Embedded Meditation and Mindfulness: An Intentional Turn in Tutor Training


Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Fellows

By Lucy McInerney and Jenna Morton-Aiken, Brown University—If you were to walk into the Writing Fellows training classroom at Brown University at three minutes past 1:00 p.m. on any given Tuesday, you would find a darkened room littered with the bodies of students in repose. As you blinked down in confusion at the student closest to you, her head propped […]

April 2, 2024

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

Talking about the Deeply Personal in the Writing Center


Peer Tutoring, Student Voices, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

A conversation with Grace Apostol, Miranda Parrish, and Rachel Rodriguez, Washington College—How do writing tutors navigate difficult conversations in the course of their work with peers, moments where student writers share vulnerabilities or tutors feel the heavy weight of imposter syndrome? Washington College writing center director Rachel Rodriguez facilitates a conversation with two undergraduate writing tutors, Grace Apostol and Miranda Parrish, about how they grapple with these scenarios and translate their training into the reality of their praxis. […]

October 3, 2023

AI in the Writing Center: Small Steps and Scenarios


AI Writing, Peer Tutoring, Tutor Publications, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Thomas Deans, Noah Praver, and Alexander Solod, University of Connecticut—Even those far from college writing programs are talking more about writing these days, and we all know why: AI. Some disciplinary associations, including CCCC, MLA, and AWAC, have formed task forces on AI, posted working papers, or issued position statements (nothing yet from IWCA). Some writing centers have started creating materials to guide tutors. And all of us will be mulling over how to handle […]

August 1, 2023

A Lesson from Passive Voice


Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors

By Diego Alegría—How can we teach writing beyond questions around grammar, but through its very own instruments and problems? This question has guided the way I approach my writing center sessions. Here, I hope to trace a tentative answer by describing and analyzing a mentorship session that focused on the use of passive voice. In this session […]

July 18, 2023

Linguistically Diverse Writers’ Experiences Guide Linguistic Equity Training 


Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Racial Justice, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Susanne Treiber, Madison College and Karen Best, University of Wisconsin-Madison—Just a bike ride away from the renowned UW Writing Center lives a hidden gem of a neighbor–the Writing Center at Madison Area Technical College, a 2-year institution with a mission to “provide open access to quality higher education that fosters lifelong learning and success” (“Madison College: Our Culture”). Within this progressive community college resides a writing center, where an average of 33% of its visitors over the past 7 years identify as […]

July 11, 2023

From Tension to Agency: Supporting Multilingual Writers in the Writing Center


Diversity and Inclusion, Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Tutor Training, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Kerri Rinaldi, Immaculata University—Over the past few semesters, the tutors at the writing center I direct have expressed a desire and a need for more training on supporting multilingual writers. I heard their requests, but at first, I wasn’t sure how much additional training time to devote to this topic. After all, our small campus (2,500 students) has an even smaller population of international students and multilingual writers (just 1-5% of all students). And, my tutors […]

May 16, 2023

The Queer Tutor: Affirmation of Identity Through Writing Center Work


Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Queer Theory, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Molly Ryan, Virginia Tech—I remember my first day of writing center tutoring distinctly: I can see the desk I selected, third from the front by one of the large windows on the outer wall of the second floor of Newman library at Virginia Tech. I remember the brightly colored Crayola markers laid out for tutors, selecting the black marker to write my name on my identifying tag, and then […]

May 2, 2023

The Place of Laughter in Writing Center Spaces


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

By Arawomo Oluwayinka—I vividly remember working with two of my students, and the laughter we shared has always made these sessions memorable. In the first session, the student was struggling with incorporating comments from her advisor. In the other, the student was tired of the course content and the TA was not helping matters. Both students were working on serious writing projects and had serious writing concerns. However, we were able to navigate through it with our shared laughter […]

April 18, 2023

Weddings, Selfies, and Writers: Validation and Sustainable Emotional Labor Practices in Writing Centers


Peer Tutoring, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Rachel Azima, University of Nebraska-Lincoln—So what could an overwhelmingly queer fandom in 2022-23, the aggressively cishet space of a wedding planning message board in the early aughts, and writing centers possibly have in common, besides being spaces/communities where I have been or am an enthusiastic participant? More than you might imagine, it turns out.

April 4, 2023