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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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UWC pushes to improve students’ writing skills

The new undergraduate University Writing Center (UWC) opened in Sterling C. Evans Library on Sept. 17. The UWC is part of a push to improve Texas A&M students? writing skills.
?Our students? abilities to write are very important for them to be successful in any field,? said Dr. Mark Weichold, associate provost for Undergraduate Programs and Academic Services. ?Employers look very seriously at writing skills when hiring our students.?
Weichold selected Dr. Valerie Balester, associate professor of English, to be the interim director of the UWC until a permanent director is chosen by a search committee.
?Our ultimate aim is to improve students? writing skills across campus. We provide a place for undergraduates to get help at any step or stage of the writing process,? Balester said. ?We eventually plan to help faculty members in designing their writing assignments.?
Balester said the new UWC is taking over and extending the services of the writing center in the John R. Blocker Building, which was funded solely by the English department.
In Spring 2000, the Core Curriculum Review Committee made a recommendation to the University to implement new writing-intensive courses and to create the UWC. A&M students pay $8 in the form of a student activity fee for use of the UWC.
Ashley Murray, a freshman political science major, went to the UWC on Tuesday to receive help on a writing assignment.
?I think the service they provide is well worth the fee,? Murray said. ?I was confused about an assignment, and they helped to clarify it. They make suggestions, but don?t fix it for you. As a freshman, the writing center is really helpful.?
The UWC also provides writing consultation online at http://uwc.tamu.edu. Balester said they are currently working to expand the UWC?s online services. The Website provides information on writing forms, many links to other writing centers and links to information for faculty seeking help.
The Website also links to the Online Writing Lab (OWL). OWL allows students to email specific writing questions with a copy of their assignment to the UWC. OWL also provides information on citing electronic sources.
The UWC is located in Room 1.210 B on the second floor of Evans Library. The center is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. UWC staff recommends making appointments, but walk-ins are accepted when time permits.

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