Writing Skills Assistance Guiding Principles

Revised November 6, 2017

  1.  All Brandon University students are eligible to use the Writing Skills Centre, regardless of course level or subject area. Writing Skills Centre services are offered free of charge.
  2. The purpose of the Writing Skills Centre is to support students as they work to improve their writing. Students should not expect line-by-line proofreading, or for staff to correct or to rewrite the student’s work. Staff members help students learn to organize and structure their thoughts and supporting evidence, identify and correct mechanical errors (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc.), and they help students learn to use prescribed essay format/referencing styles (APA, MLA, CMS, etc.). Writing Skills Centre staff members work with students to discover the strengths and weaknesses in their writing. Students may bring in course assignments at any stage of the writing process, from the assignment of essay topics through to semi-final drafts, either before handing them in or after receiving feedback from their professors. Students may also consult with Writing Skills Centre staff members regarding other writing that will not be graded for course marks.
  3. In the case of a group assignment, all members of the group producing the work must be present during the appointment.
  4. Under no circumstances will a staff member help students with pre-assigned or take-home examination questions.
  5. Although staff may or may not have knowledge of the student’s discipline area, they will not advise students on the correctness of the information incl
  6. Writing Skills Centre staff cannot predict the grades that will be given by professors. When appropriate, they may suggest that the student ask their professor for clarification of assignment requirements. Staff may also review marked papers with students to explain or clarify the professor’s comments, but the assignment grade will not be challenged by the staff. Students must negotiate directly with the professor if they feel the grading is inappropriate.
  7. The Writing Centre does not identify or report plagiarism to professors. They do, however, routinely discuss plagiarism problems within the context of helping students learn to cite sources correctly. Their duty to protect students’ privacy prohibits staff members from notifying professors of suspected potential incidences of plagiarism.
  8. Whenever possible, on-campus students make in-person appointments, while off-campus students may make telephone appointments provided arrangements are made for work in progress to be submitted by email. Students at a distance will be required to call in for the appointment.
  9. Writing Skills Centre staff prefer that all written work be brought in printed in hard copy, double-spaced, and with 12-point font. Please bring course syllabus or assignment sheet so that staff can gain an understanding of the assignment expectations.
  10. The Writing Skills Centre is also a resource centre. Staff will encourage students to use a variety of resources to increase their self-efficacy with written assignments.
  11. Students who come to the Writing Centre with needs that would be better addressed elsewhere on or off campus are, whenever possible, referred to the appropriate source for help.
  12. We reserve the right to refuse service or to limit the number of appointments students may make in a given time period.
  13. A copy of these guiding principles is available on the Writing Skills website.
  14. All consultations with Writing Centre staff are confidential, and only Writing Centre staff members have access to records containing individual students’ names and service provision information. Any professors who ask for this information will be advised that no such data may be disclosed without the permission of the student(s) involved. When staff members consult professors for advice regarding assignment requirements, they do so without revealing the identities of the individual students involved (unless the students request otherwise). Students who access Writing Centre services are asked to sign an intake form that meets the requirements of the Brandon University Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.