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Welcome to the Hofstra University Writing Center blog!
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Work on Your End-of-the-Semester Writing Projects at "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming II" -- 6PM-1AM, Sunday, April 27th, Student Center Multi-purpose Room!

Do you need to make progress on your end-of-the semester writing projects?  Hofstra's Writing Center Tutors invite you to bring your final papers, resumes, job application letters, and creative projects to "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming II" for our late-night writing extravaganza.  You bring your writing projects and a laptop or pen and paper.  We'll bring tasty snacks, good company, and free writing tutoring (if you want it).



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Melissa P. and Sarah present posters at the Colonial Academic Alliance Conference!

Congratulations to our peer tutors Melissa P. and Sarah, who presented their research in poster sessions at the Colonial Academic Alliance Conference on April 12th at Towson University in Maryland.

Sarah with her poster.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Wait List Feature Notifies You When Your Chosen Appointment Time Becomes Available!

Is the appointment time you wanted taken?   Try our new WAIT LIST feature!
Just click here:




Click on the little clock by the name of the day when you want an appointment and note the times you'd prefer, the tutors you'd prefer, and whether you'd like to be notified of an available time by text message or via e-mail. 





If someone cancels, you'll get a text or an email telling you that that slot on the schedule is now available.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Congratulations to our Phi Beta Kappa Inductees, Emily and Melissa R.!

Our excellent tutors Emily M. and Melissa R. have both been asked to join the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society.  Congratulations!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nolan got into a Rhet/Comp Ph.D. Program!

Our tutor Nolan has been accepted to a great Ph. D. program in Rhetoric and Composition at Louisiana University at Lafayette.  Congratulations! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We're Open (limited hours) for Spring Break!




Spring Break is an excellent time to work on all of your writing projects -- papers, resumes, job application letters, graduate and professional school essays, creative projects -- at the Writing Center.  Log in at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/ to see our Spring Break hours and schedule an appointment.

Not in town, but still have work to do?  Try out an online appointment!

Online Appointments

To participate in an online appointment (via either instant messaging or video/audio chat) follow these steps:
  1. At the appointment time, log in at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/
  2. Click on your appointment.
  3. Click on "start or join online consultation."
  4. Don't maximize the window that pops up and keep both windows from overlapping to ensure that you can see both the tutor and your document at the same time.
  5. Upload your document by clicking on the little arrows at the top right corner (Import/Export), hitting the "browse" or "choose" button, selecting the document on your computer, and hitting "import now."
  6. For instant messaging, use the text box in the bottom right corner. When you have finished typing your message, hit "enter" to send it.
  7. For video/audio chat, click on "start video/audio chat" in the bottom right corner, just above the text box.
  8. Press "connect."
  9. Press "start publishing."
  10. Press "allow."
  11. If you have trouble with audio, hover over the bottom right corner of the video box to make sure the audio is on and at the right level and/or check the audio level on your computer.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Emily got into her first-choice Ph.D. Program!

Congratulations to our tutor Emily, who got into her first-choice Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology with Health Emphasis at Albert Einstein College of Medicine!  She will be conducting research on psychiatric comorbidity in headache disorders.



The Writing Center Goes Skating!

This past Friday night, we took a break from tutoring and enjoyed a little ice skating.  Keep a sharp eye out for other tutor socials!

 
Tutors on Ice!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wow, one MORE snow day! We're closed Thursday, February 13th.

Can you imagine a snowier winter?  Since Hofstra's closed today, so are we.  Please log back in to the schedule at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/ and reschedule.  Stay safe in the snow!




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Yet ANOTHER Snow Day! We're closed on Wednesday, Feb. 5th due to inclement weather!

Since the University is closing due to poor weather this Wednesday, we're closed too!  If you had an appointment, please log back in to the schedule at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/ and reschedule.  See you all Thursday!


Monday, February 3, 2014

It's another Snow Day! We're closed, but we'll see you on Tuesday!

Since the University is closed due to snow, so are we!  If you had an appointment, please log back in to the schedule at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/ and reschedule.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Back by Popular Demand--Research Help Galore at the Writing Center!

Our successful collaboration with the Research Librarians from Axinn Library continues during Spring 2014!

Need help finding solid materials for your research paper?  Get personalized assistance from Axinn's excellent research librarians at the Writing Center in 102 Mason Hall.  Just log in to the Writing Center schedule at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/ and look on Monday and Tuesday afternoons from 1PM-5PM.  Click on one of the appointment slots marked "For Research Help ONLY."




