writing center

Located on the first floor of the Christopher Center Library, the Writing Center is one of the many free academic resources the university offers to students. 

“It’s a resource center that offers peer tutoring on any writing-based assignment for students of any majors across campus on any level at any stage of the writing process,” said Chelsea Wagenaar, Director of the Writing Center and teacher in the English Department. 

According to Wagenaar and Nikki Michelin, psychology and pre-med double major who works as a Writing Center consultant, there are three main reasons why students should visit the writing center. 

“It’s always fantastic to go to peer review. It’s so important and crucial to understand that your first writing or even your second writing isn’t going to be perfect and having a second pair of eyes is crucial to any sort of writing,” Michelin said. 

Wagenaar agrees that peer review is important, and added that the Writing Center is a step above peer review. 

“It’s nicer than peer review in the sense that you get somebody who’s, we consider an expert audience, the consultant, and they get to lay eyes on their paper, so you’re the full recipient of that attention,” Wagenaar said. “You don’t have to give anything back, that persons not grading your paper.” 

Secondly, aside from peer review, you can also bring in writing prompts. If you need help understanding a writing prompt, the Writing Center Consultants provide aid with that as well. 

Lastly, Wagenaar feels that students will grow in their own writing just by visiting the Writing Center. 

“One of the things that we do is ask the clients to read their paper aloud… Students almost always hear corrections they want to make or hear something that sounds clunky or off just by reading it aloud, so they sorta learn practices that they can take with them,” Wagenaar said. 

Aside from the opportunity for students to have their papers reviewed, the Writing Center also offers work experience for students.  

“I love being a consultant here. It is one of the most pleasurable parts of the day. I look forward to coming here, even if I don't want to go to classes that day I’m always so excited to come here. It's so fascinating to see all of these different types of writing styles,” Michelin said. “Even how rewarding it is when you have a return[ing] client and you get to see their progress and how they grow.” 

One common misconception of being a Writing Center consultant is that you have to be an English major, but Michelin wants students to know that that is a myth. 

“I know for a fact I’m a psych and pre-med major and we have two engineering majors, and we do have some English majors but they’re definitely the minority,” Michelin said. “I just want them to know about the diversity in here, we aren’t just English majors.” 

The Writing Center plans on having a table set up in the library the week before Thanksgiving break to allow students to write a card and practice gratitude. 

To see more about the Writing Center and their upcoming events you can follow @valpo_writingcenter on Instagram. 

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