Hours of Operation:
The Writing Center is available Monday through Friday in the Fall and Spring semesters. Each semester the hours of operation change due to staffing and class schedules.
Contact or visit the Writing Center for hours of operation, or to make an appointment.
The Writing Center is a place where writers of all abilities are invited to participate in a comfortable and collaborative environment where they can consult with tutors to improve and enhance their skill and confidence by clarifying, practicing and promoting techniques of effective writing. The Writing Center is free to all Criswell College students, and is provided as the foundation of the Real World Communication Initiative of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
The Writing Center provides consultation with grammar, punctuation, formatting, organization, citations, and various other writing-related concerns. A Writing Center tutor will sit with you and address your concerns for any writing assignment, including research papers, essays, book reviews, short stories or poetry. The Center also collaborates with professors to provide a comprehensive and consistent educational experience.
What to Expect
In a typical session, you and a tutor will sit together at a desk or table with a printed copy of your writing assignment. The tutor will listen to your questions and concerns and help you address them. The tutor may ask you to read portions of your writing so you can hear how the text flows. We hope you will feel comfortable exploring with the tutor various aspects of writing skills such as organizing a paper by developing a thesis statement and outline. Tutors also help with the mechanics of grammar and punctuation, formatting, footnotes and bibliography, and with finding the appropriate voice and tone.
The normal session length is 45 minutes. There is no minimum time. However, depending on the availability of tutors and the number of students signed up for that day, sessions may go longer than 45 minutes if the tutor agrees to continue.
If you need help with a particular assignment, you should bring a printed copy of the work you have done as well as any materials or guidelines the professor has given related to the assignment. Of course, you should also have well defined questions or concerns on your writing and/or the requirements. Keep in mind, however, that the Writing Center is designed on a casual basis, so you may come in with simple questions or concerns beyond particular assignments or classes.
Writing Center Tutors
The Writing Center tutors are current or former students of Criswell College who are among the top students of their class and have demonstrated superior writing skills. They have a love for writing and communicating their skills. The collaborative environment of the Writing Center is designed to enhance the academic experiences of its tutors by encouraging professional development and frequent self-reflection on their roles as tutors and writers.
Make an Appointment
Appointments are made by contacting the Writing Center or by calling 214.818.1373. The Center is a drop-in service, so students may come on in. If there is an appointment or the tutor is helping another student you can put your name on a list with a time to return to be helped. If you are late to an appointment, your sign-up spot will be held for approximately five minutes before being given to a waiting student.
The Writing Center is located in the room adjacent to the Charles Shelby Computer Lab on the first floor of the Education Building directly across from the elevator.
What are some of the mistakes that students make when visiting the Writing Center?
Many students wait until the assignment is due before coming into the Writing Center. There is very little the Writing Center can do on such short notice. It is best to begin early and meet several times as the paper is going through different drafts. We will attempt to do everything we can to accommodate you, but please don’t leave assignments until the last minute.
Papers cannot be dropped off to be proof-read and picked up later. The Writing Center has been established to support students in improving their writing skills through direct consultation (one-on-one) either face to face in the Writing Center or online through e-mail. The revising process is the best way to learn, and we encourage you to be fully engaged at every point. Tutors will not read and correct whole papers.
When working at formatting a bibliography, you should have the bibliography written out. Do not come to the writing lab with a stack of books or with fragments of information from the internet.
Make sure you bring in the assignment information the professor has given to make sure that the help given is in accordance with what the professor has assigned.
A collection of reference works and popular books are available to you at the writing lab. The resources of the computer lab are also available next door. We also encourage students using the Writing Center to explore the resources that have been made available by other writing centers around the country. For the Criswell College Manual of Style, click here.