I for one would welcome a discussion of Writing Centre issues.

You were wondering about how to deter no shows. During my time at the Ohio
State Writing Center (now the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing)
students were entitled to X number of appointments per quarter so if they
missed an appointment it came off their total allowed. It sounds harsh but
it was pretty effective. I also think people were reminded of their
appointment the day before. But obviously this takes resources not every
Writing Center has (like a phone and someone to make the calls).

As for students thinking about writing instruction in terms of language
correctness, one of the biggest issues we faced as tutors was not
*students* who  thought about language instruction in this way, but
*instructors* who did. In fact, we had so many problems with one particular
professor in the business school who was apparently sending his students to
us to have their papers "corrected" (which was against our policy) that I
finally went to speak to him. I explained to him what we did and asked him
about what he was trying to do in his course and how we could help.  The
experience brought home to me how Writing Centre issues are often times WAC

Hope this is helpful.


>Would it bore the non-W.C. people to hear us discussing stuff like
>how to deter people from now showing up for appointments? (One of my
>concerns just now, looking at figures from the past year: an example
>of the admin details of W.C. work.) We've also got lots of concerns
>in common,such as the ways students keep thinking about writing instruction
>in terms of language correctness rather then rhetorical effectiveness
>[("Will you proofread this for me?" [W.C.] "Why did you give me a C --
>I hardly made any errors?" [course]). Or is it only writing centre
>people who have to keep facing these things directly, since we must
>keep teaching students in whatever circumstances or state of
>(mis)understanding: we can't hide behind course structures or marking
>(Dr.) Margaret Procter                  Room 216, 15 King's College Circle
>Coordinator, Writing Support            Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H7
>University of Toronto                   (416) 978-8109; FAX (416) 971-2027
>    [log in to unmask]

Andrea Williams
Ohio State University

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