Alcorn State University’s Writing Center

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Located on the first floor of the J.D. Boyd Library, the Writing Center is a beacon of hope for any students on campus who need help with their papers or are experiencing  a case of writer’s block. It is run by Mrs. Sewindia Scott and Dr. Murray Shugars and its purpose is to work to help writers improve their writing skills and to help them become independent.

The Writing Center is open to all students Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It also provides its services on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00pm. Dr. Shugars began setting up the Writing Center in the Fall semester of 2002. It was up and running the Spring semester of 2003. Dr. Shugars stated, “the vision of the writing center is to offer free face to face conversations about writing with trained professions.”

There are many services that the Writing Center offers. One of the first is helping students with their papers. Student consultants will help visitors to the Center become  better editors, writers, and proofreaders. Consultations are 30 minute long appointments and during this time they will ask if there are any concerns, focus on organization and content, help with research, brainstorming, reading and APA format. Students also come to use the computers if the lab is full and work on other assignments.

The Writing Center is funded by the Title III Program which is a federal program that funds initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) establishing educational programs. The Center receives the grant every year. It also receives support from other sources such as Alcorn State University’s the English Department and QEP Colon Writing Matters.

“The Writing Center would not be as successful as it is if not for the consultant students,” says Dr. Shugars. All of the consultants come from various fields. This is done intentionally so that all students will have a connection. Wilfredo Crespo, a Senior Business major from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, helps people with their Spanish skills and helps them develop personal and professional skills. Another consultant is Junior Psychology major Ruby Winter from Memphis, Tennessee. Winter stated, “A teacher told me about it and my love for writing and helping people led me to the Writing Center.” In order to be a consultant, you have to complete English Composition I and II, be recommended by an instructor and submit a resume and cover letter.

The Writing Center also has  Wednesday Workshops from 12:00 pm to 2:50 pm in the Media Center of the library. Every week it covers a different writing topic to help students better their writing. The first one of the Spring semester semester will be held Wednesday, January 25th. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Shugars. Last semester a total of 498 people attended Wednesday Workshops.

Kiante Carter, a Criminal Justice major from Monroe, Louisiana said, “Today is my first day attending the Writing Center and so far my tutor has helped me to understand my work. This is very beneficial to students.’’ Breanna Williams, a Pre-Nursing major from Houston, Texas said, ” The tutors really take time out with you.’’ You can contact the Writing Center at (601) 877-2473 or writing.center@alcorn.edu.

Patricia Square is a Sophomore Biology Pre Med major from Monroe, Louisiana. She will be a contributing writer for The Campus Chronicle for the 2017-2018 school year.

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