The Center for Writing Excellence, located on the fourth floor of Kent Library, offers students the chance to receive input and advice on writing assignments of any length or type. In most cases, appointments are not required if your paper is less than ten pages in length. During busy times in the semester, you may want to plan ahead and get your paper done early.
Getting Help with a Paper
If your paper is shorter than ten pages in length, you may walk into the Center for Writing Excellence and, after a short wait, get help with your paper. Undergraduate, as well as graduate papers are welcome. The staff at the Center for Writing Excellence will help you analyze and improve your paper in terms of grammar, syntax, citations and overall clarity. They will not correct or write a paper for you, but will help you work with what you have done to make the best paper possible. You should keep in mind that the middle and end of a semester are very busy times and plan your schedule accordingly so you do not procrastinate and find yourself without help on your paper.
Submitting a Draft
It also is possible to submit your paper via e-mail and receive comments and suggestions for the improvement of your paper if your paper is six pages long or less. If your paper is longer than six pages, you must come to the Center for Writing Excellence for a face-to-face conference. Graduate students submitting major papers (such as a thesis) must also come for a face-to-face conference. As a rule, a staff member will respond to your e-mail within 24 hours. Submissions may not be responded to as quickly during the middle and end of a semester and if a paper is sent on Friday, it will not be retrieved until Monday and may not get a response until Tuesday. However, the staff usually are able to respond to a submission the same day they receive it.
When you submit a paper, you should write on the submission page the questions and concerns you have about your draft. You can find writing samples as well as some questions that may help you on the Center for Writing Excellence Website.
The staff at the Center for Writing Excellence realize that citing and documentation can be one of the most archaic and tedious parts of the writing process. The Center for Writing Excellence offers online citation manuals for MLA, APA and many other documentation styles and the staff are willing to help you in person with your documentation questions. To view the online documentation guides, please visit: http://ustudies.semo.edu/writing/wc/quickref.asp.
Grammar and punctuation errors can ruin a paper even if the content is interesting to the reader. Maintaining the professionalism of your writing by cleansing your paper of grammar and punctuation errors is an essential part of the writing process. The staff at the Center for Writing Excellence will help you identify and correct these errors in your paper. Online aids also are available for grammar and punctuation questions. To view these aids, please visit: http://ustudies.semo.edu/writing/wc/quickref.asp.
The Writing Proficiency Exam (WP003)
College graduates entering the work force must be competent writers. Thus, the University insists not only that students earn credit in freshman composition, but also that they pass a writing proficiency exam after completing 75 credit hours of coursework. All students, with the exception of those pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or those transferring to Southeast with 94 or more credit hours, must complete the Writing Proficiency exam to be eligible to graduate.
The WP003 is a two-part exam given in the same format as the final examination for freshman composition (WP002). During Part I, students are given 50 minutes to write an essay of approximately two pages. Part II of the exam requires the student to write a persuasive essay of approximately two pages with a 70-minute time frame. In Part II, students are given two to three pages of source material to refer to while writing.
The exam is holistically scored by a group of readers chosen from a variety of academic departments. To find out about upcoming test dates, please visit: http://ustudies.semo.edu/writing/wap/wp003.asp.
If you do not pass the Writing Proficiency Exam, you may take the exam again in a subsequent semester; you may appeal your score; or you may submit a portfolio of your writing. For more information about these options, please visit: http://ustudies.semo.edu/writing/wap/wp003.asp#fail.
For more information and for the hours of the Center for Writing Excellence, please call (573) 651-2159 or visit: http://ustudies.semo.edu/writing/writing_lab.asp.