This is a great post. I personally felt the same way about Writing Centers before I started working there. So many people lump the Writing Center with the Math Center – it’s just a place for tutoring. But we’re not tutors, we’re Readers, we look at the writing of our peers from an outside perspective. It’s not about fixing grammar, spelling and punctuation (unless it skewers the message), but about the content. It’s about encouraging students to think outside of the box, to not get hung up on structure, and to develop ideas on paper.
Thank you, “It’s Pronounced Fay-Lee” for this post. I think it will be very beneficial for writers, students, peers, and writing-center staff.
To start this reflection, I want to first think about my own development with regards to writing centers. As an undergraduate student, I suffered from the misconceptions that plague many writing centers. I saw the writing center as a place for “bad writers” to get help and assumed that this wasn’t the place for me. I didn’t even venture into the writing center at my college until my senior year, and this was only an act of sheer desperation as I had no idea how to tackle a personal statement for a graduate school application. I was pleasantly surprised how much I got out of meeting with a writing tutor, though. We had a real conversation about what the purpose of the writing was and what I wanted to express within it. Just the act of talking through my ideas with someone and getting immediate thoughtful feedback made me more…
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