News & Notes from the Reading/Writing Center

Not Just in 423

The Reading/Writing Center is part of the Augustana Learning Commons, which are located right behind The Brew. Our room is specifically located in Gerber (CSL) 423.  We have a cozy room with some of the most comfortable chairs you will ever sit in (I’m currently in one right now).  Our faculty tutors, Lucas Street, Virginia Johnson, and Jake Romaniello, all have their own offices.  We have a few tables set up for tutoring and book shelves filled with helpful tidbits of knowledge. If you pick the right day, there may also be some snacks waiting in here for you.  Sound pretty cozy, right? Well we bring that coziness throughout campus!

The RWC is not just trapped inside of our room. We often have different activities going on throughout campus.  We host workshops throughout the year where we focus on different strategies for effectively doing homework and studying.  The most recent one was September 11th.  It focused on Active Reading and how to apply strategies for it into different types of majors.  Our next workshop will be this Sunday, September 25th, at 7:00 pm.  You can find us in the Andreen Basement where we’ll be giving tips on editing and revising papers.  You can bring your own paper that will be revised on the spot!  If that’s not enough, there will also be free Noodles and Company!

The RWC can also sometimes be seen at different events in relation with the Learning Commons.  The Learning Commons are made up of The Reading/Writing Center and Student Success Services, with our neighbors being The Office of Multicultural Student Life and The Office of International Student Life.  There is a large focus on improving learning skills in this little nook, whether it be through tutoring, helping ESL students, practicing study skills, or anything of the like.  This makes it easy for a student to come and get help with any sort of class they need, whether it be in science, English, accounting, or literally anything else.  Keep an eye out for many Learning Common, OMSL, and OISL events that will be coming up in the future!

And, if you need any more incentive, at the end of the term the Learning Commons will be giving away a free $25 gift card.  The more Learning Commons workshops you attend, the better chance you have at winning!

So, while one-on-one sessions are the specialty of the Reading/Writing Center, that’s not the only place you can find us!  If you ever attend a workshop or any other Learning Commons event, don’t be afraid to later stop by and see us in 423!

Don’t worry, it’s scary for us too!

Hi everyone!  My name is Daniel Williams, I’m a sophomore English and Secondary Education major, and I’m a new tutor at the Reading/Writing Center!  I’m just finishing up my second week at the RWC.  So far it’s been very enjoyable. I’ve had a few sessions and I’m really happy with the way they’ve gone.  Everyone working in the RWC is incredibly nice, so I didn’t even have to worry about taking time to feel at home.  I’m looking forward to working here the next three years!  Oh and one other thing:

It’s somewhat terrifying.

Looking at your peers homework and attempting to help them with it?  Holy cow.  You never know who might walk in, what sort of assignment they’ll have, if they’ll be hard workers or not, if their assignment is due in 15 minutes and they want you to fix it (because that actually does happen), etc. etc. etc.

But hey, no one has ever died in the Reading Writing Center!  And no one ever will.  Is it nerve-wracking to tutor your peers?  Most definitely.  Is it worth it once you know you’ve helped them?  Most definitely!

All of us working in here know that coming to get help on your work can be a scary thing.  It takes guts to walk through the door and schedule an appointment.  But just know that it can be tough for us too.  However, I can already tell that sessions will just get easier and less scary the longer I’m working here.  The same is true for students coming in to get help with their work.  Coming in the first time is scary.  The second time getting help is probably scary too.  But if you make it a routine, it will get easier to cross that threshold into the RWC every time.

And hey, do you know what else is scary? Not doing very well on an assignment that you know you could have gotten help on.

So overcome those fears, just like the peer tutors are, and stop in and see us at some point!

Come on in!

Have a paper you’re working on? A tough course reading you’d like to discuss? Reading/Writing Center tutors are here to help! Stop by during our open hours to make an appointment or see if anyone is available to help you right then and there. You can also request our help via Starfish. See you soon!

