Writing Support

Frequently Asked Writing Assistance Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Writing Center! Below, you will find answers to some of the most common questions about our services and staff. Any questions or concerns not addressed below can be submitted to writingcenter@linnbenton.edu or (541) 917-4708. 

What happens in a typical Writing Center session?

Generally, the student will guide the direction and content of the session based on their individual needs, questions, or concerns. Most of our online sessions take place over Zoom, and the Writing Assistant will ask you to share your screen so both people can see your document. Once a focus has been identified, the Writing Assistant will read the paper aloud with the student and discuss appropriate ideas and strategies to help the student revise their paper.

How can I confirm my Writing Center visit for my instructor?

If you have met with us over Zoom, we can send your instructor an email to confirm that we met with you. Just be sure to let us know that you need us to do so. 

If you have submitted your work through the Online Writing Lab (OWL), you can click a box in the submission form that will automatically send a confirmation email to your instructor. This confirmation email does not include your form responses; it is just a brief email to confirm that you have submitted a document to the OWL. 

How long does a session last?

The length of a session varies greatly according to the complexity of students' projects, the overall development of their paper and ideas, and the question or concern being addressed. However, sessions last, on average, about 30 to 45 minutes. Since we’ve gone fully remote, we recommend that you allow an extra 15 minutes in case there are technical difficulties that need to be addressed during the session. If we have three or more students in our Zoom waiting room , we limit sessions to 30 minutes until all students are served. If you want a guaranteed 45-minute session, sign up for an appointment through TutorTrac (see “How to Make an Appointment”).

How do I make an appointment for a 45-minute session?

To schedule an appointment, you can go to tutortrac.linnbenton.edu and log in using your student ID number and password. All students enrolled in credit classes are already enrolled in TutorTrac; the first time you log in, you will use your student ID number as your username, and your password will be your birthdate. Your birthdate needs to be in the following format: YYYYMMDD. For example, if your birthday is July 20th, 1992, your password would be: 19920720. Our "Schedule a Zoom Appointment" page has instructions for this process, including a video tutorial.

How do I attend my Zoom appointment?

When it is time for your appointment, you will need to log in to your TutorTrac account. On the main TutorTrac page under “Upcoming Appointments,” you should see a link to your Zoom meeting. This link will appear 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. If your Writing Assistant doesn’t arrive on time, please call (541) 917-4708 or email writingcenter@linnbenton.edu--there may have been a technical difficulty that prevented us from getting to you. Please feel free to call us if you have any trouble and we’ll do our best to walk you through the process.

Here is a video tutorial that will walk you through the process for attending a Zoom appointment through TutorTrac.

How does the Online Writing Lab work?

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a place to submit work online and receive written feedback. Students simply go to the OWL page, click on our submission form, and log in using their student email address. During this process, they provide information about the assignment, their goals, their paper's strengths, and any questions or concerns they have. Once submitted, one of our assistants will provide personalized feedback within 48 business hours, unless submitted over the weekend or holiday (in which case it might take slightly more time).

 

 

For Instructors

The Writing Center is currently offering our services completely online due to COVID-19. We now offer Zoom drop-in hours, Zoom appointments, and asynchronous feedback through the Online Writing Lab. LBCC instructors and staff can contact the Writing Center by emailing Instructional Specialist Chessie Alberti at albertc@linnbenton.edu or calling (541) 917-4708. 

Despite adjustments to how we offer support, our work remains the same. Our mission is to help students across the curriculum to develop their writing skills and confidence through one-on-one coaching. We have conversations about all aspects of writing, including organization, clarity, grammar, citation, tone, rhetorical awareness, revision strategies, and writing anxiety.

Here are some ways instructors have used our services: 

  • Offering extra credit for a Writing Center visit
  • Referring students to us who may need extra help
  • Bringing their own writing (such as assignment prompts or syllabi) to us for feedback
  • Inviting us into their synchronous Zoom classroom 
  • Mentioning us as a resource on assignment prompts, syllabi, and course shells
What we do

  • Ask for the assignment prompt before we start each session

  • Discuss global and higher-order concerns first

  • Treat writing as a process in addition to a product

  • Listen closely to the student’s concerns

  • Let the student guide each session

  • Help the student learn grammar rules and, when appropriate, identify patterns of error

 

What we don't do

  • Write the essay for your student

  • Edit your student’s work into a perfect paper

  • Suggest a grade

  • Make comments about an instructor, unless they are positive

  • Guarantee a student uses our feedback (whether or not a student changes their work after a session is up to them)

 

 
 

Instructor FAQ

How can I give my students a “tour” of the Writing Center, now that it’s all online?

We love working with classes directly. If you hold synchronous class time, we can schedule a 10-minute virtual “tour” of our online resources. Please email Chessie Alberti at albertc@linnbenton.edu to schedule a visit.

