- We help writers discover and carry out their intentions for a piece of writing.
- We talk through a writing assignment to help the writer understand the assignment.
- We act as an informed audience and provide immediate, constructive feedback on a piece of writing – in terms of writing processes, content, structure, and style.
- We suggest a variety of strategies to writers as they generate ideas and plans for a piece of writing. These invention strategies include freewriting, listing or brainstorming, mapping or clustering, and outlining, as well as others.
- We help writers identify strengths and weaknesses in their writing and use this information to improve their drafts.
- We discuss and model useful writing strategies.
- We discuss only one piece of writing per session.
- We affirm the writer’s efforts.
- We adapt our approach as needed.
- We cannot presume to fully explain an assignment to a writer on behalf of the instructor who made the assignment. If a writer does not have enough information to understand an assignment, we should suggest that the writer go back for more information.
- We do not generate ideas, make outlines, or develop organizational plans for writers. Instead, we ask questions, model, and offer strategies that help writers generate ideas, make outlines, etc.
- We do not compose drafts for writers. We may, however, model an approach to writing an essay, thesis, paragraph, sentence, works cited, etc.
- We do not “correct” or edit whole papers for errors in grammar, usage, or mechanics. Instead, we may model revising or editing processes or sentence-level corrections on a portion of the writing. We may then ask the writer to apply those same processes or strategies to another portion of the writing.
- We do not write on the writer’s piece unless to pose questions or identify possible issues to address. We do not write any of the corrections or revisions. Instead, we direct the writer to write his or her own revisions.
- We do not accept pieces dropped off at the Writing Center to be proofread or edited. The Writing Center is a place of collaboration for teaching and learning, not a proofreading or copyediting service.
- We cannot predict a response to (or grade for) the piece of writing by its intended/course-related audience.
- We do not interfere with the relationship between the writer and the instructor.
- We do not offer false praise.
- We do not demean the writing, the efforts of the writer, or the writer.