by Stone Shiflet | June 12, 2009
Smarthinking offers a variety of services for Capella writers. Historically, Capella’s primary relationship with Smarthinking has involved tutoring on writing. Writers can send in a piece of writing and ask for feedback on that writing from a Smarthinking tutor by going to the public Capella writing center homepage at www.capellawriting.center.org, and then clicking on the ‘Tutoring’ link to set up an account to access those services and feedback. That relationship remains strong and is now accompanied with many other options.
For example, writers who are new to English and/or American academic writing can use the tutorials and exercises sections to grow stronger in the communication skills needed for clear, concise academic writing.
These tools work well with Capella’s own Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) tools, like the Personal Writing Assessment (PWA), an assessment that allows writers to know where they stand in terms of Capella’s expectations for academic writing. Graduate learners in the PhD programs are exposed to this tool at Track 1, but if you want to reinforce the PWA for those learners or share this resource with those not in PhD programs, simply send them to the public Capella Writing Center home page at www.capellawritingcenter.org, and ask them to click on PWA under the ‘Resources’ section of the page.
On the other end of the spectrum, writers who are nearing the end of their journey in a PhD program can continue their relationship with Smarthinking tutors by submitting sections of the Dissertation–from proposal to final draft–to Smarthinking and asking for feedback. In fact, the only time that learner cannot use Smarthinking for tutoring and writing feedback is during the Comprehensive Exams process, as that process is considered to be a test, so no consultation with those outside the Comps Committee is allowed by the learner.
While Smarthinking is a valuable resource on it’s own, the services can be made stronger still when the writer understands how to ask for specific feedback on specific writing or citing issues. Capella offers a WAC resource to help learners become more familiar with the components of academic writing on the public Writing Center home page (www.capellawritingcenter.org). Under ‘Resources’ on that page, learners can access the Writing Feedback Tool (WFT). That tool outlines Capella’s expectations for academic writing in an 11-step process, a process detailed in the WFT. Additionally, Capella’s resources to help writers in each of the 11 categories is also provided in this tool along with hotlinks that guide learners to specific, focused writing support for the 11 steps in the process.
As you work through your writing tasks in this course, you are encouraged to use the resources provided by Capella to help you grow and to advance in your academic writing process.
To get started, please visit Capella’s now-public Writing Center home page at www.capellawritingcenter.org
Under the ‘Resources’ section in the middle of the page, the first link is ‘Tutoring.’ Click on this link to set up your Smarthinking account, to take a tour of the Smarthinking services (including tutoring, instructional materials, and opportunities for asking questions about wriitng), and to get started in using Smarthinking.
The second link on the Writing Center home page takes you to Capella’s Writing Feedback Tool, a chart defining Capella’s expectations for academic writing. This tool allows you to look at academic writing as a process, and you can access instructional materials with the hotlinks available in this tool.
The third link on the Writing Center home page takes you to Capella’s Personal Writing Assessment, a brief series of questions that allows you to see where you stand in terms of Capella’s expectations for academic writing. Taking this assessment can give you good ideas on how to start growing as an academic writer over a period of time.
Using these three resources, along with all of the materials in Capella’s Writing Center, can really help you on your journey as an academic writer and communicator at Capella, so you are encourged to build in time for these resources throughout your academic career.