Writing Center reopens for second semester

‘We try to accommodate everyone,’ Keyes says

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Sara Kress

Seniors Sofia Alatorre, Molly Beatty, Caroline Mages and Lauren Smith volunteer in the writing center.

Sara Kress, Culture Co-Editor

Every day during flex, except during county days or assemblies, the writing center, which is located upstairs in Loretto, is filled with students. The small, cozy room serves as an area for students to improve each other’s writing.

And now that second semester is well underway, those who visit the center may be just as likely to be helped by a junior as they would a senior.  

English department co-chair Mrs. Kathy Keyes said, “The writing center is designed to help students with writing assignments, to advise students on how to improve their writing, to be a sounding board for ideas and just a place where a student can feel safe and feel comfortable asking for a more experienced student to read his or her paper.”

The writing center does not focus on specific writing skills, but rather acts as a general writing aid. “It totally depends on what questions the student has,” Keyes said.

The opportunity to tutor in the writing center is available to any student who has taken honors composition. Keyes said, “(The tutors) submit an application and then I check with their teachers and then they are approved to work.”

During first semester, all the tutors were seniors. However, more juniors are likely to step up as second semester goes on. “What we run into second semester is we don’t have as many seniors who want to work, so sometimes we bring juniors in to help with the busy days,” Keyes said.

Because the writing center can become busy, especially as research papers are assigned, Keyes stresses the importance of making an appointment. However, she doesn’t want the lack of an appointment to discourage students. She said, “We would love for students to make an appointment, but if they have a question and they drop by the writing center, we try to accommodate anyone who wants to have an editor look at their paper.”

Keyes said that she encourages students to visit the writing center. “I think it’s nonthreatening,” she said. “We want to make it a comfortable, safe, inviting place to come and to just seek advice. The tutor isn’t a teacher and isn’t going to be harsh. It’s a way to help rather than to criticize.”