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  • Collegian staff

The Writing Center: an unhailed resource for students of all years and majors

Sanja Zelen


Any student who has spent time inside Ford Hall has passed the large, bustling room full of writers and students communicating with each other and working together. That room and the people who work in it make up the all-inclusive community of the Writing Center.

The consultants working in the Writing Center strive to make their appointees’ experiences positive and rewarding, while helping them grow as writers. The Writing Center’s goal is to offer help to all students at any stage of the writing process, whether they are trying to come up with an idea for their essay, editing a paper or need their senior thesis polished. 

Over the years, the Writing Center has partnered with College Colloquium to help first-year students write papers revolving around the subject of their Colloquium. This relationship has been an important stepping stone in introducing first-year students to college-level writing.

This semester, Writing Center consultants will no longer be working directly with specific Colloquiums, due to the new position of Colloquium Associates. The Associates will be helping students understand class materials, write papers and adjust to college. However, the Writing Center highly encourages these students to visit a consultant for any additional help they may want or need. 

Isabella Pontecorvo (‘21), who visited the Writing Center frequently last semester, reflected for The Collegian on her experiences. Even as a second-year student taking a wide variety of classes, the Writing Center was a valuable resource for help with crafting her papers.

“I could visit the Writing Center up to eight times. It’s a great way to get feedback and have another set of trained eyes look over [my work]. The consultants can assist you with everything, from structure to citations.”

The help Pontecorvo received has influenced her to give back to writers in the Willamette community. She will begin work as a Writing Center consultant this semester.

Dagny Layman (’20) will be starting her third year working with the Writing Center. She has helped students in every stage of the writing process, regardless of their grade or class requirements, and in every major, from English to STEM disciplines.

“I know a lot of students see the Writing Center as a first-year student’s resource, but we are just as happy to help with a senior thesis proposal as we are to help with a Colloquium paper,” Layman said. “Writing Center consultations are not one-size-fits-all in that there isn’t a standard sort of writing we help with.”

Layman highlighted some of the services the Center offers:

“We [consultants] don’t just pay attention to surface-level fixes like grammar and spelling; we love digging deep into the content of a paper and breaking down the reasoning, claims and evidence. Also, it’s a totally free resource!”

This semester, Layman is working on a Writing Center Facebook page for students and Consultants to utilize to connect with one another. The Consultants will also be visiting writing-centered classes this week to tell students and professors about the services the Writing Center offers. The staff will also be hosting new group workshops in the upcoming weeks for students who need extra help with citations, quotations and other specific formatting questions they may have. Tea and treats will be offered at the appointments and workshops. More information about these sessions will make an appearance in front of the Writing Center (Ford 105) or on the Center’s WISE site.

To sign up for an appointment with a consultant, be sure to add the Writing Center tab to your WISE site, stop by during drop-in hours or contact any one of us via email. Gretchen Moon, head of the Writing Center, can be reached at <gmoon>. The Writing Center consultants will be available starting on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m., and are eager to meet new students and foster new relationships. 

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