The Writing Center helps Ball State University students with writing projects. The tutors offer free, one-on-one 50-minute sessions on all varieties of writing projects: essays, reports, websites, slideshows, theses, dissertations, proposals, resumes, and applications. The Writing Center’s purpose is to help students become better writers, whether it be learning to find grammatical errors or to organize an argument in writing. Students, both in the English Department and the University as a whole, are encouraged to stop by the Writing Center. As 97 percent of students rate tutoring sessions as good/excellent, it seems like an opportunity worth taking.
I have been a tutor at the Writing Center for two academic years now, an experience I have found incredibly rewarding. Initially, I became a tutor to gain first hand teaching experience in a writing-based setting. While accomplishing that professional goal, I have continued to gain experience in other areas, such as working with professional colleagues and attending professional development meetings. One of the most useful experiences through the Writing Center was my recent participation in the ECWCA Conference as a presenter. Doing academic research, preparing a presentation, and presenting at a professional conference are all valuable experiences that working at the Writing Center has granted me and which I will be able to use in my future professional career.
One unexpected benefit of working at the Writing Center has been the growth of my social skills. Working in close, one-on-one sessions with students has allowed me to become a better conversationalist (asking questions, listening to answers, and working in collaborative situations), which has had great effects on my personal and professional life. Also, working within a set schedule has allowed me to develop relationships with my fellow tutors and the Writing Center directors, leading to added personal growth. Most importantly, my social skills gained through working at the Writing Center has allowed me to become better at discussing writing.
Looking back on these last two years, the reason I am most thankful for my Writing Center experience has been the opportunities for personal growth, of course leading to professional improvements as well, that the Writing Center has provided.