Students tend to have the perception that the Writing Center is all about papers and essays, because, well, they’re the primary form of writing that we do in the academy. But while we’re here to help you develop and polish your essays, we can also help you with any writing you’re doing for your final, even if it’s not a formal essay.
Presentations and Speeches
If you’re giving an oral presentation, it may seem like you won’t be doing any writing–but you should. There is a reason that public figures like presidents have speech writers; speeches should be written before they’re given. Writing a script for your oral presentation can help you ensure that you stay on topic, address all of the relevant points and evidence related to your topic, and that you sound prepared, polished, and eloquent. Having a prepared script can help prevent mistakes or misused words and reduce the number of times you say “um” when standing up at the podium. You can bring in your script, just as you would a paper, and our tutors can help you polish your writing so your presentation is the best it can be!
Just because you’re working in a group doesn’t mean you can’t come to the Writing Center. Whether it’s a group paper or presentation (or both), you can schedule an appointment for your group, or just one member of your group to meet with a tutor. With papers and presentations with multiple authors, continuity between the work of different group members can often be an issue. A Writing Center tutor can help check for consistency and cohesiveness in co-written papers and projects, as well as the usual stuff: content, organization, citation, source integration, grammar and syntax, etc.
Need help with that final paper or project? We’re open during exam week! Visit the Writing Center today or set up an appointment online. We’re open from 9 AM to 4 PM in 123 Cherry Hall and 4 PM to 9 PM in the Academic Commons in Cravens, Monday through Thursday (9 AM to 3 PM in 123 Cherry Hall on Fridays).
Many students may think that the Writing Center is just for academic papers, and that makes sense. We are part of a university, so we should focus on collegiate work, right?
Well, actually, much of collegiate work is creative, especially for students who are Creative Writing majors or minors. Stories and poems can just as difficult to write–if not more so–as essays and research papers. And it is even more difficult for most people to share their creative works than it is to share academic papers. Creative writing allows us to reveal very intimate parts of ourselves, and when we are unwilling to show those parts to others, it can become very arduous to get any kind of feedback.
But I am here to tell you, writers, that the Writing Center is here to help. A large majority of our tutors are/were Creative Writing majors and minors; we understand the struggles of writing creatively and we have experienced the fear of showing our most private thoughts to entire classrooms through our writing. Any of us would be happy to work with writers on a creative piece with the utmost respect and sensitivity. Plus, it would really be a refresher from our usual onslaught of essays and narratives.
We know how scary it is to have a creative piece reviewed, but we struggle with the same emotions about our creative writing. We love it, we hate it, we swear never to show it to anyone. But getting feedback from an audience is the most effective way to become a better writer. And when your writing is successful, anything is possible. Who knows–maybe you’ll even get a book deal.
So bring in your short stories and your long stories, your poems and your flash fictions, your memoirs and your novels. Let us take a look at your creative writing and help you make it great. We won’t judge, and we won’t laugh (unless it’s a comedy; then, we’ll laugh unreservedly). But we will help, and maybe even give you the confidence you’ve been missing.
All the best in your creative endeavors!
This post was originally published on October 11, 2013