The week before midterms and finals can be one of the most stressful times in a student’s career. It is during this time when the majority of the student population has a research paper or project due. With everyone packed into the library scrambling for sources of information, students can get overwhelmed.However, what many students do not know is that there is an untapped resource located right where they eat, that is the academic writing center located on the second floor of Lawrence Hall. The Writing Center is offering a solution to the problem of last minute research, and that is research week.
Research week, which starts on March 3 and goes until March 7, is a program that the writing center started spring 2007 semester and is hoping to continue and draw more students in to teach them the skills they need in order to do proper research.
The writing center will have research librarians as well as writing tutors in the library to help students organize their research. The idea is that students who have a first draft can come to the writing center to get help in checking the value of their sources and finding more sources. Students who are getting their initial sources together in the library can go from the computer terminals to a table with a tutor and talk about how to organize that research around a thesis.
“The basic idea is we are trying to get the students to do the research, not to fake it, but to actually learn the skills,” Chris DelBorrello, a tutor at the Writing Center, said.
The writing center is staffed with 10 tutors who are ready and willing to help with students’ writing and research needs. The Writing Center caters to the students, helping them with whatever they are having difficulty in. Main areas that students struggle in are research organization, thesis statements and creative writing.
The Writing Center is equipped with six computers and four tutoring cubicles and is available to anyone who is a student of West Chester University. Tutoring sessions last 25 minutes, and appointments are easy to make. There are many students who are regulars at the writing center and come in at least once a week.
The writing center recognizes that writing can be, and often is, a rather personal expression. However, with the friendly staff always ready to help, it does not take long for students to feel comfortable. Students can bring in assignments for class, but they can also bring in other pieces such as short stories, poetry, resumes, graduate school applications or anything that they may need help with.
Tutors and other employees of the writing center are coming up with ideas to get more attention. One of which is various t-shirts to promote the writing center. There are several design ideas for t-shirts, and they are hanging up in the writing center. The only problem is that they need the students’ opinions on which one is the best. Students are encouraged to come into the writing center and vote for their favorite design.
Research week is a tool available to all students and is a great way to learn the skills needed in the next semester or even in the workplace. Tutors will be available in the library during this week as well as at the writing center. Research librarians will also be in the writing center during this week to help students with any research oriented questions that they may have.
Another research week is planned for sometime in April and it will depend largely on the success of this research week. So get out there and learn the skills needed to research properly.
Tony Higman is a fourth-year student at West Chester University majoring in Psychology with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AH577216@wcupa.edu.