Writing Centered: 4.1 (2015)
Editor's Notes: 

Hey guys! It's your co-editor, Grant. We Writing Center tutors have been somewhat nomadic over the years at Mississippi College. There are rumors that the Writing Center was once in an office in Jennings. With promising hopes of expanding, the Writing Center then migrated to the little space in the library next to the Learning Resource Center. Many of us truly did enjoy our time in the old space, but we all knew something greater was to be explored. The Fall 2015 Semester is a semester to be remembered as one where the Writing Center tutors found their rightful home in a new space. A friendly, inviting atmosphere with tables to draw on, comfy rolling-chairs, and our very own Whiteboard! The new Writing Center location is nothing short of impressive as it fulfills the dreams of tutors everywhere. I am so excited for this new space and what the future holds for us. Enjoy the rest of  Writing Centered !
- Grant Gilliam

Hey everyone! It's Elaine, your other co-editor. Grant and I are really excited for the first issue of the new school year! Fall is about change for the new season, a time to have a fresh start. As I go through my senior year, I've been reflecting on all the changes in my life; one is becoming a Writing Center tutor. During my freshman year, I never knew that I would be a tutor. Presently, I couldn't imagine not being a tutor and a co-editor of this newsletter. Also, the MC Writing Center has gone through many changes such as having nearly 30 people in the tutor training course, ENG 398, and having a new inviting space for the Writing Center. We're all loving the new space! I hope you like the first issue of  Writing Centered. Now, go enjoy a hot cup of coffee and see what's going on in the Writing Center!
- Elaine Everett
New Writing Center Space (f irst floor of the Leland Speed Library - across from the Gore Art Gallery):
Writable tables!

Tutors filling up the new space!
ENG 398 Update:

ENG 398, our tutor training class, is running at full steam as we pass midterm. Our 398 tutors, comprised of students from across the university, are finishing the Profile of the Writing Center unit where they have put together some excellent promotional materials highlighting the people and work conducted in the Writing Center. The students' creative approaches to the assignment include blogs, videos, and even a comic book representing the vibrant and engaging community found in the MC Writing Center.

Once the unit is wrapped up, we're hoping to place some samples of their work in the Writing Center and Jennings, so be sure to stop by and look at how our newest tutors view the Writing Center.

As for the practicum, wherein we pair ENG 101 writers with 398 tutors to discuss their texts, I just heard from the cooperating teacher, Dr. Melancon, that her students were anxious to chat about their new assignment with their  tutors. Clearly, the work between the tutors and writers has already sparked an appreciation for the type of collaboration available in the Writing Center every day.

Next, we'll tackle the Analysis of ELL Tutoring unit, so writers and tutors should expect to see the ENG 398 cohort asking questions about the center's collaborations with English Language Learners. It's a busy and exciting time in ENG 398. In other words, all is normal.

Until next time,
Daniel White (aka Dwhite) 
Staff Education Workshops:

Tutors and other Writing Center staff members gather for informative (and fun) monthly meetings to learn more about different aspects of tutoring and even life. The Writing Center tutors and staff are a community, and these meetings bring us closer together!

1st Staff Workshop: Tutors sharpened their teamwork skills by building balloon towers. 

2nd Staff Workshop: Alex Hendry, a current instructor of the Intensive English Program at MC (and a former Writing Center tutor), helped everyone better understand working with English Language Learners.

3rd Staff Workshop: Dr. Zeigler shared his knowledge about non-verbal communication which can help in tutoring sessions.
   Tutors in Action:
Elaine using her tutoring skills in a session!
Joel reporting for a day of tutoring!
Mississippi College Writing Center
1 st floor, Leland Speed Library

  • Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm
  • Friday: 9 am - 3 pm
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Voices of 
the Writing Center: 
Mitch Aldridge

"Why do you like writing?"

"I like writing because it is something I have always done naturally, and it is my favorite way of expressing myself. It is easy for me to get my thoughts onto paper. It is a good way for me to be creative."

"Why is it so important to help people with writing?"

"I think that helping people write is important because writing is such an important part of our culture - having good writers and having people who can write. Even outside of academia, writing is important to give people a creative outlet, and to give people the chance to preserve something."

"What is one way you have benefited from the Writing Center?"

"I have benefited from the Writing Center two-fold. First, it has been cool to plug into a community of like-minded people. I have never been around so many people who love to write. Also,  I've enjoyed being able to contribute somehow. I like that feeling of contribution - to know that I have helped someone progress."
Writing and Debate

When you hear "debate techniques" you probably think that these are the last things one should use in a tutoring session. After all, debaters are harsh and frightening people whose goal is to make others look dumb and feel six inches tall, right? Conversely, the Writing Center is a happy and safe place, right?

Contrary to what you might think, I have found that debate skills are invaluable for tutoring. Professors tell their Comp 101 students that a basic essay should center on an argument (aka thesis), and that each paragraph should clearly support said argument. This is virtually identical to what one must do in a debate round! Debaters also need a central argument and support it with 3 points. The only difference is that writing is, of course, written, while debate is spoken.

Since the principles behind writing an essay and making a debate case are similar, the analytic thinking needed to analyze arguments is useful in tutoring. When I read a client's essay, I use the same thought processes I learned in debate. This helps me see where their
work could be further developed and better supported, so that I can help them improve. Obviously, all of this refers strictly to the analytical thinking of debate. Argument and competition have no place in a Writing Center session.  
- by Andrew Rock, Writing Center tutor
New Writing Center Tutor Profile:

I'm Bekah Richardson:
 - a sophomore   Social Studies Education major
-from Birmingham, AL
-a study abroad student (going to Salamanca, Spain next semester)
-Follies Chair in Chenoa Social Tribe

-Lover of avocados
-Dog Whisperer
-Spirit Animal: Tina Fey
First day of tutoring in the Writing Center:
My first session was with a graduate level IEP student. It was awesome to jump back into forming relationships with international students and reaffirm my desire to possibly pursue a Teach English as a Second Language (TESOL) endorsement. My client booked an hour long appointment, and we got done reviewing his article summary within 30 minutes. The last half was spent learning about his experience at MC and his hometown in Saudi Arabia, which is beautiful and super diverse.

Of course, I enjoyed the candy supply; my favorites remain Werther's Originals (because I'm a grandma) and dark chocolate Hershey Kisses.

I'm so excited to get to know more of the WC gang because they are all hilarious, unique, and so smart.

And of course, I'm always up for the challenge of being a REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONER!

I also want to grow in my abilities to help less advanced IEP students.

To celebrate the National Day on Writing, the Writing Center has a couple events coming up!


"Letters Home" station in the Leeland Speed Library

  • Write to your friends and/ or family no matter how far away they may be. We provide free stamps and letters! 
  •  from 12-8 pm on Thursday, Oct. 22nd  


Twitter contest for National Day on Writing

  • Theme: Why I Write
  • Tweet @MC_WCenter 
     using the hashtag #WhyIWrite.
  • Mention why you write and include visual representations--photos, videos, graphics.
  • Tweet between Monday, Oct. 19th and Sunday, Oct. 25th.
  • Prizes for the winners: Dot Products and Writing Center T-shirts