By Marketty Bleck
“Where do I start?” “The minimum is 1000 words, but I only have 600, how do I meet it?” “I guess I should get this edited. Right?” As college students, these thoughts pass through our minds at every step of the writing process. There’s no such thing as a perfect writer, and whatever level of writer you are, you will benefit from getting the aid of a trained tutor. McDaniel College offers its students trained peer tutors to help students through the writing process.
McDaniel College sends a writing center peer tutor to the Budapest campus every semester to aid its students. This semester, Raquel Sobczak, an honors student in her sophomore year, who is a double major in History and Religious Studies, is on hand to offer help. She is very active on the main campus and holds leadership positions in organizations such as Phenomenal Women and the McDaniel Dance Company. Raquel became a peer mentor to help others become better writers and to become an even better writer herself – to be an excellent example for others.
She is passionate about her position as a peer tutor, and the best part of her position is: “Watching people grow and being able to have a sense that every week, people are evolving in their writing. Watching people get better and knowing you are a part of that process. Knowing that you are helping some improve their writing and improve their overall academic performance is great. Sometimes I’ll walk into a session, and the person will show up crying and being able to go from crying, ‘I have no idea what to do’ to set up a plan, and they begin to feel confident that they can do an assignment. It’s like I helped someone today!… I helped someone stop a meltdown! I’ve been in that position. I’ve just looked at assignments and been like ‘Eeee.’”
So why should you use the writing center with your assignments? Peer tutors do more than help you with your writing. They are happy to work with you on planning, study skills, practicing, outlines, resume work, writing, and editing. At any stage of your goal, they are here to work with you to make you a better writer. Raquel says there is a stigma with some people that only ‘stupid’ people get tutoring, and that is a total myth. Everyone has something they need to work on; there is no such thing as a perfect writer. When we read over our work, we tend to read words that are not on the paper. It is helpful to have another person reading your work to ensure the flow and to help you edit your work.
Personally, I use the writing center for my assignments. I look forward to my weekly sessions with Raquel. We have worked on multiple writing assignments where she has shown me areas in which I can improve my writing and giving me guidance on how. She has edited and taught me some grammar rules that I am not very confident in, and lastly, she has even helped me practice for a presentation, giving me feedback on my PowerPoint, as well as my talk. The best part is a lot of the work that I see her about is building on what we worked on the previous session, so I feel even more confident in my skills each and every time we meet. The Writing Center also will give you the option to send your professor an email, letting them know you are working with them on a specific assignment.
Well, everything sounds great! How do I sign up? Signing up is easy!
Step 1: Head to https://mcdaniel.mywconline.com
Step 2: Sign up or Log in
*Remember to hit Budapest under Available Schedules
Step 3: Find an open appointment on your preferred peer tutor’s schedule.
Step 4: Fill out the form and Confirm your appointment!
*For more detailed instructions on how to make an appointment see below.
The Writing Center is one of the most essential aspects of McDaniel College. It’s an example of their desire to build up their students. The part I appreciate the most when signing up is one of the last questions, What is your preferred pronoun? I noticed it the first time I signed up, and I love the message this sends. Anyone, no matter what you need help with or who you identify as is welcome to put your flow into your writing. What are you waiting for? Go make an appointment TODAY!
How to make an appointment:
Signing up for an appointment is super easy. First, head to the McDaniel College Writing Center Website, https://mcdaniel.mywconline.com. Second, Sign up or Log in to the site (if you have any trouble, please contact Dr. Adamson, and he can send you a helpful email with instructions). Third, find an open appointment (this is a white box) on your preferred peer tutors schedule. If it is blue, the peer tutor is unavailable. If it is green, the peer tutor is in another session. Be sure to write down your appointment because once you book your schedule, your space will turn green too. It can be hard to figure out which area to click if you need to go back to edit your appointment. Sessions are 30-60 minutes, and you can schedule up to 3 a week. Lastly, the site will open a new window. Create New Appointment. Confirm the date and time of your appt. You can book a face to face or an online appointment. The form asks you a few things like information on the course, such as the name, instructor’s name and email, the writing stage you are on, and what skills or concept you would like to work to improve. Lastly, you can attach any work that you’ve already begun, such as research, drafts, or your assignment details. This will give the peer tutor an idea of what you will be working on. Confirm your appointment, and you are good to go!