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Readers and Writers Unite: Welcoming the University Writing Center (UWC) to Moody Memorial Library (From the 2019 ITS & Libraries Magazine)

Baylor University strives to provide its students with a diverse, well-rounded education — one that sets it apart from other learning institutions. One cornerstone of this objective is the nourishing of the written word. Required writing and English classes provide the foundation, but for many students and faculty, help is needed beyond the classroom. For writers — both burgeoning and professional — an honest and constructive reader is vital to the success of his or her writing. Nothing improves a piece of writing like the support of an eager editor. In short: writers need readers. And that is why the University Libraries are proud to be the new home of the University Writing Center.

The University Writing Center (UWC) transitioned to Moody Memorial Library during the spring semester, augmenting its ability to provide quality writing assistance to students and faculty across all disciplines. Previously located in the Carroll Science building, many students had the perception of the UWC as a place for English and writing-related majors only. Its new location in the center of campus, however, makes it possible for the center to extend its hours and provide a larger space to serve more students, faculty, and staff.

“This move emphasizes that we are a true university writing center,” said Dr. Kara Poe Alexander, director of the UWC. “Being located in Moody Memorial Library sends a clear message that we are a university service. We serve students and faculty from any major, any discipline, at all skill levels, and all academic years.”

Thanks in part to a generous donation from siblings Ken Betterton and Karen Ro Betterton Heuberger in memory of their parents, Roe and Jessie Betterton, the space housing the UWC features a more comfortable and updated environment on the second floor of Moody Memorial Library, complete with new furniture and refreshed carpet and paint. This quieter area is free from the distraction of changing classes, and students writing and researching in Moody Library no longer have the make the trek to Carroll Science for help on their papers. Its centralized location and accessibility to all majors builds a strong community of writers across campus, rather than just in the English department.

“We are excited to welcome the University Writing Center to their new home in Moody Memorial Library,” said John S. Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries. “The idea of putting a centralized service like the UWC in a highly visible space makes good sense: it expands the Center’s reach and helps further position the Libraries as a partner in academic success across the full spectrum of students from all majors.”

The UWC’s services are available for a variety of writing projects, including but not limited to academic, technical, scientific, multimodal, and digital writing, along with job application materials and theses. Writers are welcome to bring their work at any stage in the writing process. Consultants can work with clients to develop ideas, strengthen style and organization, and perform minor or major editing. Online appointments are also welcome via the UWC website.

“We believe that writing is a powerful tool not only for communicating existing ideas but also for discovering new ones, and that all writers benefit from sharing work in progress with knowledgeable, attentive readers,” said Dr. Alexander.  “The UWC consultants work with writers in supportive, encouraging, and nonjudgmental ways to facilitate self-discovery and inspire confidence as writers learn, grow, and take ownership of their words and ideas.”

The UWC is committed to shaping a writing community that unites every part of campus. Through hosting writing groups and retreats and extending its services to include the design of class presentations, instructional consultations, and workshops, the new University Writing Center will allow every discipline the opportunity to form valuable and rewarding writing practices. This composition allows them to serve English writers as well as English language learners and international students.

“We hope to change the long-term perception about writing that writing is something only done in English,” said Dr. Alexander.  “Rather, writing and writing well are important in multiple disciplines and careers.”


This story originally appeared in the 2019 Baylor University ITS & Libraries Magazine. To join our mailing list for future editions, email us at university_libraries@baylor.edu.