By: Chrishauna Curry | Echo
The Writing Center allows students at Taylor to join the scholarly conversation.
Writing Center consultations can consist of brainstorming ideas for papers, finding sources to support your ideas, developing outlines for papers, or annotating a reading. According to the Writing Center mission statement, the Writing Center aims to inspire and equip students at all levels of proficiency to develop effective reading and writing skills.
Writing consultations are useful for all academic disciplines helping and encouraging students to grow in specific areas of their writing. Julie Moore, director of the Writing Center and English professor said students that come to the Writing Center learn more about academic discourse. According to her, the Writing Center is where students learn to converse and maintain dialogue about their scholarly writing.
Moore also said that the Writing Center helps students with reading assignments. Some students come to the Writing Center seeking help for taking notes on a reading or creating an outline for a reading.
"The Writing Center research clearly shows that first year students that come to the writing center have a higher rate of retention." Moore said. "Students that don't interact in the writing center have a lower rate of retention."
In the Writing Center, Moore said that she looks for tutors who have a mastery of grammar, depth of writing and insightful interpretation of research. She also interviews students to examine their interpersonal skills before hiring them.
The Writing Center tutors are trained to challenge students to be clear, logical and show critical thinking in their writing.
"The research also shows that students who come to the Writing Center that come for help on their essays do get better grades on their essays." Moore said.
However, Moore said that she encourages students to keep coming to the Writing Center in order to improve their writing and themselves as writers. The writing center is not merely a place to develop a good paper, but it is also a place to build your skills as a writer. She recommends building a relationship with the tutor and developing a level of vulnerability and honesty with that tutor.
Junior Stephanie Mithika, Writing Center employee said that every session she had, she learned something new. She enjoys helping students to become more confident in their work as writers as well as working alongside students and helping them to become more affirmed in their work.
Mithika said that one of her biggest misconceptions about the Writing Center was that the writing center was only for students that were "poor" writers or students that did not speak English as their first language. Mithika expressed how much the Writing Center can develop and improve writing skills no matter where someone is in their writing career.
"No matter how good of a writer you are, it doesn't hurt to come to the writing center," Mithika said..
According to Mithika, working alongside students in the Writing Center has allowed her to grow as a writer. Not merely proofreading and editing, but also the entire writing process becomes a lot easier to process.
Mithika claims becoming a Writing tutor has been a learning and growing experience. Being a Writing Center tutor has helped her to become more confident in her writing as well as it has helped her to learn more about students and the ideas and work they are producing.
"I didn't realize how much the process of teaching could inform your own learning," Mithika said.
Writing Center employee, sophomore Maya Laytham spoke about the different skills involved in being a Writing Center tutor. Laytham said that a lot of interpersonal and communication skills are involved in becoming a Writing Center tutor. She described her experience in the Writing Center as a mini education class.
Laytham described that fact that there is a level of humility and vulnerability that is placed into the Writing Center appointment. She said that as tutors, there must have a level of humility in being honest about the fact that they also have room to grow in their writing. Moore said she encourages students to come to the Writing Center.
"We are friendly. We do not mark papers up. We don't use red pens," Moore said. "We exist to come alongside them and just be their guides."