The Writing Center: Where Papers Go From Drafted to Done

From curating a creative title to polishing up a final draft, the Southern Utah University Writing Center is a valuable resource with tutors trained to help anyone who is stuck at any point in the writing process. The center is in its 12th year and was recently moved to a newly renovated space on the bottom floor of the Braithwaite Liberal Arts Center.

“I wanted to have an experience working firsthand with people and their writing. I also just love helping people out however I can,” explained Tanner Hallam, one of the 32 tutors in the writing center.

 Hallam is a junior English major and is in his second year as a tutor for the center. 

During a writing session, students can discuss goals for a paper with a tutor and cover important formatting and grammatical errors that they may have missed while writing before turning an assignment in. 

When a session begins, the tutor will look over the assignment rubric with the student who is seeking help. Throughout the session, the student is responsible for explaining to the tutor some of their strengths and weaknesses within the essay or manuscript. This way, the tutor can have a better understanding of what needs to be improved. 

In order to provide a pandemic-friendly experience, the writing center requires masks and sanitizer wipe downs after every session, and offers a virtual Zoom option for students who prefer to work from home. 

“Students are asked to send in whatever they want to work on through Google Docs with the writing center, and a Zoom link is sent to them shortly before the session is scheduled to start. The [online] sessions run pretty similarly to regular sessions and still provide students with a proof-of-visit,” said Hallam.

Regardless of whether or not students take their sessions online or in person, the writing center has formatted the tutoring sessions to operate similarly so that students who are uneasy about meeting face to face can have a similar experience. 

Despite the unique situation that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the school to experience, Hallam also shared that the writing center is still running close to capacity.

“We have been pleasantly surprised at the continued attendance in spite of the pandemic,” explained Jeff Carr, a student director at the center.

The writing center is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in BC 101 and in the library Monday to Thursday 5-9 p.m. They also offer Saturday sessions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the library.

To book a session, visit the SUU Writing Center page.

Story By: Lainie Hallows