Welcome to The Writing Center
What Are Our Objectives?
- To encourage intellectual experimentation among both students and faculty
- To empower students to read and write in disciplines across the curriculum
- To familiarize students with new technologies designed to improve reading and writing
- To prepare students for successful transfer
- To provide in-site training resources for T. A. interns and tutors across the curriculum
- To develop training and research resources and offer services to faculty and students across the curriculum
Benefits of Tutorial Interaction
"The central goal of the Writing Center is to provide individualized, collaborative, and self-paced learning opportunities for students at Los Angeles Valley College. The heart of any writing center activity consists of dialogue about texts: those that a student has written or those she or he is reading. In either case, the center provides a place for students to develop a sense of audience, the externalizing of a given text that often cannot be accomplished in a classroom setting alone."
—Deborah L. Harrington, Professor of English
"Writing Centers do not and should not repeat the classroom experience and are not there to compensate for poor teaching, over-crowded classrooms, or lack of time for overburdened instructors to confer adequately with their students. Instead, writing centers provide another, very crucial aspect of what writers need—tutorial interaction. When meeting with tutors, writers gain kinds of knowledge about their writing and about themselves that are not possible in other institutionalized settings..."
—Muriel Harris, College English, 1995
Dialogue: Key to Writing Center Process
"Nearly everyone who writes likes—and needs—to talk about his or her writing, preferably to someone who will really listen, who knows how to listen, and knows how to talk about writing too. Maybe in a perfect world, all writers would have their own ready auditor—a teacher, a classmate, a roommate, an editor—who would not only listen but draw them out, ask them questions they would not think to ask themselves. A writing center is an institutional response to this need. Clearly writing centers can never hope to satisfy this need themselves; on my campus alone, the student-to-tutor ration would be about a thousand to one. Writing Centers are simply one manifestation—polished and highly visible—of a dialogue about writing that is central to higher education."
—Stephen North, "The Idea of a Writing Center"
The Writing Center is a place where students can…
- Share proofreading tips (However, the tutors are not proofreaders!)
- Practice and understand techniques for detecting and correcting local to global grammatical errors
- Learn successful reading and writing strategies for any classes they are taking across the curriculum
Tutors help with…
- Generating creative ideas
- Brainstorming/Prewriting for a topic
- Synthesizing a vague idea into a thesis or topic sentence
- Organizing a paper’s structure on a global scale
- Creating a persuasive element to a main idea
- Identifying run-on sentences and fragments
- Composing strong, fluent sentences that stress the most important idea
- Understanding verb tenses and how to use them
- Finding active vs. passive verbs
- Understanding the relationship between subjects and verbs
- Using pronouns, as well as other parts of speech, properly
- General Academic Skills
- Providing techniques to improve spelling
- Reading a work while retaining and comprehending its idea
- Documenting research in formats across the curriculum (MLA, APA, etc)
- Improving in-class essay abilities/strategies
- Understanding and analyzing fiction and poetry
The Writing Center is NOT a place where…
- Papers are proofread. Tutors do not act as an editing service. We want to teach YOU how to proofread and edit YOUR papers. If we do everything for you, you will always need a tutor.
- Papers go through a quick grammar fix-it.
- Papers are written for you (i.e. not a ghostwriting bureau!)