The Writing Center sets high hopes for new year

By Cameron Morgan, Chattangooa, TN–Don’t know how to begin a paper? Confused about MLA? The Writing Center can fix that.

Located on the first floor of Holt Hall, the Writing Center is a place for all writers to come and get feedback on their writing. That’s their business, according to Professor Jennifer Beech, director of The Writing Center, to help students develop skills as writers beyond the text.

Beech said the center is focused on helping students with parts of the writing process.

“In the early drafts, we’re really looking for a thesis. Similarly in more polished drafts, we can focus on smaller concerns and figure out where students are,” Beech said.

Yet the common conception that the center is a fly-by-night, drop-your-paper-off shop is a misnomer.

Students are encouraged to schedule appointments through the center. Then, with a one-on-one consultant, students are brought through the writing process to a point where they feel comfortable writing the paper by themselves. Sessions generally last about 30-45 minutes and walk-ins are available should the schedule permit.

“We are trying to give students feedback on their pieces in an interactive environment,” Beech said.

Also, the center welcomes all subjects and majors, too. Senior Nikolas Hall, Oakridge, Tenn., is a psychology major. Hall said that his time working at the Writing Center has been a great improvement for technical writing and APA style.

“Not all English majors work here. Previously, we’ve had Art, poli-sci and a marketing major work in the Writing Center,” said Hall.

If students still feel timid about coming in, Hall and Beech both suggest it is a non-judgmental environment, and stress they are there to help.
“We try to play more of the audience role rather than that of an expert,” Beech said.

“Honestly, we’re all dorks,” Hall said. “We don’t judge people’s work unless it’s the other consultants, and then we normally joke with each other.

 

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