Honoring the Writing Center’s Instructors: 2024 Awards for Excellence in Teaching


Awards and Honors, Writing Center Tutors

Since 2016, the Writing Center has recognized the outstanding contributions of our teaching assistance through teaching excellence awards. Our team of over 30 highly skilled teaching assistants, who are enrolled in either master’s or doctoral degree programs, provide one-to-one writing instruction to students. In addition to this, they actively participate in campus-wide outreach initiatives, lead […]

May 14, 2024

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

International to Intersectional: How Thinking about International Writing Center Tutors Can Make a Writing Center More Inclusive


Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Writing Center Conference, Writing Center Tutors

By Nattaporn Luangpipat, Samitha Senanayake, and Hadis Ghaedi, University of Wisconsin-Madison–At the 2022 International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) Conference in Vancouver, BC we  co-presented “Affordances and Challenges of International Writing Center Tutors.” Our roundtable attempted to understand the experiences of international writing center tutors, covering the affordances they bring and the challenges they face. We wanted to discuss how writing center stakeholders can raise awareness of international tutors and promote realistic expectations while reshaping their pedagogy to make international tutors aware of themselves as an asset and providing them with training and strategies to deal with possible challenges. […]

September 19, 2023

Creating Space: Building a Writing Center for Graduate Students


Covid, Graduate Students, Writing Center Tutors

By Dr. Yvonne Lee, Lehigh University—Working with graduate writers is currently a topic being discussed in the literature, and much of what is being discussed is the uniqueness and liminality of the situation in which graduate student writers find themselves (Jewell & Cheatle, 2021; Lawrence & Zawacki, 2018; Russell-Pinson & Jafarian, 2020; Simpson et al., 2016). To many, graduate writers should already be experts in writing in their fields. To others, they are novice insiders who are still learning the practices and expectations of their fields.  […]

September 6, 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

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

Empathetic Listening and Collaborative Learning: My Experience as an International Writing Center Tutor


Collaborative Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Tutor Publications, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Kuhelika Ghosh—When I work with international undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Writing Center, I often find myself taking a moment or two to acknowledge the specific challenges that the student shares with me. During some of these conversations, I end up briefly sharing my own experiences during my undergraduate degree when I struggled with writing within certain academic genres as a new international student. I still remember the first time I […]

March 21, 2023

I’m So Sorry, English Is Not My First Language


Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Social Justice, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Robert Zatryb, University of Connecticut—‘I’m so sorry, English is not my first language.’ Have you ever heard this sentence in your tutoring sessions? Have you read it among the information provided by the student writer ahead of the appointment? I certainly did, with a surprising regularity and always in a similar, apologetic wording. To some tutors and administrators, this tone might go unnoticed and be trivialised, but it actually should be very striking. The writers are […]

March 7, 2023