If your course is housed in Moodle, you can also link students to our Moodle page at: https://moodle.linnbenton.edu/mod/page/view.php?id=613017 The most straightforward way to share the page in your Moodle course is with a URL Resource. You can contact Paul Tannahill (tannahp@linnbenton.edu) if you have any questions about this process. 

If your course is asynchronous and not housed in Moodle, please link students to our web page directly. It is best to use a link to the website rather than copy/pasting our information, as we occasionally need to make changes to our availability.

 

How can I confirm that my student has had a Writing Center session?

Here are the confirmation methods we recommend:  

  • For Zoom sessions (appointment or drop-in): Students can request that their Writing Assistant email you directly through the writingcenter@linnbenton.edu email account to confirm their session. 

  • For Online Writing Lab responses: Students can check a box in our submission form and enter your email address to send an automatic confirmation email to you. 

  • For any type of sessionSome instructors assign a Writing Center reflection, which is typically a short essay asking the student to describe their experience, what they took away from the session, and what changes they chose to make to their work afterward. This can help students stay present, think critically, and process what we tell them. 

If a student forgets to ask for proof of their visit, we may be able to retroactively confirm their session. To see if this is possible, you can email the student's name and ID number to Chessie Alberti (albertc@linnbenton.edu).

I plan to require, recommend, or incentivize visiting the Writing Center for a particular assignment. How can I make this process go as smoothly as possible?

First of all, thank you for supporting our service and helping us reach your students! Here are some tips for helping us manage a potentially large influx of students from a particular class: 

  • Email Chessie Alberti at albertc@linnbenton.edu with the timeline of your assignment, so that we can make sure we have adequate staffing.

  • Encourage your students to make appointments rather than dropping in. 

  • Send us a copy of your assignment guidelines, so that we know what to expect. 

That being said, we are always prepared to support your students with whatever projects they bring to us.

 

Is it helpful for me to provide the Writing Center with copies of my assignment guidelines, rubrics, and syllabi?

Yes. We do not keep assignment prompts on file for students because keeping track of the guidelines is an important part of the writing process that we want to reinforce. However, we love to "read ahead" whenever we can, so that we are prepared before your students come in. This gives us the chance to discuss the assignment amongst the staff and come to you with any questions we might have. 

If you are working on a new or unusual assignment idea, it is especially helpful for us to have a copy of the assignment ahead of time. You can email these to Chessie Alberti at albertc@linnbenton.edu. You are also welcome to set up an appointment with Chessie to chat with her directly about an assignment.

 

How do you hire Writing Assistants?

Our Writing Center is run on a peer mentor model, which means that our Writing Assistants start out as LBCC students who have been recommended by a faculty member. Each Writing Assistant receives substantial training in writing center pedagogy, in addition to CRLA tutoring certification at Level 1 and Level 2.

I have questions about the feedback my student received during a Writing Center session. Who should I contact for more information?

Please contact Chessie Alberti at albertc@linnbenton.edu or call (541) 917-4708 to chat with her directly.

 

 

Becoming a Writing Assistant

Writing Center schedules change every quarter to accommodate the classes and availability of the student writing assistants; hours typically range from 3 – 12 hours per week. Writing assistants work with students on writing assignments from any class and at any stage of the writing process. Most writing assistants not only work with students through our drop-in service and 30-minute appointment system, but also respond with written feedback to students who use our Online Writing Lab (OWL).  Consideration for a writing assistant position is based on a variety of factors:

  • Because writing assistants often keep their positions for 2-4 years, openings are infrequent; hiring does not happen every year. When hiring occurs, it will be before the start of the fall quarter to allow for intensive training.
  • Students must be recommended by a faculty member; though this is often provided by an English instructor, other faculty may also recommend students.
  • Students must have a “B” or better in Writing 121.
  • Students must have an in-depth interview with Chessie Alberti, the Writing Center Coordinator, prior to submitting an application for the position through the Human Resources Department.
  • Students must submit a sample of their writing to the Writing Center Coordinator.
  • Students must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Students participate in ongoing training and team meetings.  Writing Assistants have been certified through the College Reading & Learning Association - International Tutor Training Program.  What does this mean? Once writing assistants have reached Level I status, they have completed 25 hours of tutoring, 10 hours of training, and favorable evaluations by students and their supervisor; Level I training is mandatory for all staff, but most Writing Center staff have achieved Level II status which entails 50 hours of tutoring, 20 hours of training, and favorable evaluations.

 

 

Benefits of Being a Writing Assistant

The skills you develop as a writing assistant will be personally enriching and transfer to any future career. Writing assistants develop and practice excellent interpersonal communication, develop valuable critical thinking skills, increase their self-confidence, and improve their own academic performance by guiding other students through the learning process. To inquire about writing assistant positions, please stop by the Writing Center and talk to the Writing Center Coordinator. The Writing Center is located in the Learning Center (second floor of Willamette Hall, above the library).

 

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