Welcome to the University Writing Center!
The Writing Center is open virtually until further notice. For live Zoom consultations, please call the ASC's remote office assistant at 503-902-5163. Or, to send in your draft for feedback via recorded screencast, click here.
The University Writing Center engages students in a collaborative dialogue about their writing. Peer writing tutors—trained in composition theory, rhetorical analysis, and feedback strategies—provide constructive responses to student writers at all skill levels and at any point in their writing process. Consultations last 30 or 50 minutes and offer writers a chance to discuss, develop, and revise their work in a supportive and encouraging environment as they engage in scholarly and other conversations within and across disciplines.
The Writing Center is a place for writers to engage in a studio-style workshop. Feel free to come in, have a seat, and write on your own for as long as you like. You can also talk with a writing tutor to get focused feedback on your draft, brainstorm for ideas, or collect tips for your research and writing process. To make the most of your time, we recommend using the Writing Center early and often; if you wait till the last minute, you might be underestimating what a consultation can do for you!
Location, Hours, and Contact
The Writing Center is part of the Academic Success Center, located on the ground floor of the Brooks Library. Appointments are recommended, but drop-ins are welcome. To contact us, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. For immediate assistance, please call 503-902-5163.
Writing Center FAQ
What kinds of writing can I get help with?
All kinds. The Writing Center employs peer writing tutors from a wide variety of majors, and we are trained to work with writers in any discipline. Whether you are writing a literary essay or a lab report, your first college essay or a graduate-level term paper, the Writing Center can help.
Can I still get feedback if I don’t have an appointment?
Yes. We offer consultations on a drop-in basis as well as by appointment. So even if you haven't scheduled a time in advance, you can still come to the Center, sign in, and work on your own until a tutor becomes available. Wait times are usually short but can exceed 30 minutes around midterms and finals.
What happens in a consultation?
Consultations last up to 30 or 50 minutes, depending on your project and your needs. People often bring a draft, but it’s not required, since it’s often useful to talk about the assignment or toss around ideas before writing (those are some of our favorite consultations!). After reading your work/notes together and discussing the main ideas, the conversation typically centers on a few questions or concerns about the piece. During that conversation, options emerge, error patterns may be highlighted and explained, and paths forward are identified. The consultation usually ends with a brief review of what was discussed.
How do I prepare for a consultation?
Whether you are visiting the Center in person or holding one over the phone, have your draft/notes ready, your assignment description if you have one, and something to write with. Preparing these things will save you time and allow for a smoother conversation.
Will the tutor proofread my paper?
Because of a fundamental belief that all students have a responsibility to advance in their own writing skills, the Writing Center does not operate as a proofreading service. We do, however, provide feedback and strategies for any writer wishing to learn of grammatical constructs and patterns, as well as rhetorical considerations, that will improve their writing and writing process.
What are the qualifications for becoming a peer writing tutor?
Peer writing tutors play a vital role in academics across the disciplines. As such, they come from various major programs. They are CWU students in good academic standing who enjoy reading, writing, and working with people; possess a knowledge of the standards of written English; are active listeners and learners; and demonstrate successful, honest learning habits. While employed, tutors participate in ongoing training in writing center theory and practice that aligns with the standards set by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).
What accommodations are available for writers in various circumstances?
Our standard practices in reading and responding to student writing are easily adaptable for almost any circumstance you face, whether that means recording your consultation so you can listen to it later, accessing devices or computer software that facilitate your learning methods, or moving our conversation to a workspace that meets your needs. Writers in the Center have a variety of specific options:
- A KIC scanner helps you create a searchable pdf or mp3 file from almost any text.
- Livescribe smart pens and audio recorders can be checked out at the Circulation desk for up to six months at a time.
- Central Access Reader is a downloadable text-to-speech application that also lets you create mp3 files of texts.
- Laptops are also available at Circulation.
- A family study space offers children under your care a place to play nearby while you work.
- Headphones, also at Circulation, can help you create your own study environment.
- Quiet study spaces or presentation rooms may be reserved.
- Different spaces in the library offer different types and heights of seating, work surfaces, and lighting options.
- Distance consultations are available for those seeking remote assistance.