Today was my first visit to the Writing Center on campus. I can’t believe that I was able to compile almost four pages of notes, considering there were only a few visitors, but I think much of my observations consist of descriptions of the center itself, and so on.

The room isn’t very big, but it looks as though the space is used, productively. Right above where I’m sitting, there are sheets of paper taped to the wall and on them are sketches and drawings of different ways of brain storming: tools  for composition inspiration. Some of them are traditional, as in a linear sense, others are a little less so in that they are thought bubbles, drawings, maps of the room, and even simple lists of ways to brain-storm and compose. This was one of the most interesting facets in my observation today, because I think the sketches provide evidence of the varied degree of ways of composing for everyone. It gives students more room for creating and composing. It also gives them a sense of authorship, because they can apply different techniques for different writing prompts, and making these decisions help students discover, for themselves, their own writing identity.

There is no two exact ways of composing for everyone. Even when one class is directed to utilize one type of brain-storming process, there is no guarantee that any particular technique will work as a tutorial for everyone. Thus, these illustrations are great samples for first-year writers to take note of and possibly work into their own repertoire for the pre-writing process. I think this may even be a great way to get first year writers to demonstrate their own perspective of writing. For example, instructors can assign something similar for their class, and it will allow now only the instructor to assess where the student is, academically, but also gives students the opportunity to view the way they see themselves as a part of the composition community. I think maybe even attaching a reflection piece to the assignment, to be addressed later in the semester, so students can see for themselves, the progression of their learning.

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