Skip to main content

Hollie McDonald ACF Abstract FY13

"Writing Center's Role In Freshmen Preparedness"

National Conference of Peer Tutoring in Writing

As a writing consultant at Grand Valley State University, I will present my research on the writing centers role in student preparedness. The focus of the research was freshman in required composition classes. At Grand Valley State University, there is one required writing course, which all students must pass before graduation. The vast majority of students take this course their first year. This course requires students to submit a portfolio of three essays at the end of the semester. This past semester, I noticed an increased number of freshman composition students visiting the writing center in the first few weeks of the semester, long before their papers were due. This led to the question: Is the role of the writing center changing, and is it helping students be more proactive and prepared with their coursework?

To explore this topic, I examined the session notes filled out at the end of every consultation. My research spanned six semesters, and I will present the trends that arose, or changed, within the first five weeks of the semesters. I will address the specific topics of focus for the consultations, and present on the changes that have occurred over the semesters researched. I will relay any patterns I find in the research to the session attendees; however, it will not be one sided. I intend to open the floor for discussion between fellow consultants, writing center directors and other attendees.