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Writing Center guarantees students better papers
Emily Wemhoff
Antelope Staff
Photo by Emily Wemhoff
Writing consultant, Jacqui McCormick, provides senior Nathan Huebert with ways to improve his paper. "Those at the Writing Center have the skills available to increase your writing assignment grade," Huebert said.

Stumped and staring at the screen? Trying to generate ideas, revise grammar and punctuation or avoid wordiness to amp up a paper that’s a big part of your grade? Go to the Writing Center to confer with a writing consultant.

Amanda Granrud, director of the UNK Writing Center and new part-time director of Academic Success, guarantees that “you will leave with a paper that’s better than the one you came with.”

Writing a paper can be a difficult process for many students whether they are freshmen or seniors.  The UNK Writing Center, located on the second floor of the library, provides free one-on-one assistance to help students at any stage in the writing process.

Friendly and well-trained consultants are available to provide tailored instruction based on the student’s writing. This year, the writing center has 10 consultants ranging in a unique variety of Honors students, grad students and professionals.

Granrud emphasizes that the consultants were chosen to help guide students towards successful writing skills. “It’s not a dry cleaning service or fast food where you drop off your paper and go; it’s collaboration between writer and consultant.”

Junior Jacqui McCormick, a student consultant from Harrison majoring in elementary education, was recruited from her composition class to work at the writing center.  Not only does she enjoy helping other students with their writing, but she is also fascinated with the skills that she has gained.

“When you read someone’s writing, you get a view into their world and culture,” McCormick said.  She said she learns to understand the English language better through working with international students. “You learn about your own language when consulting someone who is just learning it.”

The UNK Writing Center, which began in the late 1980s in Thomas Hall, is the only writing center in Nebraska that is open seven days a week.  “Writers write at all times in the day and night, and we offer a variety of hours,” Granrud said.  Walk-ins are welcomed, but appointments are preferred especially near midterms and finals.

Besides providing one-on-one consulting assistance with students, the UNK Writing Center offers classroom visits and workshops.

Student consultants can also present papers at regional meetings. Writing consultant, Collin Grimes, a junior political science major, will present a program about eConsulting at the Midwest Writings Center Association conference (MWCA) in Grand Rapids, S.D. in October.

Anyone who visits the writing center will become more competent and confident as a writer, a skill that Granrud believes will that last a lifetime.  Every year, more students come to the Writing Center and walk out with  better-structured papers.  From 2008 to 2009, the Writing Center hosted 3,313 consultations, which set a new record in a 20-year history.

“It’s important to have the writing center available to students because it’s an important part of the University’s commitment to students. It’s our obligation to support their academic success,” Granrud said.

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