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  • Annie Marks

10 Myths About The Writing Center

Hey there, Writing Center family! It’s me (Annie), just logging in as October is coming to a close. I can’t believe how quickly this month flew by. We are now so close to the end of the semester! As we approach the end, many of us are starting to see assignments pile up. This large pile of work can certainly be intimidating and overwhelming, so I highly recommend that you use the Writing Center to receive help with any or all of your upcoming writing assignments. I understand some of you may have some hesitations about visiting the Writing Center. These hesitations are common. As such, I want to use this blog post to clear up some myths about the Writing Center and encourage you to come visit us!

Myth 1: The Writing Center’s main purpose is to fix grammar

The purpose of the Writing Center is to enable individuals to grow as writers. Although we can point out grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, our focus is not on fixing errors in a single paper. Rather, we are focused on developing and strengthening writing skills that go beyond a single paper. We have conversations about strengths and weaknesses in every student’s writing skills to give them areas they can strengthen and improve. Although we can discuss grammar rules, we also discuss organization, cohesion, thesis statements, arguments, and other aspects of writing. Every writer leaves their Writing Center appointment with concrete steps for their current writing assignment and strategies for writing that they can use in future papers.

The purpose of the Writing Center is to help you grow as a writer!

Myth 2: Only inexperienced writers use the Writing Center

The Writing Center is used by any and all writers, regardless of their skill level. The tutors adjust every session to meet each individual writer where they are. We help these writers develop their writing skills and grow as writers. My own experience with the Writing Center demonstrates this emphasis on writing development. I began using the Writing Center as a freshman when my writing skills needed a substantial amount of development. The Writing Center tutors helped me tremendously over the next three years. Even though my writing skills have greatly improved and I am now a tutor in the Writing Center, I still bring my writing to other tutors to further grow my skills.

Myth 3: I have to bring in a complete draft of my paper.

The Writing Center tutors are available to help you at any stage of the writing process. You can bring us a complete draft of your paper if you have one. We will work through this paper with you, focusing on answering your questions, finding your writing strengths, and pointing out areas you can improve. However, you can also come to us without a draft or any piece of writing. We can help you brainstorm ideas for your paper and talk through the rubric and requirements for your assignment. Regardless of what stage of writing you are, you are highly encouraged to stop by the Writing Center.

You don't need to have a complete draft of your paper to schedule an appointment!

Myth 4: I can only go to the Writing Center for class assignments

The Writing Center exists to enable the growth of writers by helping them with whatever writing they are working on. We are always willing to help you with essays, presentations, and other assignments you may be assigned in your classes. But, we are also available to help you with any personal writing you may be working on. You can bring in job applications, resumes, personal statements, blog posts, poems, books, or any other writing pieces and we will work through the pieces with you.

Myth 5: The Writing Center can only help me with traditional writing

The Writing Center functions as a multiliteracy center. In addition to helping students with traditional writing pieces, we are also available to help with multimodal projects. You can bring in PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, videos, and more. In the same way that we would help you with a traditional writing piece, we will also work through these multimodal projects with you. We will offer areas for improvement, point out your strengths, suggest steps you can take to complete the project, and provide you with concrete areas of your writing that you can improve.

The Writing Center tutors can help you with non-traditional writing pieces!

Myth 6: The Writing Center should only be used for English classes

The Writing Center tutors are recruited from all disciplines. Although some of our tutors study English Writing or Literature, many tutors have majors or minors in social sciences, business, health and medicine, and more. Since our tutors have a vast array of majors, we are able to help you with any discipline of writing. You can bring in a paper for a biology course, a presentation for a psychology class, a book report for a business course, or any piece of writing you may be working on.

Myth 7: People only visit the Writing Center the night before a paper is due

The Writing Center is here to help you throughout your entire writing process. Although we will always help you work on your writing the night before the assignment is due, last-minute appointments don’t always provide enough time for you to take the tutor’s feedback and revise your piece. Due to this, we love to help you develop this paper from the beginning. We highly recommend that you visit the Writing Center at the beginning of your writing process to talk through your ideas for the paper. As you begin to write and finalize your draft, we recommend that you continue to schedule appointments and receive feedback throughout your entire process. By visiting the Writing Center continually throughout this process, you will have the opportunity to receive helpful feedback in all stages of your writing and create a polished piece.

Try to visit the Writing Center multiple times and multiple days before your paper is due!

Myth 8: Since the Writing Center tutors are also students, they are not equipped to help other students

The Writing Center tutors are highly trained undergraduate students. Before working in the Writing Center, we completed a semester-long course that was focused on teaching us how to tutor students from all disciplines, backgrounds, and writing styles. This course gave us the skills we need to help other students. Even though we now work as tutors, we still continue to improve our tutoring strategies. We attend multiple education workshops every semester to sharpen our tutoring skills and stay up-to-date on the latest writing developments.

Myth 9: The Writing Center tutors judge me based on my writing

The Writing Center tutors chose to work in the center because we want to help our peers grow as writers. We are not focused on judging writing or developing opinions about our peers based on their writing. Rather, we understand that a writing piece is not always a reflection of a person, their academic potential, or even their writing skills. The writing pieces that we encounter are simply examples of ideas that an individual is editing and improving. As such, our focus is on strengthening those ideas, not on forming judgements about the writer.

The Writing Center tutors won't judge you based on your writing!

Myth 10: I have to schedule an appointment online ahead of time

Although the Writing Center scheduling website is always open, you don’t have to schedule an appointment online. You can stop by the Writing Center whenever we’re open (9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday - Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday) and schedule a walk-in appointment. If all of the tutors happen to be in tutoring sessions when you stop by, the receptionist will work with you to schedule an appointment for a time that works best for you. You’re also welcome to call the Writing Center (601-925-7289)and schedule an appointment.

You can test out this last myth by stopping by the Writing Center this week and scheduling an appointment! We would love to work with any assignments you may have coming up or to simply talk more about what we do in the center.

Visit the Writing Center soon!


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