Nicolet Writing Center

An overview:

The Nicolet Writing Center is a peer-to-peer program designed to help students become more confident and effective writers.  Writing Mentors will offer support through all stages of the writing process, and can make targeted suggestions for improvement based on a student's questions or concerns about a writing task.  Unlike peer editors who correct technical mistakes, Writing Mentors will be trained to provide help with a variety of writing tasks, including:

  • Interpreting a prompt and brainstorming a plan
  • Developing ideas/incorporating evidence to support a central claim
  • Organizing an argument logically and coherently
  • Enhancing language choice, with particular attention to writing task, subject, and audience
  • Asking guiding questions, and helping peers see possible solutions to writing challenges.

Why a Writing Center? And why mentoring, not editing?

  • Peers often understand certain aspects of a student’s concerns/challenges that an adult instructor may not see
  • Peers can draw from personal experience to make connections for a student
  • Peer mentors, by asking questions, can help a student generate his/her own solutions -- a far more powerful tool than simply giving an answer

How it works:

  • Interested students come to the library during one of our open hours, Monday-Tuesday (see schedule).  
  • They sign in at the library desk in the Writing Center Attendance Log -- including giving the name of the teacher/class for which they are seeking help.
  • They should either bring a hard copy of their work or check out a library computer to access the work online.
  • The mentor will provide the student with a “Feedback Request Sheet” to fill in that will help guide the meeting.
  • Meetings are usually 20-30 minutes long, depending on student need and time available.
  • Mentors ask students to identify areas of need/read aloud from their work; mentors jot down observations on the “Feedback” sheet.
  • Mentors will walk through observations, asking clarifying questions and helping student generate suggestions/possible next steps
  • Students will leave with targeted next steps on their Feedback Request Sheet”.

When you might want to use a writing center:

  • Brainstorming -- if a student wants to bounce ideas off of a neutral audience
  • Early in the drafting process if a student is struggling with idea generation or organization
  • If a student wants to revise a work after a grade has been given
  • Any time, with any question about the writing process!