Tips for Getting the Most Out of a
Session in the Writing Center

Keep in Mind*


Our goal is to improve writers, not individual pieces of writing.


We respect and encourage writers to take responsibility for
their own writing and to make their own choices about a piece.


We model problem-solving for writers and pride ourselves
on finding answers in handbooks, dictionaries and from other writers.


We readily admit when we do not know the answer to
someone’s question and help writers find their own answers.

 

 

 

 

* From the Academic Skills Achievement Program of California State University, Monterey Bay

WRITING ASSISTANTS ARE DIFFERENT THAN EDITORS*

*From the "Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring", by Paula Gillespie and Neal Lerner

WE AREN’T EDITORS AND WE WON’T

Focus only on the text
Take ownership of a piece
Correct it for the writer
Give advice to a writer or tell them what to do
Read a piece silently
Look mainly for things to improve
Expect to work only with “ideal” texts

WE ARE WRITING ASSISTANTS AND WE WILL

Focus on the writer’s development
Establish rapport and connection with the writer
Make sure the writers take ownership of their work and ideas
Ask questions
Ask the writer to read aloud
Notice what is already working well in a piece
Meet writers where they are with a piece
Help writers learn how to proofread
Expect writers to make their own corrections
Ask about plans for further revision
  

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