Meet our team series
Welcome to the Writing Centre’s Specialists blog series: Meet YorkU’s Writing Centre Team. Over the next few months, we will be highlighting some of the writing experts and specialists at the Writing Centre so you can get to know them better and see how they support students at the Writing Centre!
As part of the Writing Centre's Specialists blog series, today's blog post will be highlighting the Writing Centre’s resource specialist, Dr. Stephanie M. Bell!
Dr. Bell is a resource specialist and writing instructor at the Writing Centre, where she supports students with academic and professional writing. She is also an associate professor in the Writing Department with a Ph.D. in English and Communication Design from the University of Waterloo.
Her interest in helping students avoid the consequences of misinformation about academic writing and research goes back to the time she was completing her doctoral work on the subject of citation. She extends her knowledge and experience to support the academic growth of York students by finding various ways to help them develop writing skills and strategies.
Dr. Bell says,
I felt very passionate about educating the university community [about] the difference between plagiarism, fraud, cheating, and patchwriting, and learning how to engage with sources, and really speak with others in your writing and your essays and engage in academic discourse.
At the Writing Centre, students can expect to receive hands-on support with their academic writing and research from Dr. Bell during live one-to-one sessions. I have personally found this experience with Dr. Bell to be incredibly insightful and beneficial to my skills in academic writing and research as a student.
When Dr. Bell was interviewed for this feature blog post, she discussed the importance of assisting students with their academic development outside of one-to-one sessions and classes by providing resources that students can access freely on the Writing Centre website—no appointments necessary.
And so, it's both bringing that content expertise, and putting it in these new packages in order to make ourselves available in different ways,
— says Dr. Bell.
As a Writing Centre resource specialist, Dr. Bell spends much of her time upgrading the Writing Centre's multimodal resource library. Here, she provides links to internal and external academic resources to support both students and faculty at York with their academic work. External resources include links to the MLA Style Centre, Harvard College's Writing Lab, the APA Style blog and more. Dr. Bell has also greatly contributed to the Writing Centre's internal online resources by providing links to her YouTube videos that discuss writing topics such as how to draft a thesis statement and techniques to form clear sentences, to name a few.
Check out Dr. Bell’s YouTube video, Demystifying Thesis Statements!
Visitors to the Writing Centre Resource Library can also find links to other campus resources on the Writing Centre’s resources webpage including York University’s “SPARK” writing and research kit, and the Learning Commons services.
As she expands the collection of resources at the Writing Centre for incoming students, Dr. Bell also expresses the importance of student collaboration with the Writing Centre which she believes can help build a stronger resource library in the future.
I think students talking to students has to be a part of the resources going forward. So if they have a writing strategy that they've refined that they'd like to share, or an insight, or even a personal anecdote, sharing a story about a struggle, or a success, or big win or moments, I think that can really make a big impact in other people's writing lives,
— says Dr. Bell.
Dr. Bell also mentions that all students, no matter where they are in their academic journey, should take advantage of the Writing Centre and the resource library because it is there for everyone.
Students who are excelling in writing should use the Writing Center, and students who feel like they're struggling in writing should use the Writing Center because it will enhance everybody's experience,
— she says.
It will always help you become a more advanced writer.