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 […]

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Not Quite Your Writing Clinic: Experimentations with a Caring Writing Curriculum amid “the Liberal Education Crisis”

Tutor Training, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Centers

By Shaoxuan Tian, Wesleyan University—I forget when and how Lauren—my supervisor and colleague at Wesleyan University’s writing center—and I started to use the phrase “writing trauma.” // “Another sad one with some writing trauma,” she commented on one response to the “How do you describe your relationship with writing?” question in our Writing Mentor program’s application. […]

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Reuniting in the Write Place: Rediscovering Community at the IWCA Collaborative

IWCA, Writing Center Conference, Writing Centers

Introduction by Jennifer Conrad and Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—The 2023 IWCA Collaborative took place in Chicago on Wednesday, February 15 and marked our first return to in-person conferencing since 2019, the year prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original call for proposals centered on a consideration of “writing center relationships, partnerships, and coalitions,” as well as the benefits of shared embodied presence with colleagues across the field of writing center studies. For us, there was a special energy about returning to a shared physical space, getting to see […]

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A Warm Welcome for Our New Teaching Faculty

From the Director, Madison Writing Assistance, Staff Introductions, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Centers

In August 2023, thanks to the support of English Department and the College of Letters & Science (among others), UW-Madison’s Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum programs welcomed two full-time teaching faculty, Abigail (Abby) Letak and Seth Umbaugh. 

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“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. […]

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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. […]

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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.” […]

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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. […]

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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, […]

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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. […]

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Show Your Work(flow)

Peer Tutoring, Technology, Tutor Training, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center pedagogy, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Joseph Franklin, New York City College of Technology—I am writing this at a bamboo table and simple folding chair combo. I am using Microsoft Word on a Mac laptop mounted on a Roost laptop stand and using a Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard that supports my wrists. I am playing instrumental music by Grandbrothers through Sennheiser PXC 550 noise canceling headphones and I have notifications turned off on all devices. These tools (and others) have been curated […]

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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. […]

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Call for Proposals, Fall 2023


Writing Centers

Another Word is currently seeking proposals for blog posts. We seek proposals from writing center administrators, professional staff, undergraduate and graduate tutors, and those invested in writing center studies on a broad range of topics related to administering, tutoring, training, and working in the writing center. 

September 29, 2023

#essayhack: What TikTok can Teach Writing Centers about Student Perceptions of College Writing


Technology, Tutorial Talk and Methods

By Holly Berkowitz, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga–There is a widespread perception that TikTok, the popular video-sharing social media platform, is primarily a tool of distraction where one mindlessly scrolls through bite-sized bits of content. However, due to the viewer’s ability to engage with short-form video content, it is undeniable that TikTok is also a platform from which users gain information; whether this means following a viral dance tutorial or learning how to fold a fitted sheet, TikTok houses millions of videos that serve as instructional tutorials that provides tips or how-tos for its over one billion active users. […]

September 26, 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

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

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

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