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New Writing Center to Help Students Improve Essays for All Classes

Posted: February 28, 2017


The need for strong essay development is not restricted to college English classes. Writing is a significant component to many college courses, and students often struggle with the process of creating a solid essay.

WNC’s new Writing Center aims to get students on track to improved writing, as well as better brainstorming and thought development, which are important parts of essay creation.

With the intention of improving writing across the curriculum, WNC English Professor Joshua Fleming, who is overseeing the Writing Center, said the center is just what WNC students and faculty need.

“WNC students need to participate in the writing process in a more serious, comprehensive fashion within all courses that require writing,” Fleming said.

“In a perfect world, students would retain every ounce of information from their English courses regarding the writing process, and move confidently into writing for other disciplines.”

That isn’t always the case, though, and that’s where the Writing Center can reinforce writing strategies and grammar that students learned earlier.

Hours of operation for the Writing Center are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is located in Bristlecone Room 332.

“Much of the credit for the launch of the Writing Center lies with our supportive faculty,” Fleming said. “Professors like Susan Priest, Amy Ghilieri, Geraldine Pope, Kim Desroches and Mary Gillespie have ‘embedded’ writing tutors within the online components of their classes to stimulate participation in the Writing Center. Furthermore, the center benefits from the close support of Dr. Elizabeth Skinner, who has assumed a leadership role in supporting writing across the curriculum.”

Fleming said that once students become engaged in writing and realize the importance of it, they’ll produce copy that pleases them.

“Yes, they can sit with a tutor and talk about their plans for an assignment,” Fleming said. “That sense of audience and its associated engagement is critical for purposeful writing, and it needs to be promoted across the college. In my experience, if a student is interested and has a sense of purpose, producing quality writing isn’t terribly difficult. And, if students can begin to look at writing as a tool, a means of exercising leverage over one’s own thoughts, something special might happen.”

Students still are able to receive writing tutoring through Brainfuse, although Fleming said that the center does more for “cultivating communities of writers — and thinkers, and that’s what we need.”

The college’s original Academic Skills Center will shift its focus to students’ math and science needs. Lynette Capurro, a longtime WNC math instructor and tutor, has assumed the role of providing tutoring and support for students needing tutoring in math or science.

For more information, contact Fleming at