Information for Faculty
The Farnham Writers’ Center is a student-facing component of the Colby Writing Department, which provides various services (e.g., one-on-one tutoring, credit-bearing courses) to promote a culture of writing among Colby’s diverse student body. Our peer writing tutors complete a semester-long course which covers the theoretical and practical aspects of tutoring before they are hired to join our staff. Our center operates under a collaborative model which views a tutoring session as a dialogic learning process where both the tutor and the tutee need to be equally involved in order for learning to take place. These collaborative sessions could range in focus from brainstorming to outlines to rough drafts to revisions; they could also center around any writing-related questions about content, structure, argument, grammar, and style. To help build students’ autonomy as writers, the FWC does not offer copy-editing services; instead, our writing tutors work with students to locate “patterns of error ” that might need their further attention.
How can you assist us in supporting your students?
- Provide clear assignment prompts
- If you use rubrics, share them with your students when the assignment is introduced
- Break down large writing assignments into smaller, deliverable chunks that will deter students from procrastination
- If you notice that a student in your class might need additional writing support, please meet with them to identify areas they need to work on before referring them to the FWC
- Refrain from incentivizing students (with extra credit, etc.) to visit the FWC. This might sound like a good idea in theory, but it is likely to put our tutors in awkward situations where students come to a session for the credit, rather than to work on their writing.
- Share with your students that the FWC’s philosophy is to engage students in collaborative conversations about their writing rather than to“edit” or “fix” their work for them.