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Online Writing Center Available to IUP Students

Posted on 10/25/2011 10:53:46 AM

Students who are taking online classes, who are off-campus, or who cannot visit the Writing Center can now get assistance with their writing assignments from IUP’s Online Writing Center.

The IUP Online Writing Center conducts tutoring sessions using Google programs that make it easy for students to schedule an appointment online and then share their paper with a tutor. Using chat and screen-share features, the tutor and student can work on the paper together.

According to Dr. Ben Rafoth, director of the IUP Online Writing Center and professor of English, the OWC has already helped about one hundred students since last semester when it began. “It’s ideal for students who would like to get help from a tutor, but cannot come to the Writing Center,” Dr. Rafoth said.

During an online tutoring session, the student and tutor use a chat screen to discuss the paper, usually beginning with a question from the tutor: “How can I help you?” It’s important for the writer to describe the assignment and one or two areas of concern. The tutor will offer comments and suggestions that the student can use to revise their paper. Tutors can also provide Web resources to help students proofread their papers and format the references.

“Using the OWC is easy,” says Mitch James, assistant director of the Writing Center. “It begins with scheduling an appointment and becoming familiar with a few instructions.” First, students should visit the Writing Center website and select “Meet Us Online.” The next step is to log in and make an appointment on Google Calendar (at least forty-eight hours in advance). Once the appointment is accepted, the tutor will be ready at the appointed time. Instructions are provided on the website for how to upload and share papers with the online tutor.

The IUP Online Writing Center is part of the IUP Writing Center, which is still open for walk-in tutoring days and evenings in 218 Eicher Hall, located on Grant Street across from the Wallwork Suites. For more information, visit the IUP Writing Center website, or call 724-357-3029.