How should student writers use a campus writing center?
Seung Min Park
September 20, 2016
“How should student writers use a campus writing center?”
Skidmore writing center opens for students this week. I tried to reserve a spot for interview but there were already many students who need helps from writing center. Fortunately, I joined with my friend who needs to do a same work. Rachel was our tutor and welcomed us with a happy smile. Rachel is a student who is English and psychology major and she has been working in writing center since her sophomore year.
First, I started with a question that “how to become a writing center tutor?” Rachel says that she took a course that teaches how to be a tutor in writing center. She continued, “In the course, we learned how to collaborate with essay with students”. It was quite a fascinating “Learning how to collaborate with students for essay?” because what my expectation was something like that “We have learned whole English grammar again, essay structure, and communication”. Rachel explained what the collaboration means for me who wondering why she uses the word “collaboration” rather than “editing skills”. “We, writing center tutors are prohibited from editing student’s essay because editing can violate honor code”. “Therefore, tutors sit in the center and work with students about their essays. Editing and collaboration had no different meaning for me so I asked. Rachel replied that, for example, students could leave after handing in their essays here but working together means that we have a communication with students about their essay. It is helpful for not only fixing grammar and structure but also knowing students’ intention on writing so that tutors can help them efficiently.
I continued my interview with another question that “Is there any other taboo or expectation that you want from students or first year students?” In Rachel’s answer, she wants student to use writing center in advanced and she recommends using writing center several times and she adds that try to use other tutor before your final writing center visit. Moreover, she suggests that try to look over tutors’ major first because it will help student more or go to tutor in each department.
Working together is a main goal for both tutors and students for their essay. Rachel really want students to be active on using writing center rather than any other things. I hope all first year students follow her suggestion for both themselves and tutors to use a campus writing center appropriately.