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Paper Reading Services

We don’t write your students’ papers for them; we help them to write their papers better.

The Writing Lab staff hopes that you will encourage your students to use the Lab’s paper reading services and thus help us to train prospective graduate assistants, English teachers, and editors to assess others’ writing skills.  Most of you tell your students that writing is a process and that good writing needs to be proofread and edited.  Let the Writing Lab’s paper reading staff be a part of that process.

If you are planning to inform your students of our paper reading service, here is some information for your syllabus or an addendum to your syllabus.

Paper Reading Expectation

During the one-hour session, the Writing Lab expects the paper reader to engage in dialogue with the student about requested features of the student’s paper, including but not limited to content, grammar and mechanics, documentation style, and manuscript format.  It is expected that using a question-and-answer brainstorming technique, the reader will elicit input from the student in order to offer suggestions regarding clarity, development of ideas, correctness of expression, sentence form, organization, language, style, citing sources, etc.

Syllabus Information

Some information (written from your first-person point of view) to include in your syllabus regarding required paper readings:

  • The paper-reading requirement is mine, not the Lab’s;
  • Make appointments early, using the paper due dates given on the syllabus;
  • Use the walk-in service only if no appointments are available since there is an undetermined waiting period for walk-ins;
  • Paper reading sessions are scheduled for one hour, with forty-five to fifty of these minutes for the interactive reading and the remaining minutes for the reader to provide feedback to the instructor;
  • Be sure to take your assignment and your textbook to the appointment, especially if you are writing about a piece of literature. For documented papers, take copies of your sources;
  • Interact with the paper reader;
  • You do not have to accept all of the paper reader’s suggestions;
  • Ultimately, the final product is your responsibility;
  • Neither the paper reader nor the Writing Lab is responsible for the grade you receive;
  • Don’t expect the paper reader to write your paper for you or to make it “perfect”;
  • The paper reader will assist you with revisions in these areas: content, manuscript form, surface features and mechanics, and documentation style;
  • Your paper should continually be in flux and subject to additional revisions even after a paper reading;
  • The paper reader will send me feedback regarding the session.

Consider giving your students extra points for participating in an interactive paper reading session in the Writing Lab. 

Most Requested Paper Readings

Final Draft: One-hour session for ungraded, finished papers. A paper reader will review all components of the student’s paper: manuscript format, content, documentation style, and correctness of expression.
Grammar Check: One-hour session for review of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, word usage, spelling, and sentence construction only. A paper reader will help the student locate patterns of error in his or her paper.
Paper Tutoring: Thirty-minute to one-hour session (depending on the paper’s length) for graded papers only. Walk-ins only – no appointment necessary. A paper reader will explain the student’s highlighted/marked errors and recommend appropriate revisions.
Paper Reading Revision: Thirty-minute to one-hour session (depending on the paper’s length) for ungraded or graded papers. A paper reader will focus on revising and/or rewriting a paper, particularly papers to which instructors have responded, "Take this paper to the Writing Lab."