Every Writer Needs a Reader

We are past the half-way point of spring semester and that term paper due date is getting closer every day. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed though; writing assistance is available all week long in the Academic Support Center, located in St. Joseph Hall.

I’m Emily LaPointe, a graduate student in English, and the following summarizes the great experience I had as a Writing Center tutee.

Tutor Jen Long, a graduate student studying Counseling, strongly believes that “Every writer needs a reader.” Long is in her second year at the Writing Center (WC) where she enjoys helping students of all backgrounds at all educational levels become more confident writers. Maybe you’ve already heard about what the WC can provide, but have you taken advantage of it yet? Long stressed that as a tutee you can receive “individualized feedback for free!” The service that the WC provides is invaluable, since, as Long commented, “Writing skills are something that will serve you for the rest of your life.”

Having been a tutor in my undergraduate career, I was curious to see what the WC experience was like on the other side of the table. From the beginning of my session, Long was open, friendly, and professional. First she asked me the basic questions she addresses with every tutee, like what I wanted to get out of our session. She also assured me that there would be confidentiality in our appointment and with the materials I was sharing. Another routine question was asking for my assignment guidelines to make sure that I was on the right track. After reading through a piece of fiction I had written, Long and I discussed problems I was having with flow and with creating tension in the story. I found the session very helpful, and I especially saw that Long’s words rang true; it was so nice to have another set of eyes to look over my work. Long said that one of the most important aspects of a successful session is to “come open minded.” As a recently helped tutee, I agree that this point is crucial for a student that wants or needs to grow in his or her writing skills.

I had a very positive experience with the WC, and I also found that the WC homepage has some really helpful links as well. So, if you are not interested in a one-on-one tutoring session, there are numerous outlets for you to check out on the WC site. The WC also makes time for walk-ins, if you just have a quick question or need brief assistance. Visit the Writing Center within the Academic Support Center in St. Joseph Hall, visit the WC site at: http://www.strose.edu/officesandresources/academic_support_center/writingsupport, or access WC resources through Blackboard—just click on the Community Tab, and locate the WC under College Offices.

Here comes that old saying again, but believe me, people say it for a good reason: Don’t wait until the last minute to start writing that big, daunting term paper! Bring your questions and concerns to the talented tutors at the WC during the first stages of your paper and see how helpful it can be to have a willing reader on hand.

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