The Writing Center is located on the 2nd Floor of Heath Academic Center inside the English Department, room 214.

Scheduling Appointments

Students should drop by as early in the week as possible to reserve a half-hour appointment with a writing consultant. For writing projects longer than six pages, students should schedule two half-hour appointments, back-to-back, with the same consultant. Students can also reserve appointments by calling x4774. Requests for appointments left on voice-mail, however, are not guaranteed.

Students should arrive on time or five minutes early with the following items: the writing project (on disk as well, if the student chooses), the course assignment description, and paper and pens. At the end of the appointment, the consultant will stamp the paper with the official Writing Center Stamp.

In the case of an emergency, students must cancel at least one hour before the appointment or else be recorded as a “no-show.” No-shows are also recorded when a student is over five minutes late for an appointment.

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Grammar Bugaboos

In addition to offering informed consultations for writing projects, the Writing Center offers one-hour guided sessions for specific sentence-level problems called Grammar Bugaboos. Professors may refer students for Grammar Bugaboo appointments by printing and filling out the Grammar Bugaboo Check Sheet, and students may also refer themselves. The Bugaboo Bee Points (a numbered rubric for faculty response assessment) and the Bugaboo Bee Key (glossary for the numbered rubric) are additional resources for enriching writing skills across the curriculum.

Grammar Bugaboos include apostrophes, commas, commonly confused words, fragments and clauses, modifiers, pronouns, subjects, verb forms, subject-verb agreement, run-on sentences (comma-spliced and fused), and sentence combining (concision, phrasing, variety). The sessions are based on the Writing Center’s handouts and supplemented by interactive grammar activities using Blue Pencil software available in the Writing Center’s Computer Lab.

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Critical Thinking & Writing

The Writing Center’s “Critical Thinking & Writing Unit” offers a series of PPT slideshows and worksheets to help students develop their ideas on paper. Several writing exercises challenge students to practice their analytical abilities and fine-tune their organizational skills. Handouts on peer-editing, writing article summaries, and evaluating secondary sources are also available to supplement this unit.

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What is a Writing Portfolio?

Writing Portfolios help students keep their writing projects together to perceive continuity in their learning. Students’ progress with writing skills are periodically evaluated in the Portfolios. Faculty colleagues use the Portfolio Referral Form to refer students. You may require Portfolio students to receive stamps for their written projects, homework, and completion of Grammar Bugaboo activities. Consultants write up Portfolio Session Reports about students’ individual appointments. The Writing Center Director assesses the Portfolios during the semester using the Portfolio Evaluation Form. Writing Portfolios ultimately engage students in process-oriented, independent learning.

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Writing Center PowerPoint Slideshows

We offer a downloadable set of Power Point slideshows on the following topics.

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English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL students will find trained personnel, computer resources, print & on-line resources, and above all, a welcome environment at the Writing Center. The following links offer on-line interactive writing exercises and listening labs:

ESL Tip Sheet for 10 Languages (from Keys for Writers, Ann Raimes)
ESL Cyber Listening Lab: http://www.esl-lab.com
Additional ESL Resources: http://eslus.com/eslcenter.htm

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Writing Center Library

The Writing Center Library houses a collection of research style guides, composition handbooks, and literature anthologies for use inside the Writing Center. Students are welcome to study quietly in the library area before and after appointments.

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Computer Lab

Consultants can help students develop their writing projects directly on our PCs and Macs. Students who wish to work with tutors on the computer should bring their essays on disk and paper. The Computer Lab is strictly reserved for Writing Center use with consultants during appointment times and for students participating in Writing Circles.

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Writing-Enriched Courses across the Curriculum

The Writing Center supports writing-enriched courses (cumulative writing requirement of 10 to 20 pages or more, revision, and Writing Center involvement) across the curriculum, including Core classes, upper-division classes in the majors, graduate-level classes, and SPS courses. We also offer on-line teaching resources, a newsletter, surveys, and Writing Center Library reference tools on writing pedagogy to encourage across-the-curriculum dialogue. Take a look at sample writing-enriched course materials by Vanguard faculty.

Dr. Barbara Allen, Graduate Education: Portfolio Reflection Questions
Professor Silvie Grote, Kinesiology: KINE 183, KINE 231, KINE 323 Physiology of Exercise, KINE 325 Article Reviews & Critiques, KINE 325 Motor Learning & Human Performance
Professor Lia Hansen, Theatre: Theatre History I & II
Dr. David Marley, History/Political Science: U.S. Survey, American Religious History, Research Methods in History & Political Science
Dr. John Wilson, History/Political Science: Core 100 (Cornerstone), HIST 156C (U.S. History), HIST 203C (World Civ I)

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Electronic Consultation Sessions

If you are a commuter student or full-time working student, you have the option of receiving constructive feedback electronically. To do so, please call x4774 to set up an appointment with a writing consultant. Over the phone, you will be given an e-mail address to which you’ll send your writing project. Please send your writing project well in advance of your appointment time. A writing consultant will e-mail you his or her written feedback during your appointment. Please do not e-mail writing projects without reserving an appointment with a consultant first.

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Student Writing Circles

Students who enjoy writing and studying with their peers in the Writing Center’s Christ-centered environment of collaborative learning may sign up to participate in one of various four-person Writing Circles that meet in the Writing Center on a space-permitted basis. Writers of all sorts — fledging scribblers or flamboyant rhetoricians — are welcome to form their own circles for creative or critical writing, research projects, book club activities, course assignments, and group journaling. Inquire at the Writing Center for more information and refer to the Writing Circle Sign-Up Sheet.

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The Writing Center Prayer Box

Prayer requests left in the Writing Center Prayer Box are confidentially prayed over by the Writing Center Director.

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Writing Center Newsletter:
Rhema, The Living Word

The Writing Center newsletter, Rhema: The Living Word, features articles on composition theory and useful writing tips. Sample our newsletter articles from past, present, and future issues: