As a student’s academic career progresses, the amount of research papers and related stress follows suit. It does not help that the list of rules when writing said research papers seems to always be changing. Thanks to UAB’s University Writing Center (located on the first floor of the Mervyn Sterne Library), students no longer have to feel alone.
How We Help You
By using face to face and online counseling, the University Writing Center helps students create polished papers to get the best grade possible and in the process teaches students helpful writing tips that will improve their overall writing performance.
UAB professor Jaclyn Wells is the Director of the writing center and also one of the many tutors offering guidance. “We have three types of folks [offering services]. We have adjunct instructors from the English department, we have grad students from the English department, and we have undergraduate students that serve as friendly greeters when people come in.”
No One Left Behind
While some younger students may believe they do not qualify for the center’s resources, Wells wants them to know that is simply not true. She said the center is open to students of all levels, whether freshmen or graduate students, and all majors. Students are also encouraged to bring in their papers no matter what stage the assignment is in.
“Some people have this idea that they can’t come to the writing center until their paper is finished, and that’s not true. We encourage people to come to the writing center during any stage of their paper writing. They can come in with an idea or they can come in in the middle. It really does not matter. We just want to help you.”
Recently the writing center has started offering an internship program in coordination with UAB’s internship director Cynthia Ryan. “If students want to intern here they have to take my class which is tutoring writing and then they can follow up with Dr. Ryan.”
Consultations are available by appointment and Wells wants any students skeptical of visiting the writing center to know that there’s nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. “Everybody needs feedback on writing. It’s not just a beginner thing. And by coming to the writing center, you’re doing what good writers do. Good writers get feedback, good writers revise. So when you come here you’re already doing what a good writer does just by virtue of coming here.”
Why It Is Important
As a Professional Writing major and aspiring writer, I feel that the Writing Center is more than just a valuable asset to a young writer’s career: it should be considered a requirement. It’s easy for students to feel safe with their writing style while they’re still enrolled in school and believe they don’t need help polishing their style. But as someone who has taken the plunge into the professional writing world outside of an academic setting, I can say that going to the Writing Center is vital to creating a more sophisticated writing style. They will help you learn the do’s and don’t’s of being a writer and can help you grow a thicker skin when it comes to taking constructive criticism. I believe everyone should visit the Writing Center if not for the sake of your college writing, but for any future job prospects they may have after graduation.