use or draw material from:

Soliciting and receiving feedback on writing is a normal part of the writing process and models the collaborative work that takes place in academic and professional settings. All writers—emerging to advanced—can benefit from sharing their writing with careful, supportive readers. The BYU Writing Center works with all student writers, free of charge, from any discipline and on any writing task. Tutoring sessions with trained writing tutors provide a resource-rich environment for writers to develop their ideas, consider a reader’s response to their writing, discuss revision strategies, and increase their confidence and abilities in writing. While tutors do not proofread or edit, they will help writers identify patterns of errors and provide revision strategies for dealing with writing concerns.

To make the most of a tutoring session, student writers should bring a current draft of their work or prewriting ideas along with the assignment description and questions they have about their writing. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about Writing Center services, visit writingcenter.byu.edu or visit the Writing Center (4026 JKB) or Research & Writing Center (3322 HBLL). Please note that the Research & Writing Center (3322 HBLL) also has library research consultants that can assist students with research for projects and papers.

Faculty Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please visit our Student FAQ page for additional questions and responses.

Is the Research & Writing Center (RWC) the same as the Writing Center (WC)?

The writing assistance provided in the WC (4026 JKB) and RWC (3322 HBLL) is the same. Research assistance in the RWC is provided by library research consultants. The WC offers scheduled appointments and drop-in tutoring session. The RWC offers drop-in assistance only.

Can writing tutors help writers from non-English courses?

Yes. To better serve a range of writers, we hire tutors from across campus and train all tutors to work with writers and writing assignments from across the disciplines. However, since our focus is not on checking the accuracy of the content as much as it is helping writers communicate content effectively, we encourage writers to rely on instructors, TAs, and course materials for content accuracy.

Can writing tutors help writers with my particular assignment?

Yes. We invite faculty to contact WC coordinators to discuss assignment specifications and to provide course materials (assignment descriptions, rubrics, sample texts) and insights that we may use as part of weekly tutor training and staff updates.

Can writing tutors help writers whose native language is not English (ESL/ELL)?

Yes. We frequently work with writers whose first language is not English and provide specific training in this area for all our tutors. As of Summer 2016, the ESL Writing Lab has merged with the Writing Center.

Is there a limit to the amount of help a writer may receive?

Yes. Writers are limited to one hour of help each day. Writers are expected to revise and practice writing skills and strategies between tutoring sessions.

Do tutors help with grammar and usage?

Yes. All tutors are trained to help with grammar, usage, and mechanics. While tutors do not proofread or edit, they will help writers identify patterns of errors, especially those affecting clarity, and provide resources and revision strategies for dealing with sentence-level concerns.

Will I know if one of my students uses the Writing Center?
We notify instructors and TAs of a visit only if a writer requests notification be sent and provides a working email address for his or her instructor or TA. In such cases, an outline of the tutoring session is emailed.

Can I require my students to visit the Writing Center or give them extra credit?

Yes. However, students who choose to come to the Writing Center are often more motivated to learn and improve their writing than students who are required to come. Recommending our services or offering extra credit to students who visit the Writing Center is preferred over requiring a visit. If you recommend our services, encourage writers to visit us well before the assignment deadline, so we can accommodate an increase in tutoring sessions, and writers will have time to implement revision suggestions.

Where else on campus can faculty get help with teaching writing or their own writing?

Additional writing and teaching resources are available through Writing Across the Curriculum, University Writing, Faculty Editing Service, Faculty Center, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Are there any other resources you would recommend to those teaching writing?
There are many useful resources on campus and online. In addition to the following resources, we recommend our handouts and listed resources.
Teaching with Writing Resources—University of Minnesota
An Introduction to Writing Across the Curriculum—Colorado State WAC Clearinghouse
Designing Writing Assignments—Miami University Writing Center
Matching Learning Goals to Assignment Types—DePaul University
Responding to Student Writing—Ohio State University
Grammar and Mechanics—University of Minnesota
Quick Suggestions for helping Non-Native Writers—University of Minnesota
Write for Your Life — BYU Center for Teaching and Learning

What if I have a question about my students’ experiences or would like to explore the resources available through the Writing Center?
We welcome feedback and invite faculty and staff to contact Writing Center administrators directly.

David Stock
Coordinator, Writing Center
Assistant Professor, English Department

Lisa Bell
Assistant Coordinator, Writing Center