The Writing Fellows program has existed for many years, but took a new form this year. The new Writing Center is located on the third level of the library, and anyone can schedule and appointment with a Writing Fellow (via the FA portal), or just stop in to get help. The goal of the writing center is to help students with their writing process by engaging them in conversation. According to Head of the English Department, Doctor Garrett, the Writing Center is part of the “20 or 30 year trend towards learning how to teach people how to write.” Doc Garrett continued to explain that “research on how to teach writing shows it provokes anxiety,” and that therefore the goal of the Writing Center is to teach students to “practice it as a craft.” Writing should not be stressful, it should be interesting, and as Doc Garrett emphasized, talking through an assignment with someone can really help you get your ideas straight. Mr. Wetherall is the new head of Writing Fellows, and he also had a lot to say about the new Writing Center. His answers to the questions below give a lot of detail as to what the writing center is, and how it can help students:
How would you briefly describe the Writing Center?
Mr Wetherall: The Writing Center has been successful, and it becomes more successful each week. Word of mouth seems to be our best advertisement. At the beginning of the year, few students were making appointments. But after the first few students left their appointments and told friends how helpful the Writing Center was, we became much busier.
In your opinion, has the new style of the Writing Center been successful thus far?
Mr. Wetherall: The Writing Center is already getting busier. However, it's only realistic to recognize that some times of the school year will be busier than others: the end of each quarter, for example, or when research papers are due. At present, we can handle between twenty and twenty-five appointments per week. That is a lot, but we would welcome the challenge of expanding our current schedule.
What do you foresee in the future for the Writing Center? Do you think that it will get busier throughout the year?
Mr. Wetherall: We have considered making the Writing Center available to middle school students at some point in the future. The Writing Center and its staff combat inequity and uphold academic integrity by offering a sanctioned form of free tutoring, and the middle school shares these values and concerns as well.
Lastly, why should students use the Writing Center?
Mr. Wetherall: Students should use the Writing Center because every writer needs a reader.
Whether you only have an outline or have a full paper that needs proofreading, the Writing Center can help. Appointments can be made through the FA Portal, or you can just stop in during your free block to ask questions.