As a facet of the Learning Commons concept, the Writing Center is a student-centered point of service designed to aid students at every stage of the writing process.
Philosophy and Policy
Because we know the power of self-advocacy for overall student development, we expect students to either make an appointment or walk in requesting service and to come equipped with a particular question or area of concern. That request could be the assignment sheet where a student is seeking help to understand the prompt and move through invention strategies; it could be a first draft that a student is asking for structural, organizational, or other global needs; or it could be a student brings a more finished piece in with a request to help correct a particular error that a teacher has identified as problematic for the student.
Additionally, we feel strongly that—like The Commons—the Writing Center must not be viewed as a required component of class, a punishment for poor work, or something mandated by a teacher. Students who choose to seek extra help with their writing have an internal motivation to improve that will bring them much stronger results. We also aim to be a welcoming and engaging environment that gives students a positive experience with the writing process, one they would want to replicate here and in the future. To aid students in making this crucial step in self-care, we encourage faculty to recommend the Writing Center to any student who could benefit from our services and to encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity for growth.
What We Do
- Come to classrooms to introduce the students to the concept of the Writing Center, answer their questions, and invite them to use our services
- Come to classrooms and provide support to students on writing days
- Meet with students to discuss their papers in The Commons—appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins will be welcome with the understanding that there is no guaranteed service with a walk-in
What we do not do
- Grammar-check papers only
- “Drop off” service
- Last-minute writing appointments (e.g., The paper is due next period; can you help me get started?)
- Take the place of the classroom teacher/substitute for teacher instruction