For more than six years, Augusta University’s Center for Writing Excellence, formerly called the Writing Center, has been located on the second floor of Allgood Hall. During that time, Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences‘ CWE has grown significantly, working with thousands of students, faculty and staff across the university to help improve their writing skills.
In response to increasing demand for assistance and to better support the university’s research mission, the center is moving to room E158 on the first floor of Allgood Hall. In this new location, the CWE can expand its services and support students, faculty and staff seeking to improve their skills, increase publication productivity and develop a personalized composing process. Writers can begin accessing the new space Jan. 17.
“The CWE has been advocating for a larger space for quite some time in order to better support Augusta University students, faculty and staff,” said Candis Bond, PhD, director of the Center for Writing Excellence. The CWE assists not only with writing, but also with multimodal compositions — posters, infographics, podcasts, films and websites, for example — and oral communications.”
Bond added that the new, larger space has an open concept for better collaboration.
“This new space is much larger and has a closed off room we can use for composers to practice conference presentations and speeches. It also has workstations equipped with large screens and wi-fi, where small groups can work collaboratively on writing or multimodal projects.”
Odessa Hinton is a graduate assistant consultant earning her Master of Arts in Teaching from the College of Education and Human Development. She agrees the upgrade will benefit the CWE and those who take advantage of its offerings.
“The thing that excites me the most about the new space is that it is so much bigger than the old one, with more options for appointments than we had before. Having the capability to help diverse writers with their diverse writing processes has always been the goal, and I think this space will help us achieve that,” said Hinton.
Being located on the first floor of Allgood Hall may help increase the number of people who utilize the center, staff said.
“I’m so thrilled about the new space,” said Sydney Highfield, an undergraduate peer consultant studying English with a concentration in creative writing in Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “The new location on the first floor will hopefully increase the accessibility and visibility of the writing center. I think the larger size will allow for more space to work within and have privacy during sessions.”
Every semester, the CWE sees about 700 users and each academic year, about 10% of the student population takes advance of the center. Bond added about half of all their consultations are with graduate students and faculty, and the other half with undergraduates. During the last academic year, the CWE made more than 3,500 student contacts through outreach and presented workshops and webinars to nearly 2,500 composers, which included students of all levels, post-doctoral fellows, faculty and staff.
Regardless of genre, purpose or discipline, everyone can benefit from talking with someone about their writing, CWE staff said. The center assists writers and speakers across disciplines as they compose for academic and professional audiences.
“Anyone who wants to be an effective communicator needs to be aware of the specific ways communication is evolving across a variety of contexts,” said James Garner, PhD, associate director of the Center for Writing Excellence. “One of the CWE’s guiding principles, something we try to teach every writer we meet, is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to writing.”
“You don’t write a lab report the same way you write an op/ed the same way you write a research paper. This seemingly obvious revelation is often a lightbulb moment for developing writers