RWC closed for the summer; see you in fall!

Welcome Back; We’ve Moved!

That’s right… the RWC has moved up in the world (or, least, in the new Center for Student Life). Come see our new space on the newly renovated 4th floor near OSA and the new library computer lab. (So much “new”!)

Our regular hours are Monday – Thursday, 10-4 and 7-9, Friday 10-2:30, and Sunday 7-9. See you soon!

Workshop: Know Your Way Around MLA

Know Your Way Around MLA

Sunday, January 13, from 6:00-6:45 pm in Westerlin Lounge.

Reading/Writing Center tutors will provide useful tips on how to format MLA-style essays, use citations to establish credibility, and recognize and avoid plagiarism.

FREE Hungry Hobo subs and hot chocolate will be served, courtesy of RHA!

See you there!


RWC open for “business” Sunday, January 6th

Tutors are available, as usual, from 7-9 this Sunday. Stop by to have them look over a paper you’ve written or for help with reading or studying strategies.

Our weekly hours during the term are:

Sun: 7 – 9 pm

Mon – Thu: 10 am – 4 pm and 7 – 9 pm

Fri: 10 am – 2:30 pm

See you soon!


Workshop: Effective Group Presentations

Tuesday, December 4th, from 4:30pm – 5:00pm outside the Reading/Writing Center.

Our tutors will present useful tips on how to effectively contribute as group members to a project, deliver a group presentation as a unified team, and use PowerPoint or Prezi to enhance your presentation. Snacks will be provided.

If you have a group presentation coming up for LSFY 102 or another class, why not attend as a group and afterward spend some time in the library working on it?

(This is the first of two Off-Center Workshops winter term brought to you by the Reading/Writing Center. The second, Know Your Way Around MLA, will be held Sunday, January 13th.)


A Peer Tutor’s Perspective

It’s a Friendly Place… I Promise!

(by sophomore peer tutor Rukmini Girish)

So the big news for me this week is that I completed my first tutoring sessions. I’m a tutor at the Reading/Writing Center (2nd floor of the Tredway Library for those of you who don’t know where it is), and I tutored two amazing students on Tuesday. For obvious confidentiality reasons, I’m not going to talk about the actual sessions, but I am going to try and persuade you that the RWC isn’t a mean, scary place.

Going to any sort of “tutoring” center automatically has a stigma attached to it. If you have to be tutored, you’re not doing well enough, there’s something wrong with you. Not true at all! The RWC is a place for everyone. You can come in to brainstorm ideas about a paper, go over a first draft if you’re having trouble organizing, even just talk about time management with a tutor. You can come in for five minutes with a specific question, or you can come in for half an hour (the usual length of a session) to talk about an entire assignment.

What’s great about the RWC, in my opinion, is that most tutors are students just like you. We’ve all felt overwhelmed or unsure or angry with a grade or frustrated that a paper just isn’t flowing. And we’re not experts. If you come in and ask me how to cite a specific issue of a magazine in the Chicago style, the odds are that I won’t know the answer off the top of my head. But I can direct you to resources, like the Purdue OWL and various books on citation that we have in the RWC and we can figure out the answer together. I guarantee that in a tutoring session, the tutor learns almost as much as you do. And if we still can’t figure out the answer, we’ll go and ask one of the faculty tutors and figure it out with them.

We learn best when we talk, after all. As a first-year, especially, you don’t have to be perfect. You’re still adjusting to life away from home while trying to handle a workload that’s much larger than the one you were used to in high school. That’s tough, I’ve done it. But at the RWC, we’re here to help, so come pay us a visit!


Workshop: Writing Personal Statements

Tuesday, October 2nd, at 5:30pm in Olin 208 — pizza provided!

RSVP on AugieHub.

If you are planning to apply for graduate school your personal statement will be a powerful part of your application! Learn the qualities of an effective personal statement and how to get started. Appropriate for all class levels.