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Librarys Writing Center hopes to help during exam week

The USF Writing Center, which was created two years ago, will extend its hours and hopes to exercise new services implemented this semester to help students get through final exam, said the center’s coordinator, Kate Pantelides.

Online appointments are just one of the many services that students looking to improve their writing skills before exams can expect. But the center – which is regularly open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – will open at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday the last week of classes.

Students are also allowed to schedule 25-minute, same-day appointments, as well as regular appointments. The center has also bulked its staff of consultants, as it anticipates a hike in appointments toward the end of the semester.

Two services the Library offers from Tutoring and Learning Services (TLS) are Atomic Learning and SmartThinking.

Atomic Learning provides easy-to-use tutorials on a variety of software programs,
while SmartThinking allows students to submit papers and receive feedback from professional educators.

TLS and Writing Center services are free for all active students, faculty and staff with a valid ID. Judith Belorme, a junior double majoring in microbiology and psychology, said the services are useful.

“I don’t know how I would have done my research methods project for psychology without the consultants’ help,” she said. “I like knowing that I have my own specific time so that I can ask all the questions in the world.”

Pantelides said the most common pieces of writing students seek help with are personal statements for graduate school applications, scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, standardized test writing prompts, resumes, dissertations and employment applications.

Out of 678 student evaluations conducted by the Writing Center in fall 2009, Pantelides said 100 percent of respondents reported improving at least one letter grade after tutoring sessions. The evaluations also show that 94 percent reported the writing skills they developed in the Writing Center translated to other classes.

Pantelides also said the Center is hoping to expand and move from the Library’s first floor “learning commons” to the current media resource area this summer.

Students can also make appointments online for tutoring sessions with writing consultants at