Showing posts from February, 2014

WCJ Live with Harry Denny & Anne Ellen Geller, this FRI., FEB. 21, 3pm Eastern

This just in from the International Writing Centers Association: Friends, Please join us for   WCJ Live  with authors   Harry Denny & Anne Ellen Geller this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21 st , at 3pm Eastern/noon Pacific. Login and other important information follows: For a session abstract, author bios, and a link to Denny & Gellar’s recent  WCJ article "Of Ladybugs, Low Status, and Loving the Job: Writing Center Professionals Navigating Their Careers," check out  The Writing Center Journal ’s website at (Click “WCJ Live” on the homepage banner.)  To join Friday’s  WCJ   Live  session, click or copy and paste this link: The following information may be helpful as you prepare to log in to the session: If this is the first time you will be using Elluminate, you may be prompted to download some software which may take any

International Student Workshops: An Innovative Approach to an Age-Old Issue

For the life of me, I couldn't understand what they were saying. I truly wanted to contribute to my girlfriend’s conversation, and I understood all of the words she was saying to her friends, but the sentences she that came out of her mouth made almost no sense to me. What in the world is a Vera Bradley double tote with crossbody straps and a trendy clutch? How can a sundress be “crepe with a playful flutter”? And for the love of all things manly, why does everything lead back to conversations about shoes?! Despite my frustration with the current topic matter, I held in any desire I had to change the subject out of a fear of being made fun of; I didn’t want everyone to realize that I lacked any semblance of knowledge about the fashion industry. However, after 10 more minutes of listening to an argument over whether a skirt was cadet blue or turquoise, I finally jumped in, saying that I believed the skirt “would look better in ‘toke’”. The girls stared at me incredulously unt

Recycling Formats: an “essay” consultation

I think it’s safe to assume that most everybody in college understands the three main organizational blocks of an essay: intro, body, conclusion. As consultants, we know how these three blocks should look and what they should include, and we probably know about a dozen different ways to explain why/how/what. We got this part down. On the other hand, consultations are much harder for us to organize, since these usually take the form of a conversation; sometimes new consultants—or even veteran consultants—worry about how to get started, or how to end a consultation. I’m glad we’re worried because as it turns out, the structure of a consultation is as important for the student as organization in an essay is for the reader. The good news is, we don’t need to worry for long. The “format” is already ingrained in our memory, as I have pointed out above: simply compare our consultations to an essay. First, the introduction. I can’t count how many times I have used the word “game-pla

Hand over the scuba gear.

We’ve all had them—the good writers. The ones who really know what they’re doing, who know what they’re talking about, who know the basic rules of grammar. The ones that make us draw a blank, a complete white wall of nothingness because—really—it is so tempting to stay at the surface level grammars and word choices and citations that we resist putting on our scuba gear and really diving in. But perhaps “diving in” is the wrong metaphor. “Diving in” might imply that we, as consultants, are initiating that first jump in the water, pulling the client in behind us…and I don’t think this is the answer to “how to help a good writer.” In fact, I think we should do the exact opposite: hand that scuba gear right over to the writer.  From my experience in being both a consultant and a client in these situations, I think that stepping back and letting the client take control is extremely important; if a writer shows a high level of comprehension about her topic, and if the reader isn’t dis