University of Indianapolis

Writing Lab

Information for Faculty

Our goal is to produce better writers, not necessarily better individual pieces of writing.

We, of course, believe that if we do the first part, the writers will do the second. Consequently, we do not promise students (and teachers) perfect papers at the conclusion of each conference, but we can promise that we will help hard-working students learn how to improve their own writing.

Encouraging Writing Lab use and Advertising our Services

We would appreciate your announcing our hours and telephone number to your students. If you would like bookmarks that list this information, please send an e-mail to Dr. Bannon with:

  • Your Name
  • Name of the course
  • Number of bookmarks needed

You may also call the Writing Lab (317-788-3554) during our open hours.

Please encourage (or even require) your students to visit the Lab, not just when they finish a draft but at earlier stages: when they are brainstorming for a topic, when they have finished half the paper, when they have written the first page. We have discovered in recent semesters that we can especially help writers in the prewriting stage. Three-quarters of the Lab’s business comes in the last quarter of the semester, and we would like to help students earlier. Besides, in-process consultation not only prevents procrastination but is a practice that most writers outside the university campus regularly employ.

Requiring Writing Lab Visits

If you are requiring your whole class to visit the Writing Lab, please require that your students make appointments rather than drop-in. Also, please e-mail the Writing Lab Director, Jessica Bannon,  or the Associate Director, Dawn Hershberger, and make arrangements so that we can be prepared to better assist your students and insure that they can all be seen. The staff would like to know how many students to expect, when they will come, and what type of instruction you expect them to receive.

If you wish to refer formally individual students to the Lab and to specify the type of assistance they need, please e-mail Dr. Bannon. Students may, of course, use the Lab without official referral.

Communicating with the staff

When one of your students visits the Lab, you will receive via e-mail a Client Report Form (CRF) that explains the date and subject of the consulting session. Please respond to these CRFs if you feel we need to redirect our focus, if something is unclear, or if you have a suggestion. Write us a note, call 317-788-3554 during our open hours, or e-mail Dr. Bannon.

Tutoring for distance courses

Distance tutoring is offered for students taking online or hybrid classes. Since the goal of the Writing Lab is to create better writers not better individual pieces of writing, the priorities in a distance conference are the same as those in a face-to-face conference. The tutor will first address global issues (thesis, support, etc.) before moving on to grammar and style. Complete instructions for distance tutoring can be found by clicking on the “Online Learners” button.

Arranging for a consultant to explain our services to your class

If you would like a staff member from the Writing Lab to visit your class and explain our services in person, please submit this Google form. 

If you have questions about class visits, please e-mail Dr. Bannon.

Participating in the Designated Tutoring Program

Faculty in high-volume writing courses, like Freshman Year Seminars and WS Courses, are invited to apply to participate in the Designated Tutor Program, which pairs tutors exclusively with students in their courses. Designated tutors serve as a test audience for students conferring with them outside of class three times during the term on faculty-designed assignments. Designated tutors can help students determine if their writing fulfills their intentions and meets faculty expectations. The designated tutor serves much the same function as a coach in athletics, describing possible solutions and advising but leaving the performance of the writing to the students themselves. Faculty receive feedback after each session from tutors, so they are aware of students’ progress.  Interested faculty should e-mail Liz Whiteacre for more information.

Encouraging participation in Conversation Circles

The Writing Lab would appreciate your help in publicizing our Conversation Circles program to your students.  Conversation Circles offer UIndy international students opportunities to practice spoken English, learn more about UIndy, meet other English speakers, and feel more confident and fluent about using English for social and academic situations while in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.  English-speaking tutors serve as Circle facilitators and lead small groups for weekly hour-long conversations with emphasis on communication (including slang and idioms) and cultural exchange. Conversation Circles offer a chance to meet interesting people from around the world, gain intercultural experience, explore language-learning, laugh, and practice English.  Conversation Circles will be held online for the 2022-23 academic year. No registration is required to participate.  If you would like more information about Conversation Circles, please e-mail Dawn Hershberger.



If you have any questions, please contact the Lab’s associate director, Dawn Hershberger (, or the Lab director, Dr. Jessica Bannon (