Faculty FAQs

What is the philosophy of the Writing Center?

The Molloy College Writing Center exists to support the development of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students as writers and researchers. Our guiding principle is that writing well is something we can each learn through disciplined practice, using clear guidelines. The Center is a place for productive discussion about writing. Our services generally include one-on-one sessions focused on any writing project in need of revision.

The Writing Center's mission is to improve student writing proficiency through a collaborative exploration of the writing process. In each session, we use the paper at hand as a springboard to engage a student to think critically and to examine a student's particular areas of need. We are more concerned with developing a student's abilities than creating a flawless, "A" paper: the Writing Center is not an editing or proofreading service. Instead, we suggest improvements and aid students in developing new techniques and approaches to writing.

Since becoming a better writer is a process that requires continued practice, students who want to improve their writing should come to the Center multiple times throughout the semester. During the course of a session, we may be able to address only one or two areas of concern, so the student is ultimately responsible for the quality of the paper and for making any corrections that a consultant suggests. We have a wealth of paper and online resources to aid students in the development of their writing. 

Who are the writing consultants?

The Writing Center is staffed by professional consultants with years of experience who are all instructors in the Molloy English Department.

How can I promote the Writing Center to my students?

Encourage students to take advantage of our free services by including Writing Center contact information in your syllabus and mentioning us when you give assignments.  Share anecdotes from past students about how the Writing Center has helped them. You can also schedule a classroom visit for a consultant to deliver a brief overview of our services and procedures and hand out promotional materials.

Can I request that a consultant come to my class to talk about the services the Writing Center offers?

Yes. All you need to do is fill out the Classroom Visit Request Form. We recommend scheduling this visit early on in the semester.

Can I formally refer a student to the Writing Center? Can I request verification?

Yes. Just fill out the referral form and make sure the student brings it to his/her appointment.  The Writing Center will inform you via e-mail within two weeks if the student has complied.

Can I require my entire class to visit the Writing Center for a particular assignment?

Yes. While most instructors simply encourage students to visit the Writing Center, or require visits on a student-by-student basis, it is up to you if you would like to make a visit mandatory for an entire class. However, past instructors have found that a more effective method for getting an entire class to the Writing Center might be a positive incentive, such as extra credit. Nevertheless, we do ask that you first contact the Writing Center so that we can prepare accordingly. Additionally, we have found it is quite helpful to schedule a brief classroom visit so that a consultant can explain our services and procedures to your students. 

How can I maximize a student's session with a consultant?

Each instructor is unique and students must adapt to a class's particularities. Let students know your expectations, grading policies, how aspects of each assignment are graded, and any pet peeves you have. Although we welcome students at any stage in the writing process, we encourage students to bring us serious drafts along with a copy of the assignment sheet or rubric. You can also send a copy of your syllabus or particular assignments to writingcenter@molloy.edu for us to have on hand.

Does the Writing Center offer workshops or presentations?

Yes. Throughout the year, the Writing Center holds a variety of workshops aimed at improving various aspects of student writing. We will notify the Molloy community via e-mail and flyers about all upcoming workshops. You can have a consultant speak to your class about a particular topic by filling out the Classroom Visit Request Form

Will consultants comment on my assignments or grades on a student's paper?

A consultant will never conjecture about a given grade or what grade a paper "should receive." In fact, we will not mention grading at all; we focus on a student's overall development and progress as a writer. A consultant will never make evaluative comments about an assignment or an instructor's feedback. Rather, a consultant will use an instructor's comments to help guide a student towards fulfilling the assignment and encourage dialogue between students and faculty regarding evaluation and feedback. We are aware of the possibilities of miscommunication as a student travels back and forth between us and the classroom, so please contact us if you have any questions about a student's session.

What if I use a modified version of APA or MLA?

Writing consultants adhere to the standard APA 6th ed. and MLA 8th ed., but we will always defer to the instructor's guidelines. If you use a modified documentation style, it is useful to inform your students of this and possibly include models or templates in your syllabus. You can also inform the Writing Center to avoid any potential confusion.

I've heard about the green APA handouts. Can I get a stack to distribute to my students?

Students are always welcome to drop by the Writing Center and pick up our APA/MLA handouts, which are also available on our Research Documentation Styles page.  If you submit a Classroom Visit Request Form, a consultant will provide a brief overview of a documentation style and distribute handouts. We also have a variety of other handouts that address specific stylistic and grammatical issues.

My students seem to be having trouble with the Reference List/Works Cited page. Will a consultant look it over to make sure it's correct?

We will guide students by directing them towards models and templates, but since we are not an editing service, we will focus on larger issues of development, organization, and coherence. Most student questions regarding the Reference List/Works Cited page are addressed in our handouts, the Molloy College Guide to MLA and APA, and website links, all of which are available here.

I teach a Writing Intensive course. What can the Writing Center do to help?

Consultants can collaborate with you to formulate strategies for meeting the Writing Intensive requirements and to offer constructive feedback on your assignments.

My students keep telling me they can't get appointments before my assignment's deadline. Is there anything I can do?

Unfortunately, the demand for the Writing Center is usually higher than the number of available appointments, especially during midterm and the final weeks of each semester. We recommend that students schedule appointments well in advance of assignment due dates (they are allowed to schedule up to a month in advance), and we encourage students to keep the appointments they do make.

Can I offer the Writing Center any feedback?

Yes. You are always welcome to schedule an appointment with the Coordinator. You can also fill out an anonymous survey to help us better meet your needs and the needs of your students. NOTE: The username for the survey is the first half of the faculty member's email address (example: for jsmith@molloy.edu, the username is jsmith), and the password is the faculty member's ID number.