On the AU app and the AU Unofficial Facebook page there have been many questions about developing a thesis statement, usage of proper grammar, how to properly format a paper, proper citations, and advice for constraining a paper within a specific word count. There is a resource available through AU that can help with these.
The Write-Site through AU has many online resources for helping students who are struggling with some of the basics. I use these resources often, myself. My favorite part of the Write-Site is the ability to submit a paper to them for review and coaching. When you are submitting it for coaching you can list up to three specific areas you would like them to look at. My typical submission includes punctuation, thesis development, grammar, or proper referencing. They will not edit the paper, but they read through the first few pages and note errors and explain why they are errors. They will also provide links to websites so you are able to practice or read more about the mistakes that are being made.
The Write-Site was suggested to me by a tutor in one of my earlier courses. It is a fantastic resource, but one that I have found is not overly advertised. I think many students are unaware that the Write-Site is there, and what it is for. While there are a limited number of papers that can be submitted to them in a year, it is a large enough number that you can fix persistent issues without becoming dependant on them. I have used this site for everything from major research papers to first papers in a specific subject, as well as creative writing stories. Each coach I have had has been respectful, encouraging, and incredibly helpful. They are very knowledgeable about each aspect of writing and always seem happy to help.
The Write-Site also seems to care about the student experience. Concerned about how students are feeling about the resource, and ways in which the site could improve student experience. There was a survey put out awhile ago asking how students feel and what changes they would like to see. This survey resulted in a change in turn around times. Before, turn around times reflected closely to assignment turn around times. This turn around time did create a barrier for students with time restrictions. After the survey, the Write-Site adjusted those times to three business days. I was happy with the previous turn around times, but changing it to three business days has been more helpful than I thought it would be. It allows me to submit more papers, or papers with tighter time lines.
For students that have not yet discovered the Write-Site I encourage you to check it out. Go through your myAU page, on the top click into the “student services” tab, and the link is at the bottom of the “at your service” list. Or simply take this link: http://write-site.athabascau.ca
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature