By Chris Muse, Writing Center Coordinator

What is the Writing Center?  To summarize, it is a service of trained tutors that provide individual counseling in writing for Texas State students at any level of study.

This includes help with: essays, technical writing, research papers, formal letters, in-class essay exams, MLA/APA documentation, professional writing, and resumes. We also tutor for the GSP.  Overall, the Writing Center is a beneficial place to learn how to improve and even sharpen writing skills. However, there are students that still have reservations about the Writing Center.  Typically, there is the false impression that students will be judged for their writing and tutors will single out any or all “mistakes” in an insensitive manner.  But this perception could not be further from the truth.

In the Writing Center, tutors realize that students are reluctant to share their written work.  For example, I had a session last week with a student who was experiencing her first semester of college after taking a twenty-eight year break from pursuing a degree in nursing.  At first, I noticed she was nervous about letting me read her paper.  I told my client that I would not ridicule her in any way and am only here to provide support.  Also, I informed her on how the Writing Center is a safe place because we offer a service that specializes in developing writing skills without judgment.  After our brief counseling session, she opened a folder and handed me her paper.  Moreover, students will find that tutors are not abrasive in their teaching styles and take the time to calmly address any issue.

To conclude, the purpose of the Writing Center is not to emotionally scar students.  Rather, it is a resource on campus that is available to use if a student is interested in learning how to strengthen aspects of his/her writing.  Tutors will instruct students on how to brainstorm for a topic, form an outline, implement sources, and organize the paper effectively.  Of course, any major concerns the student has will be addressed first.  Quite simply, we are here to help.

The Writing Center is located in Avery 203. Spring 2012 hours are Monday-Wednesday from 1-8 p.m. and  Thursday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. E-mail or stop by to make an appointment.