The Writing Center has moved from Cullimore Hall to the bottom floor of the renovated Central King Building. Found across from the Math Tutoring Center, the Writing Center has been rejuvenated. The Center is set on changing how students view it, and proving that it is more than just a place for people who are have troubles in Humanities. The Writing Center is run by Dr. Catherine Siemann, who has graduated from NYU with a JD and Columbia University with a PhD in Victorian Literature. According to her, “One of the misconceptions about the writing center I think that a lot of people have is that you can only work on Hum 101 and 102 projects with us… the other misconception that people have is that it’s only for people who have real problems with their writing. In fact, neither of those things are true.”
The Writing Center boasts multiple services, from proofreading and working with students on essays, to helping with pre-writing. The Writing Center is available to help students with each step of the writing process, regardless of how proficient the student is at writing. Additionally, essays aren’t the only thing the Center can help with. According to the NJIT website, the Writing Center can work with students on “reports for engineering or science courses, grant or fellowship applications, graduate theses or dissertations, proposals for funding,” and a myriad of other types of writing.
The staff at the Writing Center consists of peer consultants from the Honors College, adjunct instructors with English or Literature backgrounds, and graduate students from NJIT. The staff there acts as consultants who are there to assist with students and staff, with any step of their writing process. Dr. Siemann stressed that consultants were not just tutors that are there to help people who have problems with writing, but are there for all students, regardless of their proficiency in writing, who want help with their writing projects.
According to Dr. Siemann, writing is not something that only liberal arts students need, it’s something that’s interdisciplinary. She noted, “from the Writing Center’s perspective I think it’s just important that students realize that this isn’t just something to get through, that it’s something that’s going to be a skill they need in the workplace, it’s something that employers are looking for, and that the one on one work we do can really help.”
Dr. Siemann has been working alongside the Science, Technology, and Society Department to research the effects of self-efficacy on a writer and how it manifests in their writing. According to preliminary results, students who are confident in their writing are able to write better, but students who visit the Writing Center or attend workshops with Writing Center staff are more confident in their writing.
On top of a great staff and extensive services, the Writing Center is also interested in partnering with clubs and classes to host workshops in their free space. The Writing Center sports a large room with a projector, multiple seats, and a whiteboard, perfect for groups that want to come together for a meeting or workshop. The Writing Center is really invested in changing the narrative of who they are and what they do, and is working hard to become part of the campus community. They are planning an event in April that will give attendees a chance to hear original work produced by students and faculty.
If you have a paper due, an oral presentation, personal projects, or anything that involves writing, stop by the Writing Center or set up an appointment online.