What Is the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is a College-sponsored resource that provides students with feedback on their writing at any stage in the composition process and at all levels of proficiency. The Center provides this free service to undergraduate, graduate, and ESL students from any discipline. If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our consultants, please visit our Make an Appointment page for more information.
Contrary to what many students seem to think, the Writing Center is not a “fix-it” shop or a proofreading service where consultants correct your papers and make them perfect. Students who come in with a paper the day before it is due in order to get surface-level issues straightened out generally misapprehend the purpose of the Center. While a hastily completed assignment will likely have many errors and weak points that can be touched upon during a writing session, those of us who work at the Center are less concerned with “fixing” student papers and much more interested in providing the kind of feedback that would lead to more self-reflective and effective writers. To put it another way, the actual written work is not our primary concern, but rather the habits and modes of thought that lead to good writing. This means that the students who will benefit the most from the Writing Center are those who are willing to seriously engage in the process of writing, a process that necessarily involves significant revision.
Although professional writers seek feedback on a regular basis and revise their work constantly, undergraduate writers rarely consider revision to be an important part of their writing process. Students will often wait until the last minute to even begin thinking about their assignment, proceeding then to write with a “one-hit-wonder” mentality that neglects the process of invention, drafting, and revision that is so integral to effective written work. Sadly, this one-draft method for writing tends to be encouraged in the classroom, with few if any parameters given for a healthy process approach. The Writing Center seeks to address this lack by providing a safe place where student writers can explore their own thoughts and ideas through writing in an environment free from the pressures of evaluation and judgment. Our consultants seek to provide feedback that will allow students to gain a greater awareness of their own capabilities as writers and that equips them with specific strategies to develop and expand their skills further.