Madison Writing Assistance Celebration of Writing 2021: Sharing Stories, Writing for Change

Community Writing Assistance, Events, Madison Writing Assistance, Uncategorized

By Kyle Smith—This spring, Madison Writing Assistance (MWA)—represented by Associate Director Angela Zito, Assistant Director Weishun Lu, and myself, an MWA instructor—asked members of the Madison community to tell us about their relationship with writing. As the community-outreach arm of the UW-Madison Writing Center, MWA works with anyone in the Madison area who has a writing project they want to develop or improve. MWA’s patrons work with us on projects ranging from […]

Continue Reading

Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2021 Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Awards and Honors, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors

By the Writing Center Leadership Team TA Award Committee—For the past five years, the Writing Center has celebrated our excellent instructors by honoring selected students with teaching awards. Each semester, we have between 45 and 50 doctoral-level teaching assistants who work with our students in one-to-one writing instruction, provide outreach across campus, lead workshops, and more. To select our award winners, we invite our teaching assistants to nominate their colleagues or themselves for these awards. Nominees are invited to apply by submitting […]

Continue Reading

Developing a Multimodal Toolkit for Greater Writing Center Accessibility

Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin and Lisa Marvel Johnson—As several scholars have already pointed out (Dembsey; Hitt; Kiedaisch and Dinitz to name a few), historically, the scholarship on disability in the writing center is… not great (to put it lightly). It’s seeped in ableism by positioning disabled writers as “other” and problems that need to be solved. This framing leads to positioning disabled students “as so radically different from other students that they are beyond help—that they require too much time, resources, or special knowledge” (Hitt). This perspective, however, goes beyond ableism that occurs on an individual level. […]

Continue Reading

Continuing the Discussion: Tutoring and Social Justice in Virtual Spaces

Covid, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Student Voices, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

By Veronica Hayes and Faith Kim—One year ago, the annual Joint Staff meeting between the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate Writing Fellows program and the Writing Center marked the last time the Center’s full staff gathered in person before students were sent home and our work shifted online. At the annual meeting, Fellows typically give presentations on the research they conduct in their Writing Fellows tutor education seminar, English 403. Those presentations lead to collaborative and meaningful exchanges between Fellows and Writing Center instructors, who appreciate the opportunity to engage with original research on tutoring. […]

Continue Reading

Staying Networked: Writing Centers, Social Media, and Pandemic Shifts

Covid, Higher Education, Technology, The Online Writing Center, Writing Centers

By Amanda May—My investment in writing center social media usage and non-usage grew out of my personal and professional social media practice. I still remember going to the Southeastern Writing Center Association’s 2016 conference and meeting Molly Wright, who ran the Facebook group Writing Center Network. At the time, that was my only connection to the writing center field because I was the sole writing center employee on campus. Molly convinced me to join Twitter because of #wcchat, a biweekly professional event that writing center administrators and tutors used to discuss writing center issues. […]

Continue Reading

Ongoingness: Reflections from within a Pandemic

Graduate Students, Higher Education, The Online Writing Center, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center History, Writing Center Tutors

By Jennifer Conrad—When we entered the spaces of online learning a year ago, few of us could have guessed what the time would hold. On the one hand, this past year has been one of shared experience: all of us are finding our way through a global pandemic, with all of its uncertainty, political and social unrest, boredom, loneliness, and other associated experiences. On the other hand, this time has been one that is deeply individual: each of us passing time in our quarantine “bubbles.”

Continue Reading

When a Dean Writes: Celebrating Black & African American Campus Writers for Black History Month

Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Social Justice Committee

By Gabrielle Isabel Kelenyi, on behalf of the Writing Center’s Antiracism Standing Committee, and featuring Dean Eric Wilcots—Writing happens. It happens everywhere and all the time, even when we’re not writing an essay. Furthermore, writing is important because we use it to communicate important ideas and information, to express ourselves, to make the particular more universal, to reach out and connect with one another. […]

Continue Reading

Spotlighting Our Instructors’ Dissertation Projects

Graduate Students, Student Voices, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Tutors

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—Just last month, I was hired as a Faculty Associate for the UW-Madison Writing Center, and I could not be more excited to join this amazing team of administrators and instructors! Joining a writing center team, in a lot of ways, feels like coming home. I started my journey in writing studies after working as an undergraduate writing consultant at the University of Central Florida […]

Continue Reading

Revisiting Grammarly: An Imperfect Tool for Final Editing

Multilingual Writers, Technology

By Dorothy Mayne—As I entered the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my shift as a tutor in the writing center one day in the fall of 2015, I noticed a new and overwhelming number of flyers and posters for Grammarly, the automated written corrective feedback (AWCF) software. As the flyers purported, students could use Grammarly to help “perfect” their writing. […]

Continue Reading

Introducing the WAC Program’s Online Writing Toolkit

Technology, Writing Across the Curriculum

By Jon Isaac—Last March, like every other instructor in the country, I shifted my course—a once-weekly graduate course on writing pedagogy—from in-person to entirely online. Along with the inevitable technological glitches, I also had to attend to the constantly-evolving conversations happening in and beyond higher education circles about rethinking expectations, student engagement, community-building, and evaluation. The questions that ran through my head as I imagined how my course would proceed for the final two months of the semester may sound familiar to you: Should I transition to entirely asynchronous instruction and just use online discussions on Canvas? Should I decrease the word limits of assignments and expectations for student engagement? How could our class possibly maintain the sense of community we had in person?

