For Students

What is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is one of the many academic support services available to members of the Siena Community.  Our trained peer consultants offer free one-to-one assistance on writing assignments in a variety of subjects. We provide a comfortable learning environment where you can develop your ability to read your work critically and objectively.  We are committed to helping you revise with confidence.

 
HOW HAS THE WRITING CENTER RESPONDED TO COVID-19?

Our biggest concern is the safety of our SAINTS. Rest assured that the Writing Center will adhere to all  New York State guidelines for higher education institutions and services.  This means that face-to-face sessions will be socially distanced.  In addition, we'll offer an abundance of online appointment options. Please be prepared to wear your mask when you visit the center.  Your tutors will be wearing theirs!

 

Who USES THE WRITING CENTER?

First-year students, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students of all levels of expertise and ability find our consultations helpful.  We also offer specialized services for students who have unique concerns about reading, writing, and/or listening in English.

Where is the Writing Center? 

The Writing Center is located in a comfortable suite on the lower level of the Standish Library (L09). You'll find us at the bottom of the staircase, to the left, just beyond the pink arch.

What if I receive a referral? 

Faculty have the option of utilizing a referral form to encourage students to visit the Writing Center.  If you receive a referral, please don't think of it as punishment.  Even the most confident and skilled writers sometimes need a little feedback from a trained reader.  Simply make an appointment and bring your referral to share with us.  We'll contact your professor after the appointment to let him/her know that you followed-through with a consultant.

How do I make an appointment?

Make an appointment well in advance of the date when an assignment is due by booking online. Walk-ins are welcome, but immediate service can't be guaranteed.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?

Our consultants are students, too, and they understand that sometimes life happens. To cancel an appointment, call 518-783-4125 or email writingcenter@siena.edu. We will be happy to help you reschedule.

How do I make the most of my appointment? 

Make an appointment well in advance of the date that an assignment is due.  Arrive on time with a hardcopy of your notes or draft and a copy of the directions for the assignment. Expect to engage in a meaningful conversation regarding higher order concerns such as thesis/focus, purpose/audience, development, and organization. It's unlikely that you'll be successful if you treat us as a last minute proofreading service. 

What kinds of writing can I bring to the Writing Center?

We are prepared to talk about any type of writing, in any discipline. We read research papers, academic essays, response papers, resumes, cover letters, lab reports, applications for graduate school, formal reports, fiction, poetry, and much, much more.  We also help with groups projects, oral presentations, and slideshows. If you're working with a group, we ask that every member be present at the appointment.

When is it time to visit the Writing Center?

Almost anytime!  We help at each stage of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing, but we are NOT a place where you can drop off your work to be fixed.  Instead, we work with you to identify and correct patterns of errors.

Can you help me brainstorm?

Talking about an assignment can help you invent ideas and see possibilities for responding to the task ahead of you. We can get you engaged in brainstorming, and our questions will help you consider different strategies for gathering the information that you need.

Can you help me with writer's block? 

We understand the frustration you feel when you can’t get started on a paper! We've been there ourselves! But we also have lots of ideas for how to break the block and get the words flowing.

Can you help me organize my thoughts?

Once you have a lot of information and ideas gathered for your paper, what do you do with it all? If you are wallowing in CHAOS, don’t panic! We can help you find the patterns you need to organize the information into a coherent text.

What kinds of feedback will you give me on my draft?

Many writers bring early drafts of their work to The Writing Center. A tutor will sit down with you, ask about the assignment, ask what your concerns are, and read through the draft with you. In early drafts, we will focus on the ideas you’re expressing and how effectively you’ve organized them.

What if I'm almost finished?

When you feel that your paper is almost ready to hand into your teacher, we act as another pair of eyes, to help you notice problems you may not have seen. In reading your paper with you, we can also help you hear places in your text where you may not be saying exactly what you want to say.

For Faculty

What is the Writing Center? 

We are an academic support service that provides students, faculty, and staff with free one-to-one assistance on writing assignments in a variety of subjects. 

Where is the Writing Center? 

We are located in a comfortable suite on the lower level of the Standish Library (L09). You'll find us at the foot of the staircase, just beyond the pink arches.

Do you offer classroom support?

We are happy to give brief in-class presentations about the Writing Center and its services. We also understand that many students are not practiced in responding to written work in useful ways. If you would like our assistance helping your students learn and practice stronger peer review strategies, please contact us to lead an in-class tutorial. For additional information or to discuss write-to-learn strategies, assignments, and/or assessment, please contact Anne Godson-Glynn at 782-6510 (aglynn@siena.edu).

Can I refer a student to the Writing Center? 

We want to work with you to help students understand that even the most confident and skilled writers sometimes need a little feedback from a trained reader. Faculty now have the option of utilizing a referral form to encourage individual visits to the Writing Center.  Please use the referral system as a catalyst to engage in meaningful conversations with student writers. We'll make a good faith effort to contact you within forty-eight hours of a referred student's appointment to let you know that he/she followed-through with a consultant.

How can students maximize their time in the Writing Center?

We encourage students to make appointments well in advance of the date that an assignment is due.  They should arrive on time with hard copies of their notes or draft(s) and a copy of the directions that you gave them.  

Will you help students in any discipline?

Our consultants are prepared to talk about any type of writing. We read research papers, academic essays, response papers, resumes, cover letters, lab reports, applications for graduate school, formal reports, fiction, poetry, and much, much more. We also work with faculty and staff on their projects.

Why do some student papers still contain errors after a consultant has viewed them?

When we meet with students, we immediately address higher order concerns such as thesis/focus, purpose/audience, development, and organization.  If students have mastered these concepts, we point out patterns of technical errors and review the relevant rules. While we are not a "fix-it" shop, we do teach students to proofread.  Ultimately, it's up to them to apply this knowledge and return to the Writing Center  throughout the semester.

Do you support English Language Learners and their instructors?

We offer specialized support for English Language Learners and their instructors. We are proud to partner with the Center for International Programs to pair ELLS with trained mentors. If you think that a student would benefit from our services, contact Anne Godson-Glynn at 518-782-6510 or aglynn@siena.edu

Do you have handouts for students and professors?

We offer the Siena Community access to the resources in the Writing Center and post multiple handouts online.  Click on the "Resources" tab for additional information.

How does a student make an appointment? 

Scheduling a visit to the Writing Center is easy. Visit us online or call 518-783-4125.