The Importance of Handouts (And Not the Government Kind)

Over the summer, the University Writing Center completed an important overhaul of all our handouts. Through many hours of meticulous, detailed work, the UWC staff edited and revised all ninety-four of our quick reference flyers in preparation for the fall 2015 semester. Plastered with a new logo, the handouts were printed and placed outside our office in a new, more colorful shelving system.

Every so often, the Writing Center staff edits our handouts to ensure that they are up-to-date with the most relevant information for our students. From grammar review sheets to formatting packets to resume help, the handouts are carefully revised in an easy-to-read format. As needed, students are UWC Logowelcome and encouraged to refer to our handouts as refreshers or for step-by-step instructions.

Why are handouts so important? From a student’s perspective, the UWC handouts are an invaluable resource when writing a paper. Iffy on how to use commas correctly? Use our handout. Confused about how to arrange footnotes in Turabian? Use our handout. Stuck on how to eliminate first person pronouns and convert them to third person? Use our handout. Each handout is packed with easy definitions, explanations, and examples so that students can learn how to write effectively.

11230601_10153587826239501_7784420177866397354_nAt the same time, handouts serve a dual purpose. Not only are they invaluable for students, they are irreplaceable for consultants as well. Handouts allow us a way to offer examples and easy definitions during sessions with students. Many times, we turn to the handouts to help explain a concept or rule. We use them as supplements so that the student may understand the importance of writing well. While they do not replace face-to-face consultations, the handouts are helpful references that are ready whenever students may need them.

So as this new semester of learning dawns and summer-tanned students return from vacation, the handouts are fresh and ready. And so are we.


The Writing Center’s handouts are always available online (here: and outside the UWC office.

Written by Jenna


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