Continue Reading

Madison Writing Assistance Celebration of Writing 2021: Sharing Stories, Writing for Change


Community Writing Assistance, Events, Madison Writing Assistance, Uncategorized

By Kyle Smith—This spring, Madison Writing Assistance (MWA)—represented by Associate Director Angela Zito, Assistant Director Weishun Lu, and myself, an MWA instructor—asked members of the Madison community to tell us about their relationship with writing. As the community-outreach arm of the UW-Madison Writing Center, MWA works with anyone in the Madison area who has a writing project they want to develop or improve. MWA’s patrons work with us on projects ranging from […]

May 4, 2021

Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2021 Awards for Excellence in Teaching


Awards and Honors, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors

By the Writing Center Leadership Team TA Award Committee—For the past five years, the Writing Center has celebrated our excellent instructors by honoring selected students with teaching awards. Each semester, we have between 45 and 50 doctoral-level teaching assistants who work with our students in one-to-one writing instruction, provide outreach across campus, lead workshops, and more. To select our award winners, we invite our teaching assistants to nominate their colleagues or themselves for these awards. Nominees are invited to apply by submitting […]

April 27, 2021

Developing a Multimodal Toolkit for Greater Writing Center Accessibility


Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin and Lisa Marvel Johnson—As several scholars have already pointed out (Dembsey; Hitt; Kiedaisch and Dinitz to name a few), historically, the scholarship on disability in the writing center is… not great (to put it lightly). It’s seeped in ableism by positioning disabled writers as “other” and problems that need to be solved. This framing leads to positioning disabled students “as so radically different from other students that they are beyond help—that they require too much time, resources, or special knowledge” (Hitt). This perspective, however, goes beyond ableism that occurs on an individual level. […]

April 20, 2021

Continuing the Discussion: Tutoring and Social Justice in Virtual Spaces


Covid, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Student Voices, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

By Veronica Hayes and Faith Kim—One year ago, the annual Joint Staff meeting between the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate Writing Fellows program and the Writing Center marked the last time the Center’s full staff gathered in person before students were sent home and our work shifted online. At the annual meeting, Fellows typically give presentations on the research they conduct in their Writing Fellows tutor education seminar, English 403. Those presentations lead to collaborative and meaningful exchanges between Fellows and Writing Center instructors, who appreciate the opportunity to engage with original research on tutoring. […]

April 13, 2021

Staying Networked: Writing Centers, Social Media, and Pandemic Shifts


Covid, Higher Education, Technology, The Online Writing Center, Writing Centers

By Amanda May—My investment in writing center social media usage and non-usage grew out of my personal and professional social media practice. I still remember going to the Southeastern Writing Center Association’s 2016 conference and meeting Molly Wright, who ran the Facebook group Writing Center Network. At the time, that was my only connection to the writing center field because I was the sole writing center employee on campus. Molly convinced me to join Twitter because of #wcchat, a biweekly professional event that writing center administrators and tutors used to discuss writing center issues. […]

March 30, 2021

Ongoingness: Reflections from within a Pandemic


Graduate Students, Higher Education, The Online Writing Center, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center History, Writing Center Tutors

By Jennifer Conrad—When we entered the spaces of online learning a year ago, few of us could have guessed what the time would hold. On the one hand, this past year has been one of shared experience: all of us are finding our way through a global pandemic, with all of its uncertainty, political and social unrest, boredom, loneliness, and other associated experiences. On the other hand, this time has been one that is deeply individual: each of us passing time in our quarantine “bubbles.”

March 16, 2021

When a Dean Writes: Celebrating Black & African American Campus Writers for Black History Month


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Social Justice Committee

By Gabrielle Isabel Kelenyi, on behalf of the Writing Center’s Antiracism Standing Committee, and featuring Dean Eric Wilcots—Writing happens. It happens everywhere and all the time, even when we’re not writing an essay. Furthermore, writing is important because we use it to communicate important ideas and information, to express ourselves, to make the particular more universal, to reach out and connect with one another. […]

February 23, 2021

Spotlighting Our Instructors’ Dissertation Projects


Graduate Students, Student Voices, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Tutors

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—Just last month, I was hired as a Faculty Associate for the UW-Madison Writing Center, and I could not be more excited to join this amazing team of administrators and instructors! Joining a writing center team, in a lot of ways, feels like coming home. I started my journey in writing studies after working as an undergraduate writing consultant at the University of Central Florida […]

February 9, 2021

Revisiting Grammarly: An Imperfect Tool for Final Editing


Multilingual Writers, Technology

By Dorothy Mayne—As I entered the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my shift as a tutor in the writing center one day in the fall of 2015, I noticed a new and overwhelming number of flyers and posters for Grammarly, the automated written corrective feedback (AWCF) software. As the flyers purported, students could use Grammarly to help “perfect” their writing. […]

January 26, 2021

Introducing the WAC Program’s Online Writing Toolkit


Technology, Writing Across the Curriculum

By Jon Isaac—Last March, like every other instructor in the country, I shifted my course—a once-weekly graduate course on writing pedagogy—from in-person to entirely online. Along with the inevitable technological glitches, I also had to attend to the constantly-evolving conversations happening in and beyond higher education circles about rethinking expectations, student engagement, community-building, and evaluation. The questions that ran through my head as I imagined how my course would proceed for the final two months of the semester may sound familiar to you: Should I transition to entirely asynchronous instruction and just use online discussions on Canvas? Should I decrease the word limits of assignments and expectations for student engagement? How could our class possibly maintain the sense of community we had in person?

January 12, 2021