Through peer mentorship, the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors provides a safe space for analytical dialogue, wherein writers develop strategies and skills for building awareness of and confidence in their own writing process.
The Fred Meijer Center for Writing & Michigan Authors provides all university writers with the resources and services they need to meet their writing goals. The center offers a wide variety of programming to students, faculty and staff--such as in-class writing support (WRT 098/150 and SWS courses where consultants work individually or with groups of students), faculty/staff writing retreats (time and space in which to write, facilitated by a writing coach), workshops (on a variety of topics), and writing groups (opportunities for writers to get and give feedback on drafts in small groups). However, the hallmark of the center's work is the one-to-one consultation facilitated by a trained peer-writing consultant. Sessions can act as a tutorial or pedagogical moment, but each consultation functions as collaborative, intellectual exchange.
Undergraduate and graduate students are trained via a two-day orientation, a one-credit academic course, and ongoing trainings throughout the academic year. During training, they learn to ask the writer questions in an effort to understand the writer's goals for a piece of writing, the parameters of the assignment, and the writer's questions or concerns about the draft. Additionally, consultants are trained to read rhetorically, meaning that consultants "say back" what the piece of writing is about and how it is structured, in order to provide a way for the student to think metacognitively about the writing and reflectively about his or her writing process. In cases where a student does not yet have a draft, the consultant can facilitate pre-writing activities to help the writer generate ideas for the assignment. Later in the writing process, consultants employ activities to help the writer revise and edit the text. Every session ends with the writer devising a plan for revision. The goal of these writing consultations is to help writers help themselves--not just with that single piece of writing, but also to become better writers overall.
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