Over the course of the fall semester, Elon's Center for Writing Excellence has adapted to a changing world in order to continue offering the best possible writing support to students, faculty and staff.
The Center for Writing Excellence, the university’s support system for all cross-campus writing-related activities, is offering a number of new and reimagined services in order to continue supporting the campus community during the ongoing global pandemic.
Within the Center for Writing Excellence, Elon’s Writing Center and Writing Across the University have adapted to these uncertain times by continuing to offer in-person resources while developing new virtual services for students, faculty and staff.
“We think writing is so central to what we do at the university, both academically but also personally and professionally,” said Paula Rosinski, director of Writing Across the University and professor of English. “Language and writing are primary ways a lot of us live our lives, and so we think it’s really important for us to keep that continuity.”
A new Writing Across the University initiative offers faculty the opportunity to receive feedback on writing assignments and supporting materials they design for their classes. Rosinski will personally answer specific questions about a writing assignment or a faculty member’s evaluation criteria, rubrics or peer-response handouts to help craft materials that achieve course goals and are clear and engaging for students, whether they are learning face to face or virtually.
“Faculty are teaching content through writing, but they’re also teaching writing,” Rosinski said. “The idea was to quickly get faculty feedback that would help them ensure that they’re developing assignments that can be productive for students in either context.”
The program also offers faculty anonymous feedback on their assignments from two experienced Writing Center student consultants, who will offer insight into how students are likely to understand, respond to, and approach the assignment.
Writing Across the University also offers several virtual Writing Boot Camps for faculty and staff to devote regular, uninterrupted time to any personal or professional writing. The Boot Camps, hosted twice a month on Saturdays, have traditionally taken place in person but have transitioned online this semester as a result of COVID-19 safety measures.
The Writing Center has continued to offer one-to-one and group consultations by approximately 40 trained student consultants. In addition to the typical face-to-face consultations, students now have the option of having virtual writing consultations throughout the semester.
“It’s been really important for students to have access to that sort of near-peer relationship both in person and virtually, especially when it comes to writing as it’s something students can be anxious or unsure about,” said Julia Bleakney, director of the Writing Center and assistant professor of English.
The Writing Center is also hosting a number of virtual workshops, including The Writer’s Cafe, a weekly drop-in writing session on Monday evenings open to all students at any time, and the following upcoming workshops:
- Nov. 23: Polish Your NCUR Abstract Writing and Feedback Workshop
- Dec. 1: Polish Your SURE Application workshop
See the full list of Writing Center workshops here, including workshops offered in partnership with Learning Assistance.
Bleakney says these virtual sessions allow students to stay connected while continuing to hone their writing skills with the support of their peers.
“We want to try to build community since we don’t have the same kind of community in person,” Bleakney said. “We’re trying to find other ways to do it.”
The Center for Writing Excellence is prominently located on the first floor of Belk Library. The Center – comprising The Writing Center and Writing Across the University – is both a physical hub and a symbol of Elon University’s commitment to the centrality of writing to academic, professional and civic success.
Learn more about the Center for Writing Excellence and all of its offerings here.