AC Writing Center in the Time of a Pandemic

The Scarborough Center for Writing is a great resource on campus, even in virtual form.

AC+Writing+Center+in+the+Time+of+a+Pandemic

Charlotte Evelyn, Staff Writer

Since 2018, the Scarborough Center for Writing has served the Austin College Community by offering one-on-one sessions with well-trained peer tutors. During a typical year, the writing center could be found in the Abel library, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, the operation has become fully virtual. This change may seem daunting at first, but signing up for and attending a session is simple as ever. The first step is to go to mywconline.com and create an account. Next, choose a date, time, and tutor you’d like to work with. All of the tutors at the Writing Center are well qualified and have gone through a lengthy training process which includes a semester-long class devoted to writing pedagogy. However, if you’d like to make your choice a little more specific to your assignment, there is a helpful and equally adorable spread of the tutor’s virtual avatars and bios on the writing center website. Upon making an appointment, you’ll receive an email confirmation, as well as a Zoom link

Choose the best time for you and sign up, it’s that simple to join when your appointment time arrives.

After entering a waiting room, you’ll be greeted by writing center staff and sent into a private breakout room with your tutor. The session begins with a friendly introduction, as well as time to tell the tutor what specifics you’d like to work on. Over the next hour or so, either the writer or peer tutor read the material brought in aloud, and the tutor is able to make edits on the document in real-time. After the session is over, this document is sent to the tutee. Additionally, the tutor will record notes of the session in the zoom chat, which can be downloaded after the session. These sessions are mainly student-led, and the tutors excel at accommodating to each individual who comes in for help.

Coming to a professor for help on an assignment, while helpful,

The virtual writing center entrance, complete with resources, staff bios and current hours.

can feel daunting for many students. Receiving assistance from a peer takes away the stress many feel when going to office hours, and can often open the doors to meeting with a tutor who has done the same assignment in years past. The writing center is a low-pressure, flexible and welcoming space providing assistance with any step in the writing process. Whether you’re bringing in a final draft or just an idea of a piece you’d like to create, the peer tutors are more than happy to assist.

Visit mywconline.com to sign up for your next appointment!