Diverse writing center staff aids students

Roxanne H.

 

The writing center is well equipped to assist a unique student body because of their diverse staff.

The writing center is a wonderful on-campus resource for those who need assistance writing. There are boot camps available all throughout the summer for those needing help writing a dissertation as well as a few grammar quizzes for those who may need extra practice with things such as parts of speech and sentence structure, according to the center’s website.  Overall, the writing center provides many benefits to students.

When students visit the writing center they may have their paper edited by a tutor, according to the Writing Center website. While the hard work and dedication of the tutors in the writing center is appreciated, it seems some students feel skeptical when having their papers edited by a peer, especially when that peer is not an English major.

“We really want the writing center to represent the diversity of the university,” said Gail Jacky, director of the writing center.  “We have coaches of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, different views of academics and what they want to do with their future. We try to foster a collaborative family.”

The writing center also promotes academic diversity amongst its staff with tutors of many different majors

“APA, American Psychological Association is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences,” according to a 2017 article by University of Pittsburgh.   

 

“MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities [and] Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts.”

The diversity in the writing center allows knowledgeable tutors of all backgrounds to assist students of all majors in adjusting to writing assignments and formatting required by their professors. The tutors at the center must first go through a training process before they’re allowed to help students.

Prospective tutors ubmit an acceptable writing sample and an application, according to the writing center website, which will be reviewed by the hiring team. Next, the tutors have to go through weeks of training, directed by Ashley E. Bartelt, a writing coach at the center.

Bartelt and Jacky along with the rest of the staff at the writing center seem to try their best to create an enriching and close-knit environment for their staff.

“It’s not just that we have coaches that can work with the clients, it’s what we share with each other as a collaborative organization,” said Bartelt. “We talk to each other about our experiences and things we learn. With any given discipline, we get asked to do different things all the time. Sometimes you do get overlap in what’s being asked in different disciplines,”

Overall, the writing center is a valuable asset resource for any student, whether they need help writing a paper or would just like a second perspective. The writing center invites and embraces people of all backgrounds. The diversity of the center is what distinguishes it. No matter the level of expertise a student may have with writing, it is always a good idea to get another point of view.