What We Do
We . . .
- Suggest (revisions, expansions, restructuring, etc.)
- Discuss (content, strength of arguments, writer’s block, etc.)
- Provide (resources, feedback, different perspectives, etc.)
- Inform (about citations, grammar, formatting, etc.)
- Relate (to the writer, to the work, to the intended audience, etc.)
In short: A Writing Center conference should be a reciprocal process between the client and consultant on the areas for growth in the work being discussed as well as for the writer in general.
What We Don’t Do
- We don’t “fix.” A broader discussion of the rules, strategies, and techniques is more useful than mere proofreading.
- We won’t write. It’s up to the writer to expand / restructure / enhance his or her own work based on feedback.
- We won’t lecture. The discussion is supposed to be mutual, not one-sided.
- We don’t grade. This is the professor’s job.
In short: A conference with a Writing Center consultant is not intended to be a cure-all resource where a piece of writing goes in “bad” and comes out “good”.
Who We Help
Our goal is to help writers at any level of proficiency to improve their writing skills for any reason and at any stage in the writing process. We help:
- Clients who hate to write – Like it or not, writing is a part of any walk of life. Academic writing, professional writing, personal writing: All are unavoidable, and one should have the knowledge and skill to write appropriately for the contexts that call for it. We can help with that.
- Clients who feel concerned about their writing ability – Writers with concerns about a specific project or the writing process in general should not feel intimidated to discuss their work. We can’t promise miracles, but we can provide people with a support system for developing their skills and improving upon their weaknesses.
- Clients who feel confident in their writing ability – Even the best of writers rely on the informed input of others. Like any other discipline, there’s always room for improvement. Actors work with directors; athletes work with trainers; why shouldn’t writers make use of human resources who can help them enhance their proficiency?
- Clients who love to write – Those for whom writing is not merely a skill but a passion will find the Writing Center a valuable asset in sharing and perfecting their work. Consultants are eager to work with clients who want to explore the nuances of their craft.
- Clients for whom English is a second language – Learning the intricacies of a language is trying even for its native speakers; it is doubly difficult for those still acquiring the language. Writing consultants are prepared to assist with a wide array of ESL concerns: from grammar to citation, from punctuation to organization, from word choice to the standards of writing in American academic institutions.