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UH Writing Center

Course & Workshop Services

Research Writing: Academic and Professional Communications
Offered either as an attached component to an existing lab/course or as a separate, stand-alone course, this module will provide students with an opportunity to hone both oral and written communication skills essential to complete the requirements of their chosen discipline, successfully publish (and present) their research, and compete as academic and professionals in the field.  Depending upon instructor requirements, the module may include written and oral communication workshops and information literacy workshops offered by the library staff.  Students will learn to critically analyze and produce texts relevant to their disciplines.  The module will address Core QEP competencies and can be designed to satisfy Core WID requirement.

Research Writing Assignment Design
Students produce stronger writing and are more comfortable with the writing process when they fully understand instructor expectations. Writing Center experts in pedagogy and instructional design are available to consult with individual faculty on writing assignments within their course in order to ensure that expectations and evaluation criteria are being effectively conveyed so that students are able to fully engage in executing the assignment.

Evaluation Rubric Design
In the current climate of educational accountability and transparency, in addition  to articulating the expectations and objectives for the courses they teach, instructors also want to make clear how student work will be evaluated.  Writing Center staff can assist instructors who include writing in their courses and/or projects in developing rubrics that make their requirements and desired outcome explicit to their students.

Assignment-Specific Writing Consultations
Many Writing Center-partnered courses utilize one-on-one consultations with writing consultants (peer tutors) in order to provide students support in the writing and revising process for their writing assignments.  Occasionally, this model is used to address the needs of only the bottom-performing students in the class (usually identified by their performance on a previous course assignment or a writing assessment), though often every student is required to attend at least one writing consultation prior to submitting the assignment.

Writing in the Disciplines Core Courses
As part of disciplinary “ownership” of writing, faculty members are encouraged to meet with Writing Center staff to discuss ways in which to incorporate writing instruction and support into their courses consistent with the Writing in the Disciplines Core outcomes and requirements.  Various services – such as faculty consultations with pedagogy and assessment experts and student writing instruction and consultations – are available to support the Core WID course upon implementation. More information about the university WID Core requirement can be found at:
 http://www.uh.edu/writecen/Students/Writing-in-Disciplines/WIDcoreCriteria.pdf

Support for Multilingual Writers
Although we are aware that few students come to the university fully prepared to write and speak the language of academia, the Writing Center also recognizes that multilingual writers (also known as nonnative-English-speaking or ESL students) experience a unique set of challenges. Hence, the support for multilingual writers will be integrated throughout any module and implemented as needed. Such support may include introducing students to discipline-specific writing conventions in the context of American academic writing, helping them notice salient linguistic and/or rhetorical features common to the field, addressing plagiarism and documentation issues, and training in self-editing techniques.

Writing Center instruction can also be provided in the following formats depending on college or department requirements and student needs:

  • Small group Writing Studios attached to discipline-specific courses
  • Workshops or series of workshops that address writing needs within the discipline
  • Lower division composition courses to familiarize students with the fundamentals of academic writing in their chosen field
  • Writing courses designed to prepare upper division and/or graduate students for their future professions
  • Individual consultations with discipline-trained writing tutors

 

Course-Integrated Writing Workshops
Designed to be both informative and interactive, course-integrated workshops typically incorporate both instruction on writing within the discipline and student exercises, usually composed of the analysis or composition of small discipline-specific writing samples.  Workshops often take place at the Writing Center and can be delivered either during specific class periods or outside of class of class time.  The following is a list of research related topics that Writing Center pedagogy specialists can deliver via workshops, course-based instruction, and/or small group, student driven weekly Writing Studios.  

Research Writing: Ethics
Attached to a Core WID course or other course, this module will introduce the characteristics and principles of ethical research.  Through small-group dialogue with their peers and peer tutors in writing studios, students will explore ethical norms of research practice in their particular discipline.  Such norms may include, but are not limited to, ownership of intellectual property, plagiarism, fraudulent data manipulation, and distortion in interpretation of research results.  Because these issues often concern all disciplines within a college, this module can also be offered as an interdepartmental, stand-alone course.

Research Writing: from Academic Journals to Popular Writing
Offered to upperclassmen, this module will explore the purpose of a text, analyze their audience, and identify rhetorical features that characterize different types of texts—academic, professional, and popular.  Discussions may be held in small group meetings, writing studios, as well as individual meetings.  While small group colloquies will encourage student engagement in critical discussions of texts, individual meetings with peer mentors will give students the opportunity to learn self-editing techniques.  Importantly, students will learn how to communicate their research findings effectively to different types of audience.

Evaluation of Research Sources
Writing Center specialists, through interactive exercises and team instruction, will help students attain a better understanding of how to evaluate sources by examining author currency, credentials, and purpose.
 
Critical Thinking and Its Relationship to Research
Writing Center specialists will lead students through a thought and writing process related to their research that will promote the development of lifelong critical thinking and learning skills.
 
Abstracts, Introductions, and Context in Technical Reports & Research
Writing specialists will explain the purpose, content, and style of different types of abstracts and examine introduction and background material in various types of research.
  
Paragraph Structure and Relevant Information
Writing specialists will help students identify techniques of writing effective, reasoned, paragraphs through discovery of  information relevant to purpose and topic.
 
APA Style and Effective Citation
In order to accurately document their research and avoid plagiarism, writing specialists will familiarize students with the conventions and purpose of formatting and the consistent use of APA style.

Self-Editing
Writing specialists will introduce students to techniques and strategies to help them develop skills relevant to the revision and self-editing process, including grammar and proofreading skills.

Progress Reports
Writing specialists will inform students of the specific characteristics of a progress report, and provide preparation strategies to aid them in the writing process. Group discussions will examine both good and flawed examples to help students recognize quality report writing.

Research Presentations
Writing specialists will discuss techniques for preparing and delivering effective presentations. The design and content of posters and PowerPoint slides, as well as instruction regarding general effective technical communication strategies is the primary focus of this module.

Using Graphics in Research
Writing specialists will demonstrate effective use and integration of illustrations, tables, diagrams, and other graphic and visual information included in research reports

Extended Abstracts
Writing specialists will present the structure and content of extended abstracts through discussion and examination of examples of extended abstracts.

Tone in Professional Communications
Writing specialists will lead students in a discussion of the differences of common forms of communication, such as letters, memos, and e-mails, and their standard components. Particular attention is given to suitability and appropriate tone.