The University Writing Center, a unit of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, helps UT students become more proficient, more versatile, and more confident in their writing abilities.
We do so by providing one-on-one writing consultations to students, supporting the faculty teaching writing, giving presentations to classes, developing handouts, and employing undergraduate and graduate student consultants.
The help we provide is intended to foster independence. We do not, therefore, revise, edit, or proofread student papers. Instead, we teach students how to revise, edit, and proofread their own work more accurately and efficiently.
The advice we give in consultations is professional, but nondirective. The invention of ideas and supporting statements remains the writer’s responsibility, and the consultation itself belongs to the student. Because student visits are confidential, students have access to our records of their work with us, and we notify instructors of their students’ visits only if requested.
Supporting the faculty that teach undergraduate writing courses is also central to our mission. Every semester we send letters to Writing Flag and other faculty members in order to inform them of our services. Throughout the semester we support them indirectly by working with their students. When requested by faculty, we give presentations and workshops to students in class.
“Maybe in a perfect world, all writers would have their own ready auditor—a teacher, a classmate, a roommate, an editor—who would not only listen but draw them out, ask them questions they would not think to ask themselves. A writing center is an institutional response to this need.” Stephen North, “The Idea of a Writing Center”