Writing Center Theory & Practice Course

To become consultants at the University Writing Center, you will first take ENG-W 397/597: Writing Center Theory & Practice. The course focuses on the practical components of writing center work and how writing center and composition theories can be applied to a variety of settings, including but not limited to college, middle school, high school, professional, and other community settings.

Course overview

The course is guided by contemporary composition and learning theories that influence writing center work. As part of the class, students do weekly observations and co-consultations to experience how the UWC works in practice. This course asks consultants-in-training to consider their various identity positions in relation to the identities and experiences of writers who visit the UWC. To mentor student writers, consultants must be advocates who work across difference and see various modes of being in the world as assets not as limitations.

The course is an Experiential RISE course and counts toward the SLA Pathway Minor Liberal Arts Perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion

Course topics include

  • writing processes
  • collaborative learning
  • approaches to consulting
  • consultant roles
  • consulting strategies for multiple populations of students (including but not limited to multilingual writers, first-generation students, returning students)
  • language diversity in writing centers
  • neurodiversity in writing centers
  • gender & sexuality in writing centers
  • multimodal composing in writing centers
  • research in writing centers

At the end of the semester, students are invited to apply to be writing consultants for the following semester. Questions about the course and/or job requirements can be sent to UWC Director Dr. Marilee Brooks-Gillies at mbrooksg@iupui.edu.

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“The training course (W397) prompted me to think deeply about social issues (oppression, equity, power) and created space to unlearn and relearn many of the narratives I had unconsciously internalized. More importantly, the course allowed me to learn about and embrace my sociocultural identities and transformed the way I value and look at human relationships.” -Varshini Balaji, class of 2020