Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Analyzing the History of Lafayette’s College Writing Program


Events, Higher Education, Student Voices, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Staff, Writing Centers

By McKenna Graf and Emma Hetrick, Lafayette College—Students and faculty of the Lafayette College Writing Program (CWP) have been embarking on a journey through their history. Leading with passion, we have been investigating how we operated in the past and how that might inform and improve our future. In Fall 2023, we started by gathering information on alumni, sorting through archival material about writing all over campus, and interviewing past employees of the program. With these seedlings of our project, we were able to present our research at the historic Hotel Bethlehem on Friday, January 12, 2024.

July 16, 2024

“Is this going to be hard?”: Reflections on My First Year Teaching Composition as a Writing Center Coordinator


Higher Education, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Tabitha Fisher,  Pennsylvania State University—It’s September 2022, and I’m standing at the front of my classroom, walking through the questions my students posted online in response to the new assignment. At Penn State, nearly all instructors new to the department teach English 15, the university’s first-year writing course in rhetoric and composition. This is my first semester teaching after two years as the Writing Center Coordinator. […]

December 12, 2023

More Than a Feeling: Finding the “Felt Sense” Through Tutoring


Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Centers

By Elizabeth Parfitt, Penn State University—As a writing center administrator, I observe 15-20 new writing tutors each semester to provide them with constructive feedback toward their development as tutors, scholars, and writers. […] It’s a part of my job that is time consuming but a highlight. When I’m sitting next to a writer and tutor, watching them move an idea forward, I feel connected to the writing center and the possibilities that tutoring affords. I feel confident that the work we’re doing is making a difference on campus. This overt emotional connection to the work might also explain why I honed in on a curious trend during my observations this past year. […]

November 28, 2023

Still Stocking the Bodega


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Multilingual Writers, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Writing Centers

By Dr. Nancy Effinger Wilson and Samuel Garcia, M.A.—In “Stocking the Bodega,” Nancy discusses changes she made to the Texas State University Writing Center in order to create a panethnic, heteroglossic, communal, cosmopolitan, and transgressive third space writing center. On the writing center’s home page, for example, she added a link labeled “Englishes” that included definitions of various Englishes. Just as the writing center publicized the fact that this was an LGBTQ+ and veteran-friendly space, Nancy wanted to declare the writing center “language friendly.” […]

November 14, 2023

Writer’s Dual: Student Support in a Hybrid World


Higher Education, Technology, The Online Writing Center, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Daniella Peinado, Dava Newell, Lisa Diethelm, and Jessica Jones—Supporting students’ writing online has been a topic of conversation in writing centers for decades. Muriel Harris discussed incorporating technology into writing centers in 2000, and in 2009, Neaderhiser and Wolfe reviewed ways writing centers were using new technology tools to support writing centers. The Academic Support Network (ASN) at Arizona State University (ASU) has developed a dual-modality tutoring model which taught us how to identify our core goals for supporting student’s writing to then use available technologies to adapt and meet those goals. […]

October 31, 2023

A Writing Center at Sea


Higher Education, International Writing Centers, Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Marina De Greef, Tobi Jacobi, and Sarah Neve—Writing Tip of the Day: Map out which writing tasks you can accomplish before each port to make upcoming port/class turnarounds manageable. Gather a few sources and make an outline or commit to writing a few paragraphs before stepping off the ship (Dean’s memo, March 16, 2023). Writing centers have a storied history as shape shifters, […]

October 17, 2023

Reflecting on Tutor Training in Times of Crisis


Classes, Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Training, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Centers

By Stacie Klinowski, University of Massachusetts Amherst—”I think about that reading all the time when I’m tutoring. Literally all the time,” one undergraduate tutor told me as we discussed one of her sessions that I had observed. The reading in question, “Peer Tutoring: A Contradiction in Terms?” by John Trimbur, was something that this tutor had read two years previously when taking a class to prepare to work in our writing center. 

June 6, 2023

“Try and Fight that white Supremacy:” Tutors on Antiracist Praxis


Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Education, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Training, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Faith Thompson, Salisbury University—After Victor Villanueva’s 2006 catalyzing speech at the International Writing Centers Association Conference, calls for antiracist practices at writing centers have been echoed by many scholars such as Frankie Condon, Laura Greenfield, and Neisha Anne-Green. These calls have offered insight into ways that racism shows up in writing centers, including student work brought to tutors that perpetuate racism and racist ideologies […]

February 21, 2023

Nomadic Pedagogy and the Writing Center


Covid, Higher Education, Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Mario Ramirez-Arrazola, University of Oklahoma—In writing center work, It is hard to refrain from thinking about the writing center as the client’s endpoint, and yet it is important to recognize the varied movements and progressions that bring writers to us. Before entering the space of the writing center, they have had to travel through a journey of self-contained experiences, which affected them in either grand or negligible ways. When they walk out, perhaps never to be seen again, their stories don’t stop there. […]

October 25, 2022

Introverted Engagement: Exploring the Experiences of Shy Writing Center Tutors


Higher Education, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy

By Shannon Mooney—Many years ago, while I was working as an undergraduate tutor, students from a local high school visited our writing center as they worked towards implementing a center at their school. During a group lunch, one of the high schoolers posed a question to our writing center’s tutors and staff: How do tutors who are shy or introverted manage their anxiety or nervousness when interacting with so many different people in writing center spaces? As a shy tutor, I should have attempted to answer the question; instead, […]

August 9, 2022