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Why should I send my students to the Writing Lab?

The FHSS Writing Lab offers tailored writing help to students taking classes within the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The advisors can help your students with issues specific to social science writing such as APA or Turabian formatting. We can also help them improve their general writing skills. Each of our advisors is majoring in the social sciences and is trained on how to advise the types of writing found in the social sciences.

How can I send you information about my course writing assignments?

Simply email us with your current syllabus, assignment description, and rubrics so we can anticipate assignment deadlines and give course-specific help to your students.

What is involved in a visit to the Writing Lab?

Appointments in the Writing Lab are 20-30 minute conversations with an advisor about the student's writing. The student and advisor will read through the paper together, and the advisor will answer any questions the student has. They will work together to strengthen the paper and the student's skills as a writer. The student and the tutor may discuss any aspect of the assignment at any point in the writing process depending upon the needs and desires of the student.

Who are the advisors in the FHSS Writing Lab?

The advisors in the FHSS Writing Lab are undergraduate students from a wide variety of disciplines within the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. They have been chosen as staff members based on their writing experience and tutoring skills. Each advisor has an individual approach, but all have the same goal to help students better understand and enjoy the writing process. For more information about our current advisors, click here.

Can someone come to my class to make an announcement about the FHSS Writing Lab?

Absolutely! At any point in the semester, we can send one of our advisors to make a brief, 5-minute announcement in your class. We will give your students bookmarks containing our contact information and, upon your request, can bring a sign-up sheet for them to make an appointment in class. To schedule a class visit, simply send us an email and let us know when you would like us to come.

What should my students bring when they come to the FHSS Writing Lab?

To help your students make the most of their visit to the Writing Lab, we ask that they are prepared with a copy of the assignment (in any stage), and an idea of what we can do to help.

How much does it cost to use the Writing Lab?

Nothing. Writing Lab services are free.

What can the Writing Lab offer that my TAs can't?

The FHSS Writing Lab offers a perspective from trained tutors outside the class that TAs may not have. While TAs focus on course material, the Writing Lab helps students learn to apply and organize that material in their writing. Our tutors seek to not only improve the quality of a student's paper, but also to improve the student's overall writing ability. Furthermore, encouraging your students to use the FHSS Writing Lab can allow your TAs to focus more on class material rather than teaching your students how to write.

Can my students drop off their paper at the FHSS Writing Lab to be edited or proofread?

Although the FHSS Writing Lab focuses on global issues of writing such as appropriateness, focus, organization, and development, we have specialists for grammar and punctuation. To sign up for an appointment with the grammar specialist, click here to see the times the grammar specialist is available.

I have specific concerns that I would like the advisors in the Writing Lab to focus on when my students come in. How can I make sure they are addressed?

Professors can email us or meet with our student manager to discuss those things you would like our advisors to know. If you would like to speak to our advisors personally, you can come to one of our weekly staff meetings and explain both the assignment and your expectations for it. We have found this is an effective way to understand what a particular professor is looking for.

How do I know which of my students attended the FHSS Writing Lab?

The Writing Lab will e-mail the professor with a list of all the students who have come in from a particular class in a specified time period. For those classes that are required or receive extra-credit, the Writing Lab will send each student that comes in an e-mail documenting their appointment. The student can show this e-mail to the professor if further verification is required.

How can I successfully motivate my students to bring a draft to the FHSS Writing Lab?

Recent research done in the Writing Lab led to the discovery that professors who offer an incentive have a much higher percentage of students who bring a draft to the FHSS Writing Lab. Many professors make it part of the final paper grade (e.g. 5 points of the total assignment), some award a few extra credit points, and others simply promote the lab to their students as a good resource for students who would like help with their writing.

I have some suggestions for improving Writing Lab services. Where can I send them?

Please email us with any suggestions. We welcome your feedback.

Are there handouts to help students with specific writing issues?​

Handouts from the Writing Lab are intended to help students and faculty produce professional writing. The handouts are created by the Writing Lab student advisors. See the Handouts tab above.

To learn more about the FHSS Writing Lab:

To help students feel more confident about using the Lab services, many instructors invite one of our advisors to deliver a 5-minute in-class presentation. In-class presentations provide essential details about the Lab (location, hours and policies), and they also give students the opportunity to ask questions about how we can meet their individual needs. After the presentation, students receive bookmarks with our contact information and website address. Please schedule your introductory presentation at least one week in advance by emailing our Lab Manager at​

To learn social science writing principles or grammar /punctuation:

We are willing to create course-specific presentations of your choosing on writing principles. Popular presentations involve using APA or Turabian; however, other topics include creating a thesis and coherent structure; and building paragraphs that include a topic sentence, scholarly evidence, and analytical commentary, etc. Advisors can create a customized presentation for your class ranging from 10-50 minutes, depending on your interest.