LUMS Academic Writing Lab (AWL) on the Higher Mission
The Academic Writing Lab (AWL), previously known as Academic Writing Centre (AWC), is the brainchild of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at LUMS. It came into being to reinforce college writing skills so that the quality of assignments can be improved. The endeavour was initiated especially to work on the quality of research writing at higher-level courses.
In order to make it a commendable experience at AWL, best-suited qualified writing tutors are taken on board, who are determined to ensure student-satisfaction so that it is a smooth college writing experience. With this facility available, students need not to fret about the structure and coherence of their argument. It is like half their worries are already taken care of, especially when students are struggling with the severe bout of writer’s block.
The AWL initiative has been welcomed by the LUMS student body, who believe that the facility would not only help them improve on the quality of work produced but will also serves to shed off the load from them. AWL has been providing assistance to students in a host of areas: the selection of research topics; crafting effective thesis statements, logical argumentative and persuasive techniques; aligning essay structure and organisation, getting rid of common grammatical errors along with the selection of appropriate language and tone of a written piece. Most importantly, AWL assists in selecting citation styles to avoid plagiarism.
While speaking about the quality of work ensured at AWL, Dr. Aamna Khalid, the Coordinator at AWL, said, “The AWL has played a vibrant part in academic life at LUMS. Since its inception, the centre employed student tutors through a rigorous recruitment process. Further trainings have also been provided to enhance tutor abilities as each tutor learns how best to understand and resolve any issues pertaining to academic writing.”
She went on and shared that AWL started off primarily to cater to the needs of the freshman year students but with time it gradually gained popularity across all batches and disciplines at LUMS. Dr. Khalid further added that scope of the writing centre is continuously expanding because they have been also providing assistance in the writing supplements to university applications and scholarships.
When Dr. Khalid was inquired about the importance of the AWL at LUMS, she explained, “Writing plays an essential part in the LUMS curriculum and every student is required to submit written assignments during some part of their career at LUMS. The university has high standards for written communication and there exists in many cases, a significant disparity between the quality of writing that students are doing at the high school level, and the quality that LUMS aspires toward. The AWL serves to bridge this gap through hard work, dedication, and compassion for fellow students.”
Moreover, she confirmed that survey at LUMS revealed, “The student body at LUMS feels that the AWL is an indispensable part of the learning process at LUMS. The unique role of the student tutor allows the learning process to be aided in a way that neither a class mate nor a member of faculty can do. The environment at the centre allows students to openly express their problems and we do our best to resolve them. Tutors are constantly pressed to employ a question based didactic.”
She also helped shrug off the common notion regarding the centre by confirming that students are not spoonfed at all, instead they are pushed to reach for the answers themselves. At the centre, they learn to solve their problems themselves, which is in-line with their philosophy of “not to make better papers, but better writers”.