February 2013
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Visiting the Writing Center

I have a confession to make: up until this point in my college career, I had never had an appointment at the Writing Center. A lot of this has to do the fact I tend to finish my papers at the last minute. I had always had this unfounded idea that in order to take a paper to the Writing Center, it should be pretty complete first.

However, this semester, I’m taking a course called Peer Tutoring. This may sound boring and nondescript, but it’s actually a class to teach me how to work in the Writing Center. It’s been neat to learn about how the Writing Center works, what services they provide, and how to be an effective writing tutor. As part of this training, I’m required to make appointments at the Writing Center to experience the process of peer tutoring firsthand.

It’s become a lot clearer to me that going the Writing Center can be extremely helpful at any stage of the writing process. For example, students who need help with brainstorming and prewriting can schedule an appointment at the Writing Center to focus on that.

I went to the Writing Center with almost three pages of a paper that needs to be around four to six pages. While my ideas were solid, I wanted to discuss ways to better organize the content of my paper and discuss ways that I could make it more interesting. The paper I’m writing is actually about my writing process, and we decided that to make it more engaging, I should include some specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate aspects of my writing process.

Because I’m in training to be a writing tutor, throughout the discussion we also talked about aspects of McDaniel’s writing center and tips on how to be a good tutor. Though I have a few peer tutoring guidebooks to help me learn how to be a tutor, I know that my firsthand discussions will be particularly memorable lessons. There’s just something so genuine about advice from one tutor to a future tutor.

Overall, I’d say this evening’s trip to the Writing Center was a success! I got some great feedback on my paper, learned some important things about the Writing Center and being a writing tutor, and I even got to spend some time brainstorming strategies for how to go about another paper that I’m in the process of starting.

When you’re in college, take advantage of the Writing Center. No matter how good of a writer you are or what stage of the writing process you’re in, you’ll receive valuable help and advice from a friendly and knowledgeable tutor!

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