Can't make those times?  Call the Axinn Library Reference Desk directly at (516) 463-5962 for help during other hours. 

Need a specialist in a particular research area? Schedule an appointment directly with a librarian at Axinn who specializes in your area at http://www.hofstra.edu/Library/library_contact.html (scroll down to the middle of the page).


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We're Closed Wednesday for Snow!

We're closed Wednesday for snow, as the University itself is closed.


We hope to see you Thursday!

Friday, January 17, 2014

We're closed Monday for MLK Day!

The Writing Center will be closed on Monday, January 20th for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Have a great holiday, and we'll see you on Tuesday!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

We're Open Saturday, January 4th!

The Writing Center is open Saturday, January 4th in our 201G Satellite Office from 1PM-3PM.  Bundle up warmly and travel safely if you come out for a tutoring session, or consider an on-line tutoring session.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Writing Center closed due to snow Thursday night and Friday

The Writing Center will be closed due to snow Thursday night, January 2nd and Friday, January 3rd. We hope to reopen Saturday - check back here for updates.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Have you been putting off taking your Writing Proficiency Exam? The Writing Center can help!

Are you a transfer student, a junior, or a senior who still needs to pass Hofstra's Writing Proficiency Exam in order to fulfill your graduation requirements?  Have you put off taking the exam because you're nervous or because you're having problems scheduling a WSC 2A class?  The Writing Center can help!

Call Ms. Eileen Greco, who co-ordinates the exam, at (516) 463-5252.  She will help you find a convenient section of WSC 2A, the 1-credit course that strengthens your writing and helps you do your best on this important exam (as well as on your school and work writing projects).

If you are not able to find a WSC 2A course that fits your schedule, however, the Writing Center can still provide you with tutoring to help you go into the exam with confidence.  Register at https://hofstra.mywconline.com/ (click on "click here to register" and fill out the short form); then, log in with your email and new password and click on any white space to make a tutoring appointment. 

You don't have to wait until the Spring term--January is a great time to take care of this graduation requirement without having to worry about the distractions of the regular semester.  We look forward to working with you!

The Writing Center Will Be Open During January Term, from January 2nd - January 23rd

January Term is a perfect time to come to the Writing Center to work on dissertations, masters theses, job and internship application letters, resumes, personal statements for graduate and professional schools, and papers for January classes. 

Watch this space for our January schedule, coming soon!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dozens Enjoy Late-Night Paper Writing Extravaganza!

This past Sunday night, December 8th, Hofstra's Writing Center Tutors hosted a very successful "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming" Paper Writing Extravaganza.  Over sixty graduate and undergraduate students (and one loyal Hofstra alum) crowded the Student Center Plaza Rooms to work on their final papers, enjoy yummy snacks, and take advantage of informal writing tutoring help. Students arrived early, even before the 6PM opening, and our tutor Ben reports that "[t]here were people there right up until the end of the night" at 1AM.

One satisfied attendee who has enjoyed using the Writing Center before writes that our tutor "Tina was very helpful" in helping her revise an essay at the event.  She continued: "Another thing that I love about the writing center is the tutor-tutoree relationship I build.  Every time . . . I go to the center or get tutor[ed], my tutor and I [not] only come up with great ideas, but we create a mini bond."

Our great thanks to our tutor Melissa P. for co-ordinating the event, to Jen M. for figuring out the payroll, and to Ben, Kate, Theresa, Julia, Sarah, Tina, Michael, and Brendan (and Melissa P. again!) for tutoring.  Awesome job, everyone!

Our event was inspired by the International Long Night Against Procrastination, founded by a German writing center team led by Katrin Girgensohn and including Luise Herkner (now at NYU-Abu Dhabi), from whom we learned of this movement.  Similar events are now held at Writing Centers all over the world!  Details are available at http://www.engageawards.com/entry/130.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Coffee, Cookies, Cramming . . . and Cake! Sunday, December 8th, 6PM-1AM, Student Center Plaza Rooms

Having trouble getting started on your papers?  Want company as you edit and revise projects?  Need inspiration as you write those graduate and professional school application essays? 

