December 1, 2014
On Campus

Working with Writers

Wittenberg Students Present Research at National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing

Collaboration is an essential aspect of Wittenberg's liberal arts education, especially for three Writing Center advisors who recently shared their experiences in working with writers at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing in Orlando, Oct. 30-Nov.1.

“Working at the Writing Center is a fantastic opportunity,” said Meaghan Summers, class of 2017 from Hilliard, Ohio, who was joined by Emily Rayens, class of 2016 from Lexington, Ky., and Anna Moore, class of 2016 from Eaton, Ohio. “At Wittenberg, our advisors are all really passionate about both the Center itself and the work and writers we produce and facilitate.”

An English major with minors in creative writing and religion, Summers worked in collaboration with Writing Center Director Michael Mattison to explore the “aha” moments that have been recorded in the Wittenberg Writing Center over the past five years. Her research presentation, “The Architecture of Insight: (Un)Wonderful Conversations,” recognized the patterns of verbal moves that lead to such a moment and examined the linguistic architecture at these sites.

"My job at the center is one of the best things about my Wittenberg experience," said Anna Moore, a biology major and first-year advisor. “I have always loved writing and reading but collaborating with others like we do in the center is unique for me. I have learned valuable interpersonal skills, built relationships with members of the Wittenberg community I never would have met otherwise and also developed my own writing skills.”

Working in collaboration with Emily Rayens, Moore examined gender roles in Wittenberg’s writing center by analyzing sessions. In their research presentation, “Sh(r)edding Gender Roles in the Center: From Snow White to Rapunzel,” they examined how advisors shift between using both a directive and non-directive approach in sessions. 

“Presenting at this conference and working at the Writing Center has prepared me for my future career in many ways. The center has taught me how to help others on their intellectual work, something I hope to be doing throughout my life,” said Moore, who hopes to attend medical school and become a surgeon. “Being a medical professional involves collaboration with coworkers and patients so the best care can be given--my work at the center is helping me develop these skills.”

Rayens, a biology (pre-med) and music performance double major and health science minor, cited the collaborative nature of the conference as a key difference from the scientific conferences she’s used to—and an important element for promoting the importance of writing across campus.

“Instead of presenting a finding, arguing for it, and then hoping that other people find the same thing as you, this conference was a presentation on how writing centers get different answers to the same question and they are all right. It was a collaboration to work towards a greater goal of helping students.

“One thing I learned from the conference is that our writing center’s role as an integral part of the liberal arts setting really sets it apart from writing centers at other schools,” she said. “Many writing centers do not have a preparation course as rigorous as ours, and most schools choose advisors from among the English Education majors while our program includes advisors from a wide range of disciplines including math, biology, music, and Japanese. This allows us to work with students from all backgrounds on writing assignments from all disciples. This is only my first year as an advisor in the Wittenberg Writing Center, but it has been a challenging and rewarding experience.”

Recitation Hall
University Communications Staff
Staff Report

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

Back to top