The Writing Center is a campus resource that serves undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni and university affiliates by offering writing feedback, advice and resources. It recently moved from the College of Arts and Sciences to the Office of Undergraduate Education to align with other student services, programs and campus resources to create a more unified student experience. This move resulted from a Financial Futures initiative, which recognized the Writing Center as an essential academic support resource for promoting student retention and engagement.
The consulting staff at the Writing Center includes adjunct faculty, graduate students and undergraduate peer tutors, all of whom have completed professional training in writing pedagogy. Among the staff are career educators, published authors, scholars, experienced professionals and students from a variety of fields who work with writers and writing in all academic disciplines. Staff assists with professional documents, such as job applications, personal statements and grant proposals. Writers can receive support at any stage in their writing process, from brainstorming through revision and self-editing.
“Students who have never visited the Writing Center may assume the service is only intended for those who struggle with their writing,” said Eric Klinger, faculty director for the Writing Center. “In fact, there are many ways the Writing Center can help even the most accomplished writers to better their craft and delivery.”
It is common for students who are writing honors and graduate theses, dissertations and academic publications to use the Writing Center for assistance. During a session, writers engage in a Socratic conversation about their project, writing process and intentions to help them become more skillful, self-aware, resourceful and confident in making judgement calls at every stage of their writing process.
Sessions are free of charge and last 50 minutes. Writers can reserve up to two appointments per week by visiting the scheduling site and creating a free account. This fall, all sessions are being conducted remotely with the option of attending a Zoom meeting or receiving asynchronous written feedback on an uploaded document.
The Writing Center is intended to be a supportive rehearsal space where students can experiment with their writing before delivering it to its intended readers. It is also an especially valuable resource for first-year and international students learning to acclimate to CU’s rigorous academic expectations.
“Writing consultants serve as a friendly, non-evaluative third party whom students can ask candid questions about their writing that they might not feel comfortable asking a professor,” said Klinger. “For instance, staff at the Writing Center can help students to ensure that they’re on topic, are correctly citing sources, and that they know how to spot and fix errors in their grammar and punctuation.”
Students who visit the Writing Center even once during their first year are significantly more likely to remain at CU through graduation and complete their degrees with higher final GPAs, according to a longitudinal study conducted by the CU Office of Data Analytics.
Contact Eric Klinger for more information about the Writing Center.