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Creating Confident Writers

Dr. Lock - CREW Director.


Center for Research and Writing meets the needs of student writers of all levels.

Everybody writes, but not everyone writes to their best ability. The Weatherford College Center for Research and Writing is here to change that.

Created nearly two years ago, the CREW provides a welcoming environment where students can come for assistance on papers in all subjects. Professional tutors are available to assist with thesis statements, citations, formatting, using data basis and overall readability of a paper.

The CREW, located on the first floor of the Academic Building in room 121, is also available for any students looking for a place to study.

“The space is mixed use, so right now there are students studying individually, there are a couple working with writing tutors and, at the front of the room, we have an anatomy and physiology tutor here every afternoon to meet with students in A&P classes,” said CREW Director Dr. Sarah Lock. “And then we have students who come in to use the computers. They can print here just like they can in the library.”

To an extent, the CREW is an extension of the library. Lock said most research instruction is provided by librarians, but tutors in the CREW can help students navigate databases and brainstorm sources for a project early on in the research process.

“We can work with students at the beginning of the process as they are coming up with ideas,” Lock said. “Or if they have a draft and they are unsure if they are coming across clearly, or need help with a thesis statement, citing their sources, or if they are just really unsure about their writing and want to have another person read it and get some reassurance. We handle all kinds.”

More than 1,637 visits by students were recorded in the CREW during the fall semester. On average, 35 students use the space each day, and about eight of those seek help with a writing project. Distance learning students are also able to email the center for help.

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Luke Tipton regularly uses the center to up his writing for his English course.

“The writing center has helped hone my skills in writing and organize my ideas,” Tipton said.
“The tutors are patient, kind and knowledgeable. It doesn't matter if you need hours of help with the whole paper, or if you need an unbiased second look at your final draft, the writing center will welcome you with open arms and expert direction. I would highly recommend the writing center.”

The CREW facilities a low-stakes atmosphere where students can feel comfortable seeking feedback on their work, Lock said.

“Sometimes students are intimidated to go talk to their instructors,” she said. “I think it’s good because students can develop a relationship with the tutors here so they have someone who
sees their work over the course of the semester. It’s really a complement to what the instructors
do during their office hours and in class.”

As an English professor, Lock has witnessed how writing centers change students’ mindsets to think about themselves as writers in various subjects or walks of life.

“A lot of times people think, ‘Well, we only write in English class,’ and ‘The only writing I’m going to do is in English class,’ but that’s not true,” she said. “A lot of our classes require writing, and so it’s nice to have a place with tutors with experience in different fields.”

Tutors in the CREW have backgrounds in social sciences and technical writing as well as more traditional English backgrounds.

This semester, Lock has begun hosting writing workshops in room 127 of the Academic Building
to further strengthen students’ writing. A workshop on avoiding plagiarism was held in February.

The next workshop covers thesis statements and topic sentences, and it takes place from 12:30
to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3. There is also a workshop scheduled for 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, on using sources in course assignments. All students are welcome to these writing workshops.

The CREW is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday. For more information, call 817-598-6398, email or drop by and speak with any of the tutors on duty.

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