Writing Lab Information and Policies


English Department Writing Lab
We believe the Writing Lab is one of our department’s best assets as well as one of our students’ most valuable tools for writing well; indeed, students are encouraged to view the lab as a tool they have available to them to help with their revision process. Our goal is that, rather than relying on making ‘corrections’ to their essays, students learn, through conversation and engagement with their written work, to make holistic revisions, truly re-visioning their own work.  Students are expected to use the Writin Lab rather than seeking extensive help with drafts during ISHP.
What is the writing lab?
The writing lab is staffed each class period by an English teacher from the department. After making the appointment themselves by signing up in the writing lab, students attend a writing lab during their study hall class period or during their English class; students are NOT permitted to make an appointment during any other class. On the day of the appointment, students should report to the lab at the time of their scheduled appointment. There are four appointments, twelve minutes each, available per class period, each with a specific starting time as noted in the appointment book . Because of this the English Department highly encourages students to make their appointments in advance, preferably on the day the assignment is given, to ensure that a spot is available.
Where and how do I make an appointment?
The writing lab is located next to the study hall room in room 335. Sign up in the appointment book at the front desk.
What if I cannot make or miss my appointment?
Canceled appointments must have the approval of your classroom teacher: if you know in advance that you cannot make a scheduled appointment, please speak with your teacher and she/he will initial your cancellation in the appointment book. You can then make a new appointment.
No shows to the writing lab result in a no-show slip: this is given to your classroom teacher and will result in a detention during ISHP.
How many appointments can I make for a paper?
You can have as many appointments as you’d like, provided you sign up for only ONE appointment at a time. After a writing lab is completed, you can sign up for your second, third, etc.
What should I bring with me to the writing lab?
Students are expected to come to the lab prepared with a fully revised, clean copy of their essay, the assignment sheet and any previous drafts their classroom teacher has already commented on.
What can I expect from the writing lab teacher?
Writing lab appointments last roughly 12 minutes. Conferences focus on one or two of the Six Traits of writing: Ideas, Organization, Voice, Sentence Structure, Word Choice and Conventions.  Teachers will commit to assisting students with their thesis statement and one body paragraph; however, if time permits the teacher may be able to review additional parts of the draft.
The writing lab teacher will most likely want to know a few things about the assignment and your goals for the essay ahead of time: be prepared to explain the assignment and your thesis or main idea.Also be prepared to tell the writing lab teacher some specific areas in which you’d like help. For example, do you need help with more specific word choice? Are you unsure of your organization? These are the kinds of things you will look at together.
As time allows, the writing lab teacher may also help you to determine whether you have formulated a “correct” introduction and thesis, topic sentences which support that thesis, transitions, paragraphs that develop logically from the topic sentences, or problems in spelling, punctuation, grammar.
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