Hartwick Writing Center is a Valuable Campus Resource

March 19, 2010

Grammar nerds and footnote aficionados alike gather in the Writing Center each day to conquer a number of writing challenges. Located in Clark Hall, Room 230, the Writing Center is a resource for the entire campus. Upperclassmen with successful writing skills tutor composition students and review writing assignments with walk-in students from all disciplines.

Students are encouraged to bring a copy of their writing prompt as well as a draft of the assignment to the conference. Composition essays, artist statements, and senior theses are some of the assignments tutors have helped with in the past. The Writing Center does not accept drop-off papers.

Psychology major Colleen Lyons ’11 started working in the Writing Center her freshman year as a receptionist. She decided to become a tutor in order to help others and improve her own writing.

“What I think is so important is we’re one-on-one help. I think that although it’s intimidating to some at first, it helps them understand how personal and important writing is, which helps them at the collegiate level and later in life.”

Tutors also teach twice-weekly sessions with one to three students in English 101. Although they are not responsible for grading student work, tutors are required to take the same exams as their students and complete grammar exercises. They must complete two full semesters of tutoring classes before becoming eligible for paid positions.

Lydia Dennett ’11, an English and History major, stated that she wants the campus to know that tutors want to help other students. “I’ve really enjoyed tutoring and meeting people in different classes and majors. I really do like going over papers. My roommate takes her papers into the Writing Center every single time. It gives it a polished sort of look.”

Other tutors plan to become teachers. English Education major Shane Abrams ’11 offered his perspective on the Writing Center: “As an education major the experience is invaluable. The tutor’s role is very important, but students can do so much for themselves. Tutoring helped me a lot, too. For people who are not going into education, the experience is still useful to build social skills and the communication aspect that everyone needs to interact with other people.”

Writing Center Coordinator Julia Suarez Hayes supervises the tutoring program with Director of Writing Robert Bensen.

“Every time you come in here you should learn something,” Suarez Hayes said. “We work with words and writing, so we learn about everything in life. Everything we do is language.”

“I think a lot of people see this as a remedial thing, but it’s really for everyone,” Abrams said. “The Writing Center is a great resource.”

Lyons noted that the help walk-in students receive extends beyond a single assignment.

“When you come in to have your paper read, take the advice you receive and apply it to other papers you write. We’re here to enhance writing.” Lyons added, “If a tutor gives you advice on fragments, take note of that advice for papers you’ll write your whole college career.”

The Writing Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday. Students can make appointments in person during normal business hours, by phone (431-4918), or by sending a message to

By Alicia Walstad '10

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030