Hofstra's Writing Center Tutors invite you to "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming" -- a Sunday night writing extravaganza!  On Sunday, December 8th, drop by the Middle and West Plaza Rooms at 127 Student Center.  You bring your laptop (or pen and paper) and a writing project -- we'll bring snacks, good company, and writing tutoring help (if you'd like any).

Come early if you want cake!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

Tuesday (11/26): Open until 5PM in 102 Mason Hall. (Evening library hours are CANCELLED.)
Wednesday-Saturday (11/27-11/30): CLOSED.
Sunday (12/1): Open for our regular hours of Noon-9PM in 201G Axinn Library.

Have a great break, and if you want to improve your writing, try to read a good book!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dr. Miller and Melissa P. are Blogging from the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing in Tampa Today!

At the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing.
It was rainy in Tampa today (so no need to be too jealous!), but we had a great, even terrific, time at the NCPTW conference. Melissa P. presented “What’s in a Name?” at the roundtable discussion this morning.  It was wonderfully well attended with over 25 audience members composed of tutors, faculty, and writing center directors and administrators. The first group presenting came from Bucknell University. The four peer tutors talked about how their writing center provides a space for the intersections of competing student and tutor identities. Both are put in “boxes,” they explained: some boxes include “foreign student,” “engineer,” “writer,” “male,” and/or “fraternity/Greek.”

About to Present!
This was a perfect set up for Melissa, who was talking about student identity in term of the names we assign to them and to us. First, she offered her data from the surveys about student self-identification. With her beautiful pie charts in a Power Point, she explained how, before they come in for their first session, students expect the tutor to speak more than they do. Afterwards, however, they find that the conversation has been roughly equal.  When asked what they would like to be called, 50% of respondents say “students,” suggesting that they still desire a clearly defined identity that allows them to “learn” from someone with more knowledge. The specific data Melissa offered, reflecting student voices, provoked an extremely lively discussion among the attendees. In fact, for the next ½ hour, the audience asked questions and examined their own practices in terms of the naming conventions within their writing centers. The audience talked about different names they used for tutors, like “consultant” and “collaborator,” and the different names they used to refer to their center. One particularly notable and intriguing one was  “knowledge marketplace.” All of the discussion probed the implications of various names. What, people asked, does it mean if you send a student to a tutor as opposed to a “coach”?
The conversation ranged across many areas, and we discussed how to communicate to the larger university what our roles actually are. One thing to consider, a fellow tutor offered, would be to revisit our Mission Statement, make sure it says what we want it to about us, and then to disseminate it to faculty across the university.
After the panel, a number of writing center tutors and directors approached Melissa asking for her contact information, recommending readings, and advising that she turn this into a publishable article. All in all, it was a smashing success!
We celebrated by going to the Salvador Dali museum and having an ice cream sundae…and experiencing a one-of-a-kind cab ride (see Melissa for more information).  Has anyone seen Taxi Driver?  

Next year’s NCPTW is going to be at Disney World…  interested, anyone?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tips for Teachers: Getting Better Writing from Your Students

--Give students written prompts for all assignments.  Don't assume that students have correctly processed your oral instructions about what to do or that they'll accurately remember what you've said.

--Don't assume that students will understand any complicated language in your assignment prompt.  Think about using the clearest language possible and/or defining any potentially unfamiliar terms in parentheses.  If students can't understand what you're asking, they're going to be unable to deliver a useful answer.

--Make essay prompts detailed, with guidance on any technical issues that may be important to you.  (E.g., don't assume that students will turn in an essay written in 12-point, Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins unless you list those specifications explicitly.)

--Include guidance on stylistic preferences in your field in your essay prompts.  E.g., if your field prefers the passive voice and eschews the use of "I" and "we," let students know!

--Provide students with written models of what elements of each assignment should look like.  Sample thesis statements, lists of arguments, topic sentences, and conclusions (and/or other important elements) can be very helpful to students who may not picture the same thing that you do when you discuss these elements.

--Include written models of what in-text citations look like in your field.

--Include written models of sample Works Cited/References/Bibliography entries in your field.  As undergraduates, students typically do work in several different disciplines.  Don't assume that they'll automatically know how to format their references correctly in your discipline, particularly not in first- or second-year courses.

--If you have any grammar pet peeves, let students know that you'd like them to focus on proofreading for these issues.  In your assignment, you can include links to online grammar resources, like those hosted by the Purdue Online Writing Lab at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

--If you're sending students to the Writing Center, please urge them to bring a copy of their written essay prompt so that our tutors can try to ensure that your students are meeting the requirements set out in the prompt. 

