The forces of globalization and the development of English as a lingua franca have made many scholars and practitioners highlight the urgent need for foreign language literacy. The Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center (MWC) at Dickinson College addresses that need by offering peer writing tutoring in eleven languages.
Though composition studies has long sought to leverage new technologies of literacy to help students go public, we remain anxious about our ability to do so, as students commonly enter our classrooms already composing for diverse public audiences in a variety of digital contexts. Yet students, too, are often anxious about these new modes of composition, which circulate in a destabilized rhetorical environment where traditional understandings of authority, argument, and audience no longer hold.
This profile of the Writing at Moravian program discusses how an application of activity theory has facilitated a collaborative and context-responsive (re)development of the First-Year Writing, Writing Fellows, and Writing-Enriched Curriculum programs at our small liberal arts college.
Our research is designed to tap into the potential of this record to study the overall effectiveness of email comments. In this presentation, we will discuss our work examining asynchronous email tutoring and how we determined whether tutor comments on papers emailed to our writing center were effective.
In the University of Minnesota’s Student Writing Support program, we gather, record, and share student and course information in order to support consultants in their work with writers; to assess and improve our own practice; and to make compelling, datadriven arguments for the center’s continued existence. Recognizing moments when these data-collection practices worked against the relationships we wanted to build with student writers, we began to critique these practices, with the goal of creating more intentional criteria and methods for soliciting client information.
Rhetoric and Writing Studies have long attempted to bend plagiarism complaints toward theories of writing and learning. Media coverage and institutional discourse, on the other hand, continue framing plagiarism as an isolated, individual problem (Adler-Kassner, Anson, & Howard, 2008). And so we find plagiarism exhaustively covered and still exhausting.
It was during summer 2015, my first month into being newly in charge of the University of Georgia’s writing centers (WCs), that I met X through our synchronous online consultation (SOC) service. Based on his pre-filled appointment questionnaire, I knew that he was a social sciences graduate student, that he wanted help revising his first rejected academic article.
In our undergraduate training course, like many others, consultants-to-be learn about the role of the writing center as an institutional middle-ground, a liminal space between teachers and students, the university and the individuals within it. University-sponsored “peer” tutoring, of course, depends on situating ourselves as such. However, writing center practitioners’ view of ourselves and our work, and the image we present to our consultants-in-training, can be very different from the preconceived images that incoming writers have of the writing center.
“Welcome. Come in. Would you like a something to drink? Is this seat okay?” What does welcome look like to you? To the writers who visit your center? To your fellow consultants? Is it the same? Does welcome equate a certain level of comfort and/or safety? Should it?
At the Montana State University (MSU) Writing Center, the sticker we offer to students while telling them about what we do at the Writing Center says, “Writing Happens Here.”