SHSU Writing Center improves students’ skills, aids faculty

The Sam Houston Writing Center is a free service for SHSU students, faculty and staff to help them become better writers and develop more confidence in their writing abilities.

The Writing Center provides one-on-one and small group writing instruction. It also offers one-session workshops throughout the year on various topics relating to writing.

Students can receive help with any type of writing. The Writing Center helps on assignments ranging from English composition essays to lab reports, rsums and scholarship and job application letters. Students and faculty can even get help with a master’s thesis or doctorate dissertation.

Writing Center tutors do not just correct a student’s writing. Instead, they help students learn prewriting, revising, and editing skills by working on the writing assignments they bring in.

“We are not here to proofread and edit work; we want to collaborate with students to help them be better writers,” said Will Wright, English graduate student and Writing Center staff member.

The focus of the Writing Center is on teaching students the skills that will help them improve their written communication throughout the entire writing process. Faculty can also receive assistance with their own writing and with constructing writing assignments for their students.

Another focus of the Writing Center is to help students that have writing anxiety. Having peer on peer tutoring helps to create a more comfortable atmosphere. A group of graduate and undergraduate students recently went to Fayetteville, Ark., to present academic papers about the Writing Center and the strategies used to help students. They discussed what has been successful and what more can be done to improve the peer assistance program.

Help is available at any stage of a writing project, from brainstorming about the assignment and its purpose; understanding the audience; researching the topic; creating a thesis; selecting evidence; organizing ideas; developing paragraphs; creating transitions; writing clear; grammatical sentences; to editing a revised draft.

The Writing Center also provides workshops on various aspects of writing.

“Every week two English graduate students conduct a workshop on a problem in rhetoric and composition,” Wright said.

The topics discussed range from essay exam strategies to various grammar problems. The next workshop offered by the Writing Center is March 13 on comma usage.

“The Writing Center is staffed by graduate and undergraduate students from various areas of study,” Wright said.

The staff includes a director and full-time member of the English faculty, a center assistant and graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of majors who are trained as writing


The Writing Center is located in Wilson Room 114. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday; and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 294-3680 or e-mail

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