--If you plan to send many students to the Writing Center for help with the same assignment, you might want to e-mail us a copy of your prompt at engdsm@hofstra.edu and englmd@hofstra.edu so that we can distribute it to our tutors.

--If you're sending students to the Writing Center for help revising papers on which you've already commented, please encourage them to bring your comments with them so that our tutors can try to ensure that your students focus on the changes you want them to make.

Please don't hesitate to contact us (at engdsm@hofstra.edu and englmd@hofstra.edu) if you have any questions about how to make assignments clear to students -- we'll be glad to try to help!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Extra Grammar Help Now Available at the Writing Center!

Are you puzzled about grammar? Unsure of the rules? You can try an appointment with Kate, Ben, Sarah, or Jen M., who have all volunteered to provide extra grammar help to writers who wish to focus on these issues. If you have a particular grammar issue in which you are interested, note that on your appointment.

Keep an eye out for forthcoming grammar workshops as well!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

More Good News About Reading: If You Read Good Literature, You'll Get Better at Figuring out Your Fellow Humans!

Reading won't just make you more empathetic and smarter (see post below).  According to Tom Jacobs's "Jonathan Franzen can help you read people: New research suggests reading literary fiction increases our ability to pick up on the subjective states of others," if you read literature, it will also help you understand what other people think and feel.  So pick up a good book, and you could start improving your real-life relationships at the same time!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Research assistance is now available from librarians at the Writing Center!

We now have research librarians available at the Writing Center on Monday and Tuesday afternoons to help with all of your research needs!  Look for appointments available with Research Librarians 1, 2, 3, and 4 marked "For Research Help ONLY."

Not sure whether you need a research librarian or a writing tutor?  Click here to figure it out!

Monday, September 16, 2013

For a sharper mind and a bigger heart, read!

Did you know that reading for pleasure can not only improve your mind, but can also increase your ability to put yourself in another's place emotionally?  In a recent Time magazine article, Annie Murphy Paul cites evidence from two Canadian studies that suggest, in the words of her headline, that "Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer."  Interested?  Read more at http://ideas.time.com/2013/06/03/why-we-should-read-literature/

Thursday, September 12, 2013

You can now get a Writing Center Online icon on the home screen of your smart phone.

Do you love the Writing Center schedule so dearly that you want it close to you at all times?  Now, you can get a Writing Center Online icon on the home screen of your smart phone/mobile device.  Just follow the instructions here: Writing Center Online App

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Papper on her new grandson, Xavier Neil Papper!

Congratulations to our outgoing director, Dr. Carole Clark Papper, on the birth of her new grandson (and "tiny human") Xavier Neil Papper, who was born on July 30th.  We hope to get a picture soon, and we'll post it here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our Writing Center Made the New York Post!

Our own co-director, Dr. Daisy Miller is in the New York Post today, encouraging students everywhere to use their Writing Centers!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Reading for Pleasure Will Make You a Stronger Writer

Looking for a way to improve your writing for the rest of your life?  Get in the habit of reading for pleasure every single day.  The more you read, the better your writing will become!

Not sure what to read?  Try these strategies:
  • Ask friends, family members, or teachers what books they have enjoyed the most.
  • Go to your local library, get a library card (you usually have to bring a utility bill to show you're living in the area), and browse the shelves until you find a book that interests you.
  • Browse the books-on-CD section of your local library and choose something fun to listen to during your commute.
  • If you have children in your life, go with them to the library, help them pick out books that interest them, and read to them aloud.  
  • Browse the magazine section at a newsstand, convenience store, or library until you find something that captures your interest.
  • Subscribe to a daily newspaper or read an online version.
  • Find long-form journalism sites on the internet and see if you enjoy their in-depth analysis of the news.
  • Pick up the "What Can I Read?" handout outside the Writing Center's main location in 102 Mason Hall.
Remember, if you don't enjoy what you're reading, it's fine to stop and sample something else -- if you just keep trying, you will eventually find materials that you love to read!

Hofstra Undergraduate Peer Tutors to Present at the 2013 Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing

Congratulations to our undergraduate peer tutors Melissa P. and Melissa R., whose research presentation, “What’s in a Name?”--crafted with the assistance of Dr. Daisy Miller and Dr. Carole Clark Papper--has been accepted to the 2013 National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing in Tampa, FL!