Prompt: What is a Writing Center?

January 30


The most prevalent parts of the reading assigned to us for today’s class were the writing center as both a method and site, and how it’s different to receive tutoring from peers over teachers and professors.

To talk about the former, we ask ourselves, like in The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors, is the writing center a method or a site? I can see both of them as their own entity as well as them being anything but mutually exclusive. The writing center as a method aids those seeking critiques in any location: at the library, at a park, amidst a walk. The writing center, in this sense, is not grounded in a specific room, but it’s grounded in the way peers interact with each other.

The writing center as a site is just the opposite – it’s meant to be a specific place students can go for their specific need. As a site, strength-based responses open the writer up and allow them to feel comfortable talking about their writing, as talking to their strengths inhibits a confidence boost. Writing-centered responders should recognize that their feedback during sessions is also important — the closer their feedback is to the actual generation of a text, the better.


When talking about peer tutoring, it’s imperative we keep in mind the fact that people will be more open talking to peers over teachers about their work. Whether it be because of age, or because we feel our peers are in the same academic boat, peer tutoring comes across as more successful. These peer to peer relationships seem key to any successful session – especially sessions that are handled in person rather than electronically (as confusion can be more palpable electronically).

Key terms from class:

–Inner speech

–zone of proximal development – bootstrapping



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