Writing Pad helps students with academic writing projects
By James Mayo
photo by Tommy Yang
Writing Pad director Christina Cavaca assists student
Rebecca Baker with a writing assignment in room 1813.
UW-Fox’s Writing Pad, located in room 1813, offers services to students looking for assistance with their writing.
"At the Writing Pad, our primary service that we offer is one-on-one tutorials with students," Writing Pad director Christina Cavaco, said.
"So what we do is, a student will come in with an assignment and wherever they are in the [writing process] is what we will help them with."
Staff members not only help students with current writing assignments, but also give them tips for future papers.
"Basically we offer everything you could look for in working on a paper with somebody else, aside from actual editing, we don’t do that for you. We give you the tools needed to be able to work on your own paper," Thomas Petersen, Writing Pad tutor, said.
The Writing Pad offers some services that students may not be aware of.
"The other cool thing is that we can help [students] with projects that aren't just assignment that they have to hand in," sophomore and tutor Breanna Everetts, said.
"If somebody has a personal story they’re trying to work out and they want somebody to run that past, they can bring that here, too... we can also help [students] with application essays for different places they want to transfer to."
"Some people have commented that it’s even a nice place just to come and do homework if they’re not working on an English assignment," Petersen said.
The Writing Pad holds a number of writing workshops every semester as well.
"The writing workshops are based on the skills that students most struggle with and that students could learn more than once…everyone explains [skills] in a different way and you need to hear [them] more than once, so these are the kinds of things I think about for the workshop topics," Cavaco said.
The workshops are scheduled twice a week, covering one topic per week. Each workshop lasts around a half-hour.
"My theory is that, having it twice a week, if one time period doesn’t work then the other maybe will work," Cavaco said.
"I also do a little five to ten minute discussion of whatever the topic is, so you don’t come into the workshop and the whole half-hour is lecture, it’s going to be a lot more hands-on than that."
Adding to the flexibility of the workshops, the Writing Pad also offers students the option of requesting their own tutorial topics.
"It’s a great thing to do if you’re a student and you know that you struggle with this particular writing skill. You can just schedule a tutorial and we can base that tutorial around that particular skill," Cavaco said.
The Writing Pad staff has received positive feedback from students who have gone in for help.
"Typically, when people leave the Writing Pad they thank whoever was tutoring them for looking at their paper and helping them out. The Writing Pad helps people to be confident with what they’re writing," Everetts said.
"Basically, we’ve been a big help and just have contributed a lot and other people are saying it’s a nice place to come in and just get help where we’re very low-pressure," Petersen said.
The Liberal Arts Essay Competition, a statewide event that offers scholarships to the winners, can also help students prepare their essays in some Writing Pad workshops.
"The Liberal Arts Essay Competition has been going on for eight years. It’s something that many students haven’t known a lot about," Cavaco said.
There are three awards for the amount of $2000, with one award reserved for a recipient in the University of Wisconsin’s two-year colleges.
Cavaco has gone to great lengths to provide students with additional incentive to participate in the competition.
"Not only will there be the $2000 scholarship, but I applied for campus-level prizes. If that funding comes through, there’ll be three UW-Fox students that write the essay that will get scholarship prizes as well, and then those three essays will be sent on for the UW Colleges prize."
More information about the Writing Pad’s essay contest can be found on their homepage at http://www.uwfox.uwc.edu/admreg/writingcenter.