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Click here for more information about the writing center.

Our Center is funded by UMA Bangor.  It is a campus unit designed to help students achieve the essential learning associated with various departments at the College.

We  provide students with tools with which they can enrich their lives by mastering critical thinking skills.  We  emphasize critical analysis, problem finding and solving, and fluency and flexibility in one’s thought process and verbal expression. Here at the Center, we wish to create a climate that encourages students to question assumptions and to, develop responsibility for their own learning.  We support them as they solve writing problems creatively, and we adapt instruction to provide for individual differences, fostering a student-centered approach.  We employ a wide range of resources to engage the imagination of our students,  and, most important, to  expand and extend the learning experiences of students while focusing on their future employment needs.

When students take ownership of their writing, through drafting and peer and teacher conferencing, their writing becomes more personally rewarding as well as more technically proficient.   We provide students with full services and resources during our open hours.  In order to do so, we are obligated to be staffed during our open hours to accommodate at least two scheduled appointments, 1-2 additional walk-in sessions, and prearranged class visit/workshop commitments. We emphasize the attainment of skills such as critical thinking, becoming self sufficient seekers of knowledge that is associated with life-long learning, and transferring informational skills that are necessary for achieving success in our complicated society.

The Writing Center is located at 214 Belfast and the phone number is 262-7753.  We will be open 9:30 am-4:30 pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Wednesday 9:30 am-3:30 pm and Friday 10:00 am-2:30 pm. However, we will be flexible regarding time and will accommodate the schedule to meet the needs of the students at UMA Bangor.

The Writing Center is a resource you should use to help you improve your writing.  The Center is for both inexperienced and experienced writers who are encouraged to take full advantage of the Center’s services.  The staff can help you invent, organize, and revise your documents to meet the specific requirements established during class. Take the time to become familiar with this resource and use it regularly.  Please note:  To improve the effectiveness of the writing consultation, set up an appointment with a consultant a day or two before the assignment is due.  To further facilitate effective writing consultations, students can drop off papers as long as they sign up for a 15 to 20 minute writing consultation at the same time.   The Writing Center is not an editing service.  When you attend a session, you will sit down with the consultant and have a 15 to 20 minute conversation about how to improve your writing.  Together we will address specific needs by helping you to see where you need to enhance your writing.

Your Professor may provide you with referral forms which will help the consultants understand and therefore, address relevant issues relating to your assignment.

How a writing consultation works:

A writing consultation is an interaction between the writing consultant and the author,  It requires that both be physically present.  For that reason, a student cannot drop off an essay and pick it up later.  However, we have instituted a new procedure whereby a student may drop off their work as long as they make an appointment to sit with the consultant after a day or so for a consultation.  These consultations may last between 5 to 30 minutes.

Stage one (pre-text):

Find a table in the consulting area of the Center for your session. Sometimes students want to work at a computer and the consultant will sit with them. During this stage, the consultant will use the referral form from the Professor or have the author fill out the Writing Task Report.  This report is meant to establish an interpersonal relationship between the consultant and the author. The author signs into the Writing Lab. The questions on these reports require the author to explain the writing situation, or in other words, the criteria that will define the success or failure of the author’s written performance.  In the absence of a written explanation of the assignment, the writing consultant will work from the author’s explanation.  At this time the consultant will ascertain where the author is in the writing process, when the assignment is due, any specific requirements that their Professor wants included in his writing and if anything in particular is giving the author trouble. The consultants may ask the client about what process appeals to them most and will clearly explain how the process works before the start of the session.

Stage two (text):

After the reports have been completed, the writing consultant will either read or have the author read the essay (often this is done out loud). The consultant may stop when they want to discuss some aspect of the writing.  The writing consultant will take notes, and afterward, discuss the relevant issues she or he has identified.  During this discussion, the consultant will coach the author, providing explanations and suggestions that will help the author revise.   It is helpful for the author to bring two typed copies of his work.  This “pens off” approach is essential because the author must own the text, completing his or her own work.  If the consultants edit the text, the author will not learn from the experience and will no longer be the “author” of their own work.  We encourage the author to write the paper he has started and not have the consultant write the paper they have in mind. At this stage, the consultants may show the author where to find answers to questions regarding grammar, punctuation and documentation in handbooks located on the bookshelves and on-line.  For students with special needs and disabilities, the Writing Center has software that will help authors to create and visualize webs as well as create outlines-INSPIRATION, write essays by speaking into a microphone- Dragon Natural Speaking and read the author’s writing to them- READ TO ME.

Stage three (post-text):

Writing consultants will articulate specific actions authors can take to improve their essays and their writing practices in general.  Central to this stage is summarizing what has been covered and what the author should do next.  This approach encourages the author to continue drafting or revising by providing a clear set of goals the author can pursue.  Once these suggestions have been addressed, the author is encouraged to return to the Center for additional help.
After providing explicit goals for the author, the consultant will complete the “Course Work Completed Report” which will be kept on file and entered into a database.  The information in this database is later used to complete the Writing Center Activity Report.

If a student is unclear about what constitutes their assignment, or if the consultant believes that further guidance from the Professor would be helpful in giving the author our best effort, the consultant will notify the Professor of the student’s attendance at the Center.  On this notification sheet, the consultant explains the session with the student and asks the Professor to explain what they would like to see the student achieve in their next visit to the Writing Center.
If there is a need for further sessions, the consultant will set up an appointment using the appointment sheets that are in a container on the door of the Center.

Writing Center Recourses:

Dictionaries:

We keep several on hand in the Center.  They are useful for spelling and for clarifying meaning. 
Style Manuals:  We have the latest editions of the most popular style manuals including, Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker.

Handbooks:

The Writing Center staff has created handbooks on the following subjects:

  • Abstracts
  • Report writing
  • Job skills
  • How to write a lead
  • Parts of a memo
  • Medical writing
  • College admission information
  • Sample letter format
  • Writing across the curriculum
  • Using logic in writing: Logos, Ethos and Pathos
  • Fallacies
  • Rhetorical writing
  • Exposition
  • Introductions, body and conclusions of an essay
  • Paragraph writing
  • Grammar review
  • Sentence completeness and clarity
  • Outlines
  • Writing an essay
  • Active voice
  • Passive voice
  • Prepositions
  • Pronouns
  • Proofreading
  • Summaries
  • Thesis statements
  • Employment documents
  • Writing academic proposals
  • Searching the worldwide web
  • Book proposals
  • Literary terms
  • Rhetorical terms
  • Citation – MLA and APA
  • Research paper writing
  • Critical reading
  • Writing poetry

Ms. Barbara Pincus, Writing Center Director
Phone # 262-7753
E-mail Address: Barbara.pincus@maine.edu

Writing Center consultants' schedule for the current semester can be found on the bulletin board outside of the Center door at 214 Belfast Hall.

Internet Resources which would be useful links: