Being a Writer

Alexis is a sophomore Education major. This semester, she’s taking English 251 Writing Center Theory and Practice in preparation to work as a writing consultant in the fall.

I went to my scheduled Writing Center session with a not-so-typical writing piece. I wanted to see how much help I could actually get on a children’s literature book evaluation. The consultant welcomed me warmly and seemed very interested in the assignment I brought to the session. Although I thought she would think it was a silly assignment, the amount of assistance she was able to offer me was fantastic!

I had two book evaluations; one was on a Yiddish folktale and the other was the tall tale of Paul Bunyan. She asked me to read aloud some of the sections on the evaluation sheet. As I read aloud, I felt a bit silly when I ran across my own errors, but the consultant simply smiled and reminded me that often times we do not catch our own mistakes until we make our writing collaborative. She was very helpful without being overbearing. She did not make any suggestions until I was done reading a section, and even then reminded me that they were simply suggestions. Throughout the session, she pointed out things that she found interesting and praised the amount of analysis done on these short stories.

After we finished an evaluation, the consultant reiterated a few key points and asked if I had any concerns with how I could go about making the corrections on my own. I asked for an example on how I could specifically elaborate on one of the story’s structure and she was more than willing to help me! Overall, the consultant did a great job at easing my anxiety from before the session began by showing interest in my assignment. She was never controlling of my writing, and allowed me to be in control of reading and writing on the paper for nearly the entire session. Reading aloud helped me self-correct errors and the consultant helped me brainstorm ways to strengthen other areas of the evaluations.

My session with the consultant can help other writers who are apprehensive about going to The Writing Center, as well as students who already visit The Writing Center for help. In addition to welcoming and friendly consultants, I believe The Writing Center is a great place for resources, additional perspectives on writing, and strengthening overall writing. By taking in an assignment that was not a simple 3 page summary paper (although they can help with those, too!), I feel as though I received a new experience that opened my eyes to even more ways The Writing Center could assist me!


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