Starting a Writing Center

Contents

Basic Steps for Starting a Writing Center

  1. Visit other writing centers. Look for a variety of systems and approaches.
  2. Read the writing center readings on the IWCA site, and the basic literature including The Writing Center Resource Manual from IWCA Press.
  3. Join a regional and the International Writing Centers Association, meet the members, and ask as many questions as you can.
  4. Subscribe to The Writing Center Journal and the Writing Lab Newsletter.
  5. Join Wcenter, the writing center community’s listserv (not officially affiliated with IWCA)
  6. Develop answers to the following questions:
    1. What will be the mission and philosophy of the center?
    2. Where will the center be located?
    3. Who will staff it?
    4. How will they be paid for their time?
    5. How will they be trained? By whom?
    6. How will the staff be evaluated? By whom?
    7. Where will funding for the center come from? Institutional budget lines? Grants? Combination?
    8. Where will materials for the center come from? What kinds of materials are needed?
    9. Who will be the constituencies of the center?
    10. How will they be served?
    11. What will the policies of the center be?
    12. Who will direct the center? To whom will that person report? What will the compensation be?
    13. How will records be kept? What information will need to be gathered? For whom? For what purposes? How often? How will it be distributed?
  7. Write a goals and purposes statement for the center to clarify how your center will fit into your school’s structures and mission.
  8. List the goals for a period of several years so you are sure of what you will aim for each year of operation.

Listservs

WCENTER

WCENTER is the mailing list for Writing Centers around the world. To subscribe to WCENTER, contact Elizabeth Bowen elizabeth.bowen@ttu.edu

To view the archives, you can go to http://lyris.ttu.edu/read/?forum=wcenter. If you would like to post a message to the list, simply address your email accordingly: wcenter@lyris.ttu.edu.

Note: WCENTER is not an official organization of IWCA. IWCA does not moderate it or control the server on which it resides.

If you have forgotten your Wcenter password, follow these directions:

  1. Visit the Lyris website.
  2. Attempt to login with your email address that is on the list.
  3. Enter anything for a password.
  4. It will tell you that it is an incorrect password. At the bottom right of the box, there is a button to email the password, click on it.
  5. The system will send an email to the address you entered, which will contain a link to reset your password.
  6. Once your password has been rest, you will be able to get in.

SSWC-L

SSWC is a mailing list for secondary school writing center directors.
To subscribe to SSWC-L send an email to LISTSERV@LISTS.PSU.EDU with “subscribe SSWC-L your name” in the body of the message.

Publications

Print publications

Boquet, Elizabeth H.Noise from the Writing Center. Logan, UT: Utah State P., 2001.

Farrell, Pamela B. The High School Writing Center: Establishing and Maintaining One. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1989. (As of 2012, this publication is available fully online at the WAC Clearinghouse: http://wac.colostate.edu/books/hswc/ )

Harris, Muriel. Teaching One-to-One: The Writing Conference. Urbana, IL: NCTE Press, 1986.

Kent, Richard. Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6-12. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2006.

Kinkead, Joyce A. and Jeanette C. Harris. Writing Centers in Context: Twelve Case Studies. Urbana, IL: NCTE Press, 1993.

Mullin, Joan A.and Ray Wallace. Intersections: Theory-Practice in the Writing Center, NCTE, 1994.

Nelson, Jane, and Kathy Evertz, eds. The Politics of Writing Centers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Boynton/Cook, 2001.

Olson, Gary A., ed. Writing Centers: Theory and Administration. Urbana, IL: NCTE Press, 1984.

Pemberton, Michael A. and Joyce Kinkead, eds. The Center Will Hold: Critical Perspectives on Writing Center Scholarship. Logan, UT: Utah State P., 2003.

Silk, Bobbie B., ed. The Writing Center Resource Manual. Emmitsburg, MA: IWCA Press, 1998.

Online Journals

Writing Center-related articles online

Reiss, Donna “From WAC to CCCAC: Writing Across the Curriculum Becomes Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking (and Computers) Across the Curriculum”

Secondary School Writing Centers

Farrell, Pamela B. The High School Writing Center: Establishing and Maintaining One. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1989.

Kent, Richard. Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6-12. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2006.

Mullin, Joan A.and Ray Wallace. Intersections: Theory-Practice in the Writing Center, NCTE, 1994.

PortaPortal (Rich Kent’s Site): Resources for Secondary School Writing Centers

Silk, Bobbie B., ed. The Writing Center Resource Manual. Emmitsburg, MA: IWCA Press, 1998.

Links about writing and education

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