Ten page research paper due in a week? No idea where to start? Here’s a tip: head over to room 240 in Raynor Library. After about a half hour in the the Norman H. Ott Memorial Writing Center, you might be surprised at how quickly things turn around. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone. Many first-year students and even some upperclassman aren’t familiar with it. Maybe it’s because it’s nestled away in the corner of the library. Maybe it’s because those who have heard of it have misconstrued understanding of what the Writing Center actually is. Whatever the reason is, it sure is a shame. Because one thing is for certain, those who use this great resource definitely have an advantage over those who don’t.
The Writing Center, first established in the 1970s, offers a variety of services to students.
“Our main purpose is to help any writer, and at any stage in the writing process, whether it be breaking down an assignment, brainstorming ideas or polishing a paper,” said Bryan Gast, assistant director of the Writing Center and current grad student at Marquette. “We help all disciplines of writing across the curriculum.”
Gast has worked at the Writing Center for two years, and he, along with a staff made up of undergraduate and graduate students of the English department, offer one-on-one tutoring to students and even faculty.
“Everyone can benefit from coming to us,” he said. “We serve a lot of first-year students, but we can do a lot to help upperclassmen as well. Even the best writers need to talk about their writing.”
A typical session will usually last 30 minutes or an hour and will be spent helping the writer in whatever way necessary.
“Bringing in the prompt or assignment guidelines is especially helpful,” Gast said. “And if students have any sort of draft ready, we love to read them and brainstorm before their appointment.”
Appointments can be made by phone at (414) 288-5542, online through Marquette’s website or by simply walking in. The Writing Center is open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.