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Writing Center
Director: Dr. David Sumner
TJ Day Hall 321
503.883.2389

 

7 Services to Student Writers:

The Writing Center matches student writers with trained student readers in a collaborative effort to help writers make progress on a particular writing assignment.  Discussion forms the heart of this consulting process and most writers benefit from more than one consultation per writing assignment.  When writers come to the writing center early in the writing process, the discussion focuses on understanding the assignment itself, brainstorming, free writing, or other ways to begin work.  When writers bring a rough draft, the consultation typically focuses on that draft—on what it makes clear, on what it might lack—and especially on how the writer might revise. 

The Writing Center assumes that because college writing assignments require ambitious and independent thought (almost always about content new to the writer), all writers need to see what their words communicate, and all writers benefit from being asked to explain their thought and their writing purposes.  Writing Center consultations do sometimes focus on what the publication process identifies as copy-editing—i.e., error identification and remedy.  In these consultations (as in all others), writer and writing assistant work together to identify possible problems and understand various revision options.  As in other types of publication, such a consultation can only occur late in the writing process, after the paper is already clear and well organized.  At that time, writing assistants can help students explore grammar and usage issues.  But because all work in the Writing Center is collaborative, writing assistants will never simply proofread or correct. 

Unfortunately, Writing Center consultations cannot work miracles of transformation; they cannot turn sow's ears into silk purses.  Writing well is the result of hard intellectual work practiced in many and various writing activities.  What the Writing Center does is make available a unique setting in which student writers can understand and extend their own thinking as they work to make that thought cogent and successful on the page. 

The Writing Center welcomes writers from all disciplines, first year through graduation.  Writers concerned about particular writing assignments are especially encouraged to plan multiple writing center consultations as an important part of their learning process.  Writers are welcome to make an appointment or to just drop in. 

Services to Faculty:

In consultation with the Director of Writing, faculty are encouraged to consider building Writing Center consultations into their writing assignments, either as requirements, or as options for extra credit.  In addition, if students are having particular trouble with writing, a writing contract can be set up which will pair a particular student with a particular writing assistant.  If such a service is needed, please contact the Director of Writing. 

Location and Schedule:

TJ Day Hall 321: Sun-Thurs: 3:30-5:30pm & 6:30-8:30pm
Library Sun-Thurs: 8-10pm