Jason Hoppe—founding director of the West Point Writing Program, Writing Fellows Program, and Mounger Writing Center—argues for why we should tell more stories about the difficulties of writing center work.Read More
"We work with writers to establish their ideas, restructure their argument, and clarify their writing. But as we unpack their ideas in these ways, we also unpack our own assumptions, as well as the assumptions and stereotypes that are prevalent in our society.
The writing centre allows us the time and the space to connect and to talk through matters of social justice, to have these conversations that we wouldn’t be having otherwise."Read More
In our last post for the semester, Pax Gutierrez-Neal (UT grad student and Assistant Program Coordinator here at the UWC) has some insightful things to say about teaching and teaching statements, one of the most feared job materials in the academic world.Read More
Apologies for this week's blog post title. Like many other people across the globe, I was utterly absorbed by the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery last night and am still recovering.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the place of directive versus non-directive tutoring in writing center consultations. As it has been with every other Praxis editor, I began my time at the UWC as a consultant. Though my days are now full of article proofs, lengthy e-mail chains about proper MLA formatting, and conference-related considerations (such as IWCA in November), I once spent my time working with students one-on-one, helping them to improve their writing projects and processes however I could. Oftentimes, I felt constrained by the core writing center principle of non-directive guidance; a good deal of recent writing center research deals with this point of tension and its relationship to both language acquisition and identity politics (e.g. Horner et al., Canagarajah, etc.). We have even published some excellent work on these topics and similar intersections of theory and practice, such as Beatrice Mendez Newman's piece on tutoring translingual writers.
Indeed, it seems as though our field is experiencing something of a sea change when it comes to balancing tried-and-true principles with an increased awareness of the populations our centers serve. So, with that in mind, what struggles have YOU experienced when trying to balance a non-directive tutoring approach with the exigencies presented by different student populations and assignment types? Feel free to chime in below, in the comments section.
"Writing varies across cultures and languages, and I love helping students feel like they can succeed in the particular writing culture we primarily support (i.e., one that is based in US academic culture and the English language) while also learning about their own cultures and existing writing practices.Read More
Face front, true believers!
Alejandro here, with a few items of interest for our loyal readers:
- Starting this semester, AXIS is running on a new publication schedule. We will have a new post live every other Monday.
- Our first fresh post will be an interview with none other than my new co-editor, Sarah Riddick. There's nothing quite like a brief, entirely textual introduction to publicize the new blood in the Praxis office. Keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future!
- Last, but certainly not least: we here at the AXIS blog are instituting an open submissions policy EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. Do you have something to say about writing centers? Are you keen on upsetting the applecart of writing center theory? Have you got an inspiring, educational, or harrowing tutoring anecdote to share with an audience of fellow tutors and writing center professionals? Send us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, either in the form of a 100-word blog post pitch or a 400- to 500-word blog post draft. This is a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, and professional scholars alike to nab a snazzy web publication and share their work with an interested audience of writing center workers.
That's all from me for now, folks. In the meantime, enjoy the new semester, stay out of the heat, and keep those pencils sharpened.
"Don’t split infinitives. Never end a sentence with a preposition. The Oxford comma. Comma splices. After a few minutes, we’d compiled a list of rules as long as the other two, and perhaps could have easily filled one of the other whiteboards in the learning lab."Read More
Though my strong writers will nod agreeably when I explain how writing is a process—and how this process will often lead to failure before success—they still seem to believe that perfect papers can spring forth from nothing like Athena from Zeus’ brow.Read More