Africana Studies

DAS Writing Lab and Reference Library


The Department of Africana Studies Writing Center which started operations in 1982 was designed primarily to provide supplemental assistance to mainly Black and other under-presented students who manifest problems with writing and reading skills. Today, it has become a valuable resource for students at CSUN while servicing well over 200 of them each year.
The Writing Lab, which is equipped with 17 computer work stations readily available for student use, is located in Sierra Hall Rm 273 and offers the following services:

1. One-Unit Lab (AFRS 099): This workshop is ideal for students who would benefit from a more structured tutorial program during which they work with trained tutors one-to-one or in small groups for two hours each week (preferably spread over two days). The carefully screened and selected tutors demonstrate a strong ability to help students with a variety of projects, from methodical and structured grammar instruction to methods of effectively writing term and research papers.  The peer tutors are trained in mentorship strategies, and are patient, kind, and knowledgeable with the students they serve.

2. 30-minute Scheduled Appointments with Tutors: Students in Africana writing classes or any other disciplines are free to make appointments to work with available tutors or any areas of reading and writing.

3. Drop-In Tutorials: On a limited basis, the Africana Studies Writing Center will accept drop-in students who need immediate help with writing if there are tutors available to work with such students at the time they come in.

4. Supplemental Instruction (SI) Tutorials: This tutorial is limited to students registered in PAS 113A and 113B, Stretch Composition courses. Tutors for these tutorials are required to attend the 113 classes and then immediately after, meet with the students in the lab to provide opportunities to practice writing as well as to assist with issues arising from the lectures.    

The African Studies Reference Library: The Writing Lab is also the home of the Department’s Reference Library, which continues to grow and evolve as more books related to a wide topic within Africana Studies as well as writing pedagogy are added to its shelves.  These books, many of them donated, provide a ready resource to students, tutors, and faculty, and are regularly employed during instructional sessions. 
The Lab has a faculty supervisor and peer tutors who are friendly, knowledgeable, patient, and—perhaps best of all—our services are available at no cost to currently enrolled students! However, priority is given to students enrolled in AFRS 099 – The Writer’s Workshop.

Writing Lab Hours: During the academic semester, Writing Lab hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Call or stop by to make an appointment: SH 273; Phone: 818-677-2084