Writing with Others: Renaissance Coteries, the Writing Center, and Community

Collaborative Learning, Writing Center Theory, Writing Groups

By Emily Loney—When Sir Philip Sidney sent the manuscript of his prose romance, the Arcadia, to his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, sometime in the 1580s, he sent a letter along as well. Apologizing for the imperfections of his tale, Sidney tells Pembroke in his letter that the Arcadia was written for her, and he reminds her […]

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Madison Writing Assistance: Spotlighting Three Writers

Uncategorized

By Tim Cavnar—One of the many programs administered by UW-Madison’s Writing Center is called Madison Writing Assistance (MWA). MWA could be described in many different ways—a local literacy program, the Writing Center’s public outreach branch, a tutoring service. Co-founded by former Writing Center Director Brad Hughes in 1999 and offering writing tutoring out of Madison’s Goodman South Library branch, it has grown significantly since that time. Currently, MWA offers […]

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How Faculty in All Disciplines Can Help ESL Writers Succeed (Part 2)

Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Writing Across the Curriculum

By Karen Best—In August I published the first installment of this two-part series on working with multilingual or English as a second language (ESL) writers in courses all across campus. In that blog post, I confessed that I had really overshot my target word length and thus would divide the content into two separate blog posts. […]

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Writing Mentorships: An Experiment in Formalization

Graduate Students

By Aaron Vieth – This post is a reflection on one of the Writing Center’s many new initiatives this year. Beginning last summer, we have been piloting a new format for our ongoing appointments—what we are calling “writing mentorships.” It is the aim of this post to provide a bit of background on what practices these writing mentorships have grown out of, describe what writing mentorships look like, and share the trajectory of the mentorship program […]

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A Warm Welcome: Getting to Know Our Writing Center Receptionists

Student Voices, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Receptionists

By Jen Fandel – One of my favorite parts of my position as Writing Center Administrator is working with our undergraduate receptionist team. These are students who often come to us seeking employment early in their university careers, and, as the person who hires them, I highlight the Writing Center’s community as one of the many bright spots of the job. […]

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Celebrating 50 Years of the UW-Madison Writing Center

Uncategorized, UW-Madison History, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center History

On November 8, 2019, the UW-Madison Writing Center hosted a day packed chock-full of activities and events to celebrate its 50 years on campus. To provide a taste of the Writing Center’s evolution over time, we’ve included the slide show that Emily Hall and Nancy Linh Karls, Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum Interim Co-Directors, provided during their afternoon remarks. […]

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Sharing and Sustaining Writing Center Research: A Cross-Institutional “Moonshot”

International Writing Centers, IWCA, Writing Center Research, Writing Centers

By Mike Haen (and the Cross-Institutional Research Team) – In this post, I want to share some exciting details about a grant-funded, cross-institutional research project that a group of colleagues and I recently discussed during a session at the International Writing Centers Association Conference (IWCA). […]

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Mutual Empowerment In and Beyond the Writing Center

Higher Education, Uncategorized, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Centers

By Michelle Niemann – Since 2016, I’ve been running what I think of as a one-woman writing center for faculty. I’m a “solopreneur,” one of those post-academics earning her living through a micro-business. My aim is not to grow the business or make a lot of money (why would I have gotten a PhD in English if that was ever the goal?), but to support myself by doing good work—work that institutions of higher education need done, even if they don’t always know it. […]

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Introducing the Writing Center’s New Academic Staff Members

Community Writing Assistance, Disability and Writing Centers, Outreach, Staff Introductions, Uncategorized, Writing Center Academic Staff, Writing Center Staff, Writing Center Workshops

This academic year, the Writing Center was able to hire three new academic staff members, all of whom are recent graduates of UW-Madison’s PhD program in English. Below, we’ve asked them to respond to a series of questions with the hope that you, our readers, will be able to get to know them through their words. […]

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A Valediction

Big 10 Writing Centers, Collaborative Learning, Events, From the Director, Graduate Students, Higher Education, International Writing Centers, IWCA, Peer Tutoring, Uncategorized, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center History, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

By Bradley Hughes – In August of this year I retired from my career as Director of the Writing Center and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I had the privilege of directing the Writing Center for 35 years (from 1984-2019) and the Program in Writing Across the Curriculum for […]

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Writing Center + ESL Program: Collaboration in Support of Multilingual Writers


Multilingual Writers, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Karen Best – The ESL Program and the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are both housed in Helen C. White hall, just one floor apart. However, despite this close proximity, our floors remain mostly separate, our staff distinct. Either you work in the ESL Program on the 5th floor or the Writing […]

December 3, 2018

A New Collaboration: Welcoming a High School Writing Center to UW-Madison


Collaborative Learning, Peer Tutoring, Uncategorized, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Mike Haen and Brenna Swift – The UW-Madison writing center, like all centers, is built on collaboration. As tutors, we collaborate during individual consultations to help writers brainstorm ideas and revise drafts. We also collaborate with faculty, instructional staff, and teaching assistants across campus through our outreach program to co-teach lessons on writing and […]

November 26, 2018

The Power of Open


Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Science Writing, Social Justice Committee, Uncategorized, Writing Across the Curriculum

By Katie Lynch – Upon graduating from UW-Madison with my Ph.D. in Literary Studies in 2010, I took a tenure-track position at Rockland Community College (RCC), one of the 64 institutions in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. My specific job description combined the teaching of writing and literature with a partial course release […]

October 22, 2018

The Benefits of a Collaboration Between a Writing Center and a Student Journal


Higher Education, Student Voices, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Centers

By Taryn Okuma – In Spring 2015 I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw that John Tiedemann (a fellow UW-Madison alum) had shared a link for WRIT Large, a student publication from the Writing Program at the University of Denver. John is a teacher whom I’ve always admired and his enthusiasm for his […]

October 15, 2018

Getting to the Roots of L2 Writer Experiences


Multilingual Writers, Peer Tutoring, Uncategorized, Writing Center Research, Writing Centers

By Molly Rentscher and Vicki Kennell – Molly Rentscher, a University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Fellows Program alum, was the Writing Center Coordinator at Arizona State University’s West campus while collaborating with Vicki on the research shared in this blog post. In August 2018, Molly began a new position at University of the Pacific, where she supports […]

October 8, 2018

A Writer in Pain: Notes Toward a Writing Center Ethics of Care


Disability and Writing Centers, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Amy Gaeta – As a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in English, writing center tutor and student, I love to write. Even if it was not part of my job, like many people reading this blog, the writing process is where I continue to find myself. During my past two years of working in the writing […]

October 1, 2018

Writing with Custodians: Community Writing Center Work within the University


Community Writing Assistance, Events, Higher Education, Multilingual Writers, Uncategorized, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Calley Marotta – How can a university-sponsored community writing center serve those whom the university does not reach? This is a question community writing centers consistently try to answer by designing writing support for those who live and work beyond the university’s walls (Rousculp 2014).(1) By doing so, they seek to bridge a gap […]

September 17, 2018

Venn and the Art of Writing Instruction


Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Center History, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Shifra Sharlin – Shifra Sharlin has been a Senior Lecturer at Yale University in the Department of English since 2013. In 2007, she received her Ph.D. in the Composition-Rhetoric Program from UW-Madison where she worked in the Writing Center. She has also taught at UC-Berkeley, the Wisconsin English as a Second Language Institute, UW-Madison’s […]

September 10, 2018