Our Philosophy on Writing

Staff members in the Writing Center are committed to the art of teaching writing and the idea that becoming a better writer is a process that takes place over time. Writing instruction is student-centered; tutors help students move toward articulating their specific needs and provide them with writing strategies and methods that will help them become better writers.

Working with the Writing Center is best done on an ongoing basis; tutors are trained to use tutorial time efficiently and to make decisions about which issues can and should be addressed within the framework of a given session, usually working with "global" issues (organization, logic, structure) first, then moving to "local" issues (sentence and word level problems); they engage writers, the text, and the composing process.

The Writing Center does not proofread or simply correct surface errors and we don't "teach" grammar. Surface level errors or mechanics are always treated as part of the "proof-reading" or final polishing stage, and would follow a substantive discussion about concepts, organization and content, and the goals and intentions of the writer. Writing Center tutors engage the whole writer and his/her writing process.

Writers work with tutors in one-to-one sessions, typically 60 minutes in length. It is recommended that writers bring the assignment question with them to the tutorial in time to make revisions before the deadline, or, if faculty would like the students to revise, that they bring drafts or submissions with faculty comments. To get the most out of the Writing Center's resources, return visits and appointments made ahead of time are encouraged.