A tutor points out a section in the student’s essay to work on during their session.



I have been really busy since my last post. I just turned in three essays and a seven page report, and I have another paper due next week. I’m sure more writing projects will be announced as the semester draws to a close, but for now this post is a relief from all the thesis statements, transition sentences, and conclusion paragraphs that have been pouring from my fingertips like a waterfall.

I swear I’ve worn grooves into my keyboard from my constant typing!

“But you are an English major,” you say, “it is to be expected that you have a ton of papers to write.” A fair point, but my amount of coursework is not uncommon. Regardless of your major, you have to write in college. A LOT.

“Oh,” you say, perhaps a little worried now, “I-I’m not very good at writing essays.” I want to assuage any fears you may have; I want you to know that there is help available. It’s called the Writing Center.

The Winona State University Writing Center is located in Minne 348, and, if you need help with writing, this is the place to go. Whether you are struggling to come up with a topic, wrestling with organization and sentence-level clarity, or unsure about proper citation techniques, the tutors in the Writing Center can help you.

They are trained to make the process of academic writing easier to understand, and, if you go into the tutoring session with an open mind and a willingness to work hard, you will leave a better writer.

I know this to be true, because I’ve experienced the benefits of the Writing Center. Last year, I went to the Writing Center for help with my essays even though I am a strong writer. Working with the tutor I saw my essay through a new set of eyes and could easily identify areas where clarity and sentence structure could be improved.

This year, I am experiencing the Writing Center from a totally different perspective; now I am the tutor. I see students come in nervous and unsure of the words printed across the pages held tightly in their hands.

However, once those pages are spread across the table and the contents thoroughly discussed, a light of understanding brightens the student’s faces as the murky waters of writing grow clearer from the tutors’ explanations.

I don’t mean to imply that after one tutoring session you’ll understand everything there is to know about writing. It may take many sessions, and even juniors and seniors, seasoned veterans of academia, come to the Writing Center for assistance polishing their papers.

But it is a step toward that ideal, a step that will prepare you wade through the rushing torrent of essays, reports, and analyses with confidence as you navigate through the intellectual watershed that is college writing.