The Writing Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has changed its name to the Writing Lab. Dr. Nichole Stanford, director of the Writing Lab, explained the reasoning for the name change.
Stanford explained that the connotation of the word “center” tends to be associated with support services, which they do, but they wanted to put more focus on the rigor. “Center” may give people the idea that the writing team would just aid them in their writing assignment. While this is true, they also want to create lasting habits in students’ writing.
The word “lab” brings more focus on the work the team will do and how they will help students. The team of tutors, all of whom are graduate students in English, will provide research based methods to improve your writing.
Something their research led them to was how writer’s block occurs because of nervous system dysregulation. To combat this, writers should find a state of calm.
People will find calm in different spaces, so the writing lab has certain areas set up to resemble spaces like a living room, outdoor area, cafe and more. Students can figure out which area best suits them and then choose to work on their writing there.
The Writing Lab offers a free 50-minute writing session with a tutor. Stanford points out that the student’s tuition has already paid for the writing session. In these sessions, the team of tutors will aid in any part of the writing process: brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising and integrating your sources.
In the relaunch of the Writing Lab, they have recently partnered with the reference librarians and the Advance Student Research program.
When in a session and the tutor believes that the students’ sources could be stronger, they will send the student to the reference library. The reference librarians will help students find stronger sources to support their writing.
The Advance Student Research program can help students after their writing to help them with internships and publishing opportunities.
Stanford explains the Writing Lab can be useful to all students, not just students who may struggle with writing.
“If you are a weak writer, we’ll make you strong. We’ll help improve your writing. If you are a strong writer, you’ll also come here because you need another set of eyes to look at your paper. If you tend to procrastinate, you can set an appointment for yourself in advance,” Stanford said.
For procrastinators, setting up an appointment can hold them accountable to get some of their writing done so they have something to work with when it is time for their session.
The Writing Lab is located in the Edith Garland Dupré Library, Room 155. It is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments can be made by emailing email@example.com or by clicking “Book a session” on the Writing Lab’s website, louisiana.edu/writinglab. Their instagram page, @ulwritinglab, will share events, writing tips, any changes in hours and more.