Writing is a diverse, complex, and deeply contextual activity. And learning to write well for different audiences and purposes is a lifelong pursuit. For these reasons, no one consultation will have the same outcomes, but all sessions share the goal of engaging students in talk about their writing. In recognition of this variation, we aspire for each session to meet one or more of the following outcomes.
- In individual consultations, students will be prompted to think rhetorically about their writing, which will happen through talk that involves any of the following:
- Analyzing the assignment prompt
- Identifying opportunities for revision based on audience, purpose, or genre:
- source use
- Developing a plan for the writing process
- In individual consultations, writers will practice some of the habits of mind of skillful writers, which will happen through talk that involves any combination of the following:
- Asking questions
- Reflecting on feedback
- Identifying opportunities to develop new ideas or build on existing ones
- Testing approaches to generating, investigating, or representing ideas
- Identifying a way to care more about the writing
- Weighing choices available to the writer in the assignment
- Acknowledging when a task requires a different or specific approach
- Explaining a decision made in the writing
Principles Guiding Learning Outcomes
The Writing Center’s learning outcomes are informed by the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, which identifies the habits of mind that facilitate the transfer of learning across writing contexts.
By providing a space for inquiry about writing, the Writing Center aspires to nurture:
- Curiosity – students use writing as an opportunity to ask questions and deepen understanding
- Openness – students listen to and reflect on feedback
- Engagement – students practice investment and involvement in learning by using writing to search for meanings new to the writer or build on existing meanings.
- Creativity – students test novel approaches for generating, investigating, or representing problems and ideas.
- Persistence – students develop strategies for sustaining interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
- Responsibility – students are prompted to take ownership of their choices as writers and understand the consequences of those choices for the reader and the writer.
- Flexibility – students are encouraged to adapt to new rhetorical situations, expectations, or demands
- Metacognition – students are asked to reflect on their own thinking and choices as writers as well as on the individual and social processes used to structure knowledge.
These values are intentionally broad. To our mind, they are powerful because they encapsulate a holistic vision of learning—one that involves cultivating meaningful inquiry about writing.