Reading and Writing Centers

By Danielle Rappel on April 19, 2014

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The Reading and Writing Center (RWC) is a place that not many college students have discovered. Located on almost every college campus, the RWC is there to offer free one-on-one tutorials in reading, writing and study habits to both undergraduate and graduate students. The problem is, the Reading and Writing Center is a fantastic resource on campus that so few know about or use.

The mission of the RWC is to provide positive feedback and encouragement to help students develop as both readers and writers. However, a common misconception is that the RWC is there to edit your papers. The tutors at the RWC are not proofreaders. The tutors are not there to grade your papers, talk badly about your professor who gave you a bad grade, or there to edit your papers for you. They’re trained to offer non-judgmental guidance, support and to be collaborative to help writers in all stages of their writing process, from brainstorming to organization of a paper to revising a draft. As a RWC tutor myself, we strive to help writers and readers understand the options, strategies and techniques that are available for you to use during your writing and reading processes. As well, we want the writers to leave each session feeling more confident in their work.

At Florida State University, the RWC is located in three different locations across campus: Williams Building, Johnson Building and Strozier Library. Each location has different hours of operation, but all have an ample amount of tutors who are always more than willing to assist. Tutoring sessions range anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in length, and it is always one-on-one with a peer tutor. Florida State’s RWC does take walk-ins if there is an open tutor. However, we strongly encourage you to, instead, make an appointment online ahead of time to make sure that you will definitely have the opportunity to get the most out of your session with your tutor.

As well, Florida State offers an English class that prepared you to become a RWC tutor. It is a semester long course that goes through the strategies of being a tutor, what to expect, and how to handle various situations, while also requiring you to tutor 1.5 hours a week for the entire semester.

I had a excellent experience as a tutor. I was able to help many struggling writers, but also was able to grow stronger as a writer myself. By helping others, we not only taught them new techniques, but also taught ourselves. Reading at least 3 essays a week, both you and the writer are able to discover new ways to write, new words, and new ideas. The tutor/writer relationship is codependent. The tutor cannot exist without the writer and the writer relies on the tutor.  At the end of each session, both the tutor and the writer should always leave feeling accomplished and satisfied with their work.

Next time you’re struggling on that midterm paper, or just can’t seem to get your thoughts together, visit your campus Reading and Writing Center to have a tutor help you out! Having the opportunity to sit down and talk your ideas out with someone, while receiving positive feedback could be just the boost you need to finish that paper.


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