The Writing Center: Where Writers Help Other Writers

Every August young fresh minds flock to college campuses in search of knowledge. They sit in classrooms learning a variety of subjects. Inevitably they are handed the assignment that most students dread…a research paper. Students hate the research paper for many reasons, the most common being that they have been told by previous teachers that their writing is not good. For those students that suffer from anxiety upon receiving that first paper assignment, fear no more there is a place that can help you with your writing; it is called the Writing Center.

What students need to understand is that even the best of writers needed help with their writing at some point. If students were to think about writing as a science they would find that for every author there is an equal or opposite editor. Now, the Writing Center is not an editing service, but like an editor of a book, the tutors in the Writing Center can pick up on certain nuances that the writer is missing. Much like an author’s editor will push the writer to be a better writer, the tutors of the Writing Center push students to put their best writing foot forward.

As a tutor in the Writing Center at my own university I have seen the deer in headlights look many times. Students will bring their writing to me thinking terrible thoughts about the work that they have done. Due to their past experience with writing students think that there is no way that they could ever become a better writer. The point of college is to make you think smarter, read deeper, and write better. The Writing Center is a place where student writers can get help from other student writers.

As a writer I know the struggles that students go through when trying to write that big research paper that is due sooner rather than later. I know the feeling of looking at the same text for too long and thinking that what I have written is not acceptable only to have someone else read it and see the good within it. As a tutor, the service I provide to students is my knowledge and expertise in panic and terror and knowing that it will be all turn out ok. Famous author John Green once said, “Writing is something you do alone.” However, he forgets about those people that read through his work to find what is missing or to discover that his organization could use some work.

The writing process can be hard at times, but by trying out a variety of different methods students can discover the best process that works for them. Some students may find that once they have written their paper, reading their paper out loud is helpful. By reading your paper out loud you get to hear when something within your writing sounds funny or awkward. You notice immediately if your paper does not sound the way that you want it to when you read it aloud. If students do not like to read their papers out loud, you may ask a friend to read it and give you notes. Your friend will let you know when they do not understand what your paper is trying to say, giving you the opportunity to go back and make your paper more clear so that your friend can understand. What students do not realize, especially freshman, is that one of the best tools a writer can use is the eyes and ears of another person.

For students, there is no better service than one that is determined to help you be the best writer that you can be. Writing is a big part of what you do in college so the fact that there is a place on campus that can help you in areas that you may or may not be lacking in is wonderful. There are so many college courses that require a paper of some sort that it just seems silly not to take advantage of the one place that could be the difference between failing a class and passing it with flying colors. So, there should be no more anxiety attacks when the research paper assignment is handed out. No more deer in head lights look on the faces on young minds. Simply just go to the Writing Center and ask for help. The Writing Center, where writers help other writers become better writers.

 

-Heather

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