The Writing Center is a place to talk about writing. We believe that we become better writers when we seek feedback and reflect on our writing at all stages of the writing process.
Our peer writing consultants aid that reflection by asking questions and making suggestions that guide writers toward making effective choices, not just in pieces they discuss in the Writing Center, but also in their future writing.
Consultants are readers and responders, not graders or evaluators, and they’re not experts in every genre of writing. Yes, they provide the crucial feedback of a real reader, but they don’t have all the answers. This basic assumption should help everyone involved with the Writing Center:
- consultants shouldn’t feel that they have to know all conventions of writing in all genres
- writers visiting the Writing Center shouldn’t feel that they are being judged, that their writing will be magically fixed by a consultation, or that they are losing any of their authority over their work
- classroom instructors shouldn’t worry that consultants will give their students advice at odds with their values or assumptions about writing