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Racer Writing Center: Policies

The Racer Writing Center helps students, faculty, and staff of all disciplines improve their writing skills.

Who may use the Racer Writing Center?

ANY MEMBER of the Murray State community at any of its campuses -- a student, staff, or faculty member -- may use the Racer Writing Center's free services. We offer a full range of services to distance learning students using various technologies that we are happy to discuss with you upon making an appointment. You must use your murraystate.edu email address when scheduling your appointment. In addition, it is your responsibility to provide accurate information (name, M#, contact information) so that we may verify your university affiliation. If we are unable to do so, your appointment will be canceled.

Important Writing Center Policies

  • We welcome walk-ins, but students with appointments have priority.  As we expect the schedule to remain full throughout the semester, we recommend that you always try to schedule an appointment when you need help with your writing.
  • You may book up to two appointments a week, but not more than one session in one day.  You may, however, obtain "walk-in" sessions beyond your two booked appointments.
  • Sessions are 40 minutes and start on the hour.
  • If you are more than ten minutes late for your appointment you lose the exclusive right to that appointment and the session may be given to someone else.
  • After two missed appointments you are prohibited from booking further appointments for the current term.  Sessions may be cancelled up to four hours in advance.
  • If you are working on a group and/or collaborative assignment the consultant can only help with the part of the assignment you wrote.  Alternatively, the whole group may come in for a group session.
  • Consultants are not permitted to help you with take-home essay exams unless you have written permission from your instructor, or the instructor has contacted the Racer Writing Center directly.
  • Consultants are not permitted to help you with writing that has legal or financial implications or is related to an appeal of a university decision.
  • Consultants are prepared to help you with writing personal statements for fellowships, jobs or graduate school; however, some schools and programs do not permit any outside assistance with the writing of your personal statement.  It is the student's responsibility to determine whether or not a consultation is permitted.  The Racer Writing Center is not liable if the student violates such a policy.

The Racer Writing Center is NOT an Editing Service
Please remember that the Racer Writing Center is not an editing or proofreading service.  We will work with you to improve your own proofreading and editing skills, but we don't simply correct mistakes for you.  Proofreading only helps the specific work at hand, treating symptoms while ignoring the problems that cause them.  Because the Racer Writing Center focuses on Writing as a process and values improving its clients as writers, we do not proofread or edit.

The Racer Writing Center CANNOT Guarantee Grades
Consultants cannot produce nor predict grades earned by students, nor will consultants speculate about the grade an assignment deserves.

Confidentiality
All Racer Writing Center appointments are treated as confidential and we will not discuss the content of said appointments with anyone but the client involved. For this reason, we do not verify appointments for professors, Students are welcome to share this information with professors, but we leave that up to them.

Avoiding Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a difficult issue for any writing center.  Our consultants generally assume that the writing brought to them is the student's own.  If there are concerns with how and when research is cited, consultants do point out these concerns and explain the necessity for correct and thorough citations.  If a consultant feels that a paper is clearly not the work of the student present for a session and the student resists reworking the potentially plagiarized elements of the assignment, that consultant may cancel the session at his or her sole discretion and report the suspected plagiarism to the Racer Writing Center director.

Validating and/or Requiring Appointments

We do not validate appointments, even for the purposes of extra credit because sessions are confidential. Professors cannot require students to visit the writing center because we do not have a large enough staff to meet this demand. At peak usage times during the semester, your students may not be able to secure an appointment because of our limited resources. In addition, research demonstrates that students benefit more fully when they choose to seek additional help rather than being required to do so.