By Robert L. Lisiecki
We’ve made significant progress in our Getting to Know U series, and we’re not quite done yet. It’s time for another round. Like our previous posts, we’ll be introducing someone with a unique perspective. While the people at Gale U are all connected in some way, shape, or form, each person brings his or her own story. Today we’ll be meeting Robert, the faculty advisor in the writing center.
Before we continue, I’d like to take a moment to say that Robert has a great name. I hear that Roberts are pretty cool people. Well, I at least hope that’s true since we share a name. Now that we’ve established that important factoid, let’s move on.
Working in the writing center, Robert interacts with students of all levels. His job is to ensure he and the students working there provide help and guidance to students who struggle conceptualizing research topics, writing papers, or may help with editing. While there is a chance higher-level students may come into the writing center for some help, he mainly sees international students or students whose professors send them there after a bad grade.
Robert strives to help these students find success. He wants to help them learn how to think about research and learn how to become better writers. It’s not easy work, and can often be tedious and frustrating, but seeing improvement brings him joy.
Robert needs resources that equip him with the necessary knowledge to help students who are really just learning how to research and write or are just learning how to do those well.
How can Gale help?
While the literal writing of a paper is the focal point of a writing center, the idea behind the paper is just as important. A student needs to be able to write well and write about something pertinent to be successful in the classroom. So, while Robert has the skills to edit a paper or guide a student’s writing process, accessible content is a tool he needs. This is exactly what Gale provides.
One resource Robert uses often is Literature Resource Center (LRC). LRC offers up-to-date information, overviews, full-text literary criticism, and reviews on more than 130,000 writers. It basically serves as his go-to resource since many of his students come in for English courses. With LRC, he has the information he needs to help students come up with better essay topics so they can begin crafting better essays.
The other resource he likes is Opposing Viewpoints in Context. He uses this resource for students who may need help searching for a topic for non-English courses. It’s intuitive search functionality and robust topic pages make it easy for students to find the information they need to form a solid basis for an essay. What he likes most about it is that students generally find it very easy to use, which encourages them to do research.
These resources give him the tools he needs to help him and his students reach their goals. It allows him to spend less time worrying about having the right content and more time focusing on crafting a better paper. Learn more about Robert and look out for our next installment of Getting to Know U.
Robert is a left-handed person living in a right-handed world. He is showing English majors that it is possible to get a job in the “real world” with an English degree. He likes giant carrots.