writing. thinking. collaborating. teaching. learning. blogging…

Quick Questions: Sources within Sources (Sourception?) April 19, 2012

Part of our work at the Writing Center includes responding to “Quick Questions” asked by writers from within and beyond the DePaul community. By posting the questions from writers and answers crafted by our tutors,  we hope you just might discover the answer to a question you have always wanted (or never thought) to ask!


How do you cite a source within a source? I found info in an online article that had info from another article and was unsure if I only cited where they got the info from or if I site both sources. Ex An online articles that uses a quote from a USA today article


Towards a Linguistic “Glocalization”: A Geographic Approach to Writing Center Theory. April 5, 2012

In 1997, geographer Erik Swyngedouw challenged the way that scholars viewed globalization with the publication of “Neither Global nor Local: ‘Glocalization’ and the Politics of Scale.” The idea of the “glocal” continues to impact geographers’ perceptions of how scale operates, but how might this phenomena, which acknowledges the way that local and global landscapes impact and inform one another, help shape Peer Writing Tutors’ perceptions of global and local writing elements? I facilitated an interactive Round Robin Session at this years Chicagoland Writing Centers Association’s “Winter Gathering” conference to explore how we as Peer Writing Tutors might glocalize our approach to language, and the responses I received from the session were phenomenal! (more…)


“The Deflector” | Episode 2 of The Breakroom January 26, 2012

Charlotte, Dubs, and Zorno are back for the second episode of DePaul’s newest web series of writing center videos, The Breakroom. “The Deflector” addresses the need to establish rapport in a writing fellows conference, along with recognizing some of the red pen scars that writers may bring to a session. Be sure to listen for the brand new original composition, “(If We) Build Rapport,” written and performed by our own Amanda Bryant and Matthew Pearson.

Produced by UCWbL Films, this series offers a humorous look at peer writing tutoring using dramatic scenarios and relevant research. Let us know what you think!


Preventing Tutor Fatigue November 8, 2011

We’ve all had it happen.  You’ve had four face-to-face appointments so far today, your eyes hurt from staring at your computer screen, and in walks your next writer.  You want to give them your best and help them with this paper, but it feels like your head is going to explode if you have to explain the difference between a passive and active verb again.  You bite back a groan and get up to meet them.  You forget why you’re tutoring and just want to go home and take a nap.  Like I said, it happens to the best of us: tutor fatigue. (more…)


Tutors aren’t mind-readers… not yet, anyway November 7, 2011

Groundbreaking research on BCI’s–“brain-computer interfaces” has stirred up a lot of excitement in the science world.  The possibility of technology that responds directly to your brainwaves is nearer within reach than ever before.  Of course, many people are frightened by the prospect that somebody, say, the government, could actually begin reading their minds, but the real question, as we all know, is: what does it mean for tutoring?



The Tutor as Archaeologist: Presenting A History of Online Tutoring November 2, 2011

A little known fact about writing centers is that we are always engaging in cutting-edge research, and right now, scholarship on online tutoring is all the rage.  The OnlineWC/OWLSummit aims to improve writing center work by pooling together resources for online tutoring.  As part of their efforts, I had the opportunity to research the UCWbL’s very own history to look at how we’ve handled online writing center work both in the past and at present, as well as to speculate on what may come in the future.  Check it out here, and read about what the writing centers at University of Iowa, Purdue, and National University have been up to as well.


Is reading more the answer to everything? October 27, 2011

I believe it was Marge Piercy who said, “If you want to be a writer, be a reader.” I think there is much practical, as well as inspirational wisdom in this statement.  The visual component of language is very important from a number of perspectives. How can you master punctuation, for example, if you don’t spend time seeing it in action? How can you learn to pronounce properly if you don’t have the image of the word in your head? As a writing center tutor at DePaul University, I feel there have been a number of times I have encountered problems from writers that might not have become problems if they had looked at words more rather than primarily hearing them.