One of the many hidden treasures around The University of Rhode Island is undoubtedly the Writing Center. Located on the fourth floor of Roosevelt in room 408, the center boasts twelve tutors and a new coordinator: Lydia Saravia. Saravia describes the Writing Center as a place for students to come to an understanding about their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their writing ability Â and then grow as a writer.
“We work with all writers at all levels, and we truly believe that the more they engage with their writing, the stronger writers they will become,” Saravia said.
Saravia says that the tutor’s goal is to talk through the writing process with the student and help them engage with their own writing.
“We do not edit,” Saravia said. “We do not proofread. We provide what editing and proofreading is: thinking about the structure of the paper and the grammatical issues [that commonly occur]. We will not write on a student’s paper.” Essentially, the writing center is an opportunity to brainstorm and draft a paper with a more experienced writer.
Tutors at the writing center must take and pass Writing 353: Issues and Methods in Writing Consultancy, and then apply for the position after being recommended by their professor. Kellie Pendergast, a sophomore Writing and Rhetoric major, began working at the Writing Center this semester. She said the most common issue students come to the center for is help with citations, especially with APA and Chicago style. Pendergast wanted it to be clear that students shouldn’t feel uncomfortable asking for help from the tutors:
“We want all kind of students to feel comfortable and welcome,” Pendergast said. “We’re all here to learn, and we realize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses in different areas.”
There are many benefits of working in the Writing Center, according to Saravia. Tutors can either work for credit or for pay, depending on the student’s needs. Many of the students are not primarily writing majors, and therefore they “get to continue engaging in writing” according to Saravia, as they take classes in their own fields. The job looks good on a resume because it implies the student has a writing background, good communication and writing skills, can work with a diverse population, and is a leader that can be led.
To make an appointment or learn more about URI’s Writing Center, visit http://web.uri.edu/aec/writing/. Sessions are by appointment and scheduled to be around 45 minutes long.