Weekly outline

  • Welcome to the Writing Centre

    Welcome new Writing Centre Tutors!!

    Image of the Emily Carr Writing Centre

    We have developed this 6-week introduction as a way to introduce ourselves and the work we do together in the Writing Centre.  Each week, you will learn about a different area of Writing Centre practice and pedagogy and about some of the activities we participate in to grow our writing and tutoring community.

    At the end of these six weeks, we hope you have gained:

    Image of people laughing on a couch in the Writing Centre

    1) an understanding of the field of Writing Centre practice and the professional work of tutoring;

    2) greater self-awareness of your own writing practices and how these connect to those of other writers;

    3) an appreciation for the role of community in the development of writing and writers;

    4) a reader-response orientation to providing feedback to writers;

    5) and facility with developing and answering generative questions to promote engagement in written work.

    It should take you between 2-3 hours to complete each module, for a total of 18-20 hours.

  • Module 1: Building our Community

    • Start discussions: 1 Post replies: 5
    • This page of resources introduces reflection as a mode of learning and practice that we use frequently in the Writing Centre. After reviewing and digesting these resources, please read the letters by current and past tutors and consider how they are a mode of reflective writing.

  • Module 2: What is Writing?

    We all do it. Writing, that is. And we all do lots of different kinds of writing for all kinds of purposes and audiences.

    • But what do we really mean when we talk about writing in the context of the writing centre?
    • Do we all have the same understanding of writing?
    • How might our different understandings of writing enrich and complicate the work we do with student writers?

    Calvin and Hobbes discuss academic writing.

    Image source: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1993/02/11

    • Start discussions: 1 Post replies: 3
    • Some short extracts about key writing concepts from Naming What We Know, edited by Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle (Utah State University Press, 2015).

  • Module 3: What is Tutoring?

    Two people sitting at a desk looking at a piece of paper between them

    Photo credit: Karina Hjort Peterson, 2015. Used with permission.

    Our approach to tutoring in the Writing Centre may look a little different from traditional definitions of tutoring. We do not position ourselves as "experts" who "teach" those less knowledgeable than ourselves, like you might imagine when you think of a math tutor, for example.

    In the writing centre, we view tutoring as a means--first and foremost--to make the needs of the reader visible to the writer. The feedback we offer is feedback from an engaged and interested reader, not an expert in writing or a particular subject area. We reflect back to the writer how the choices they make in writing affect the reader: Depending on what they see in that reflection, writers might choose to make different choices. Or they might choose to make the same choices but for different reasons.

    Our vision of tutoring is collaborative and "co-creative", where we work with the writer to co-contruct meaning through words. Or, as my favourite writing centre scholar puts it:

    "The work of a writing center is a matter of being available mentally and emotionally to engage in the mutual construction of meaning with another." (Nancy Grimm, "Attending to the conceptual change potential of writing center narratives," 2008)