Need a Hand With Writing? Center Open to All

By: Ben DiVasta
Salem, MA March, 27, 2017 — Struggling with your writing? Need a fresh set of eyes of your paper? Take advantage of the Writing Center at Salem State University. The Center is a place where one can take any writing assignment causing trouble and receive that help from trained workers.

Out of 1200 surveys from students on their experiences at the Center in 2017, 94 percent rated it as being “excellent.” Ninety-seven percent would return and recommend it to others, 94 percent strongly agreed they received the help they needed, according to Rebecca Marini, the coordinator of the Writing Center.

“Writing is used beyond the universities and if you have that skill down, it makes you more marketable in the job markets,” said Marini.

Students work on assignments in the Writing Center at Salem State University, Salem, Mass., during a recent March day. While tutors wait for upcoming students to come in for help. Photo: Ben DiVasta

The major point of the Writing Center is to improve the students writing. The tutors work with the students one-on-one and the sessions last from 45–60 minutes. The Center just doesn’t help with school related writing either. Students can take any subject that has a specific writing assignment. But staff can also help students with their own creative writing projects, scholarships for which they are applying, and even resumes. The tutors can help with grammar, topic development, brainstorming, and everything in between. But there are strict rules about who can take advantage of the office.

“You need to be at least in sophomore standing, a faculty recommendation, and at least a 3.5 GPA,” according to Bill Coyle, assistant director.

A student receptionist at the Writing Center at Salem State University, Salem, Mass., during a recent March day. Photo: Ben DiVasta

There are 35 student tutors who work at the center. Junior Meghan Gross is a tutor and finds the whole experience to be very rewarding. She is looking to become eventually an English teacher.

“I’ve always loved writing and been good at it so I figured might as well help out others with their writing. It makes me feel good helping out others and helps me refine my skills as a writer, too, so it’s a win-win,” she said.

The Mary G. Walsh Writing Center is located in the Frederick E. Berry library, Room 113 and in the corner of it, next to the Center of Academic Excellence room. Students can sign up for appointments here. The fall and spring semester hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m., to 4p.m, Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday 12–3 p.m.

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