Virginia Ryan sent this to me privately, but gave permission for me to
repost it to the whole list. I'd be glad of further comments
and suggestions for questions -- then watch for a posting that asks
you (and colleagues) for answers. We're getting somewhere here.
> Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 11:50:28 -0230
> From: Virginia Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Canadian Writing Centre Conferences
> Margaret --
> I, for one, would love to see an Inkshed piece that focuses on
> And to your list of questions for writing centre directors (should Inkshed decide to
> go that route) I will add these:
> - How is each w.c. funded?
> - To whom does each w.c. answer?
> - Which w.c.'s are dedicated to particular faculties, as opposed to being
> dedicated to entire college/university communities?
> - Are w.c. services offered on a drop-in or an appointment basis?
> - Who seem to be the major writing centre users (i.e., first-year students, ESL
> students, Arts students, etc.)?
> - How many w.c.'s are currently offering or contemplating offering on-line
> tutorials - and what are the implications of such a development for ongoing
> "in-person" tutorials,and for the administration of w.c.'s?
> - What is the "political" climate at each w.c. (i.e., how is it used/viewed by
> faculty? ...by administration?)
> - What, if any, outreach projects are the various w.c.'s involved in? (For
> example, ours is currently pursuing a very exciting dialogue with our province's high
> school English teachers on the issue of high school students' preparedness for
> university-level writing.)
> I know there are dozens more such questions people will want to add - and I hope that
> they will add them, and that this will indeed develop into a forum in which both
> writing centre professionals and other stakeholders can participate!
> Ginny Ryan
> Memorial University
> of Newfoundland
> Writing Centre
> Margaret Procter wrote:
> > Janice and others --
> > An Inkshed piece on Writing Centres would be valuable to all readers, and would
> > signal that CASLL is interested in them. Even putting together a database of
> > current information about writing centres would help get a discussion started --
> > defining a community and all that! Henry Hubert's report of a couple of years
> > ago (it's somewhere in my pile of old Inksheds, and probably in Russ's Web
> > archives) would provide a foundation. I'd like to know more about the ways W.C.
> > people mix in with other methods of writing instruction. The changes between then
> > and now would also provide a sense of where we stand within universities'
> > structures (and budgets!).
> > Somebody (plural, meaning from the CASLL list) want to help draw up a set of
> > questions to circulate? I think I could provide mailing addresses by mining
> > Henry's report, my old report on post-admission testing, and the Inkshed mailing
> > list. Or should we try to do it all by e-mail, at least to start? (But I suspect
> > that one reason we don't see a lot of W.C. discussion on the CASLL list is that
> > some writing centres aren't funded or positioned securely enough to have full
> > access to the Internet.)
> > To start, I'd like to know something about who actually does the instruction in
> > each writing centre: professionals, grad students, peer tutors (grad or
> > undergrad). Then I'd want to know how they're trained/prepared/developed in their
> > work. Interesting to see if the nature of professionals' appointments has changed
> > since Henry's survey too. And is the instruction all individual tutoring, or what
> > else (or otherwise) is used? Etc. ....
> > Regards,
> > Margaret.
> > Janice Freeman wrote:
> > > Margaret,
> > >
> > > I have been wondering over the past few years why there had not been
> > > much discussion about Writing Centres on this list. But I agree with
> > > you, it seems that many of us are involved in WC/WAC issues, so this
> > > would be the appropriate forum to discuss them.
> > >
> > > What I had planned on proposing during my short tenure as Inkshed
> > > co-editor was a Writing Centres issue. I'd still be willing to edit a
> > > piece on Canadian Writing Centres, somewhat like the WAC/WID article we
> > > did last year. Let me know if there's enough interest. We could contact
> > > Writing Centre people and ask for a few paragraphs from each, include a
> > > list of URLs, and come up with a valuable resource.
> > >
> > > I have just asked my work/study student to do a web search for Canadian
> > > Writing Centres and writing resources on Canadian university web sites.
> > > I don't know how far she'll get on this, but it would be something I
> > > could draw on for this project.
> > >
> > > Is there enough interest out there for a WC issue or article? Let me
> > > know if you'd be willing to contribute a few paragraphs about your own
> > > Writing Centres.
> > >
> > > Janice Freeman
> > > Centre for Academic Writing
> > > University of Winnipeg
> > >
> > > Margaret Procter wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Roberta, Ginny, Janice and others --
> > > >
> > > > I'd also be glad to see more discussion online and at conferences
> > > > about writing centre issues. But since so many of us in that field
> > > > also work on courses and WAC projects, I'm not so sure that our
> > > > discussions need to or should be segregated.
> > > >
> > > > Would it bore the non-W.C. people to hear us discussing stuff like
> > > > how to deter people from now showing up for appointments? (One of my
> > > > concerns just now, looking at figures from the past year: an example
> > > > of the admin details of W.C. work.) We've also got lots of concerns
> > > > in common,such as the ways students keep thinking about writing instruction
> > > > in terms of language correctness rather then rhetorical effectiveness
> > > > [("Will you proofread this for me?" [W.C.] "Why did you give me a C --
> > > > I hardly made any errors?" [course]). Or is it only writing centre
> > > > people who have to keep facing these things directly, since we must
> > > > keep teaching students in whatever circumstances or state of
> > > > (mis)understanding: we can't hide behind course structures or marking
> > > > schemes....
> > > >
> > > > Cheers,
> > > >
> > > > Margaret.
> > > > --
> > > >
> > > > (Dr.) Margaret Procter Room 216, 15 King's College Circle
> > > > Coordinator, Writing Support Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H7
> > > > University of Toronto (416) 978-8109; FAX (416) 971-2027
> > > > www.library.utoronto.ca/www/writing/ [log in to unmask]
(Dr.) Margaret Procter Room 216, 15 King's College Circle
Coordinator, Writing Support Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H7
University of Toronto (416) 978-8109; FAX (416) 971-2027
www.library.utoronto.ca/www/writing/ [log in to unmask]