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First Post From Ohio State

The Ohio State University Writing Center will be Guest Blogging for this week. My name is Doug Dangler and I run the Online Writing Center at OSU ( I tutor online via a synchronous system a few hours a week, and more during the weeks before midterms and finals. I’m always fascinated by the theorietical aspects of writing center communications and how the work done there gets interpreted in a variety of ways. (For example, online writing center issues frequently surface on the writing center listserv, wcenter: Last Friday, I was part of an East Central Writing Center Association (ECWCA: panel discussing online tutoring and the influence of the language used to describe it, especially metaphors. Tom Savas, a graduate tutor at OSU, talked about the impact that electronic technologies have had on Andrea Lunsford’s metaphors of the Garret, the Storehouse, and the Burkean Parlor. For my at bat, I talked about why I’d like to see the OWL acronym altered to something more descriptive of online writing center work. And the final presenter, Kay Halasek, the Writing Center Faculty Coordinator at OSU, discussed administrative issues associated with online writing centers. All in all, provocative ideas were presented and a good discussion followed, demonstrating once again that conferences can be great places to question long-held assumptions and practices.


  1. Welcome aboard, OSU!

    Doug--I too am interested in the names we choose to call ourselves and what we do. Have you thought of any alternative names for online work and online "centers?"

  2. I've thought of a couple of alternatives, most of them based on Donna Haraway's idea of the cyborg, but these are more theory for tutors and administrators than something I'd use with clients.

    Mostly, I'm in favor of the use of "center" and "OWC" (which sounds a lot like "The OC," which might make writing center work more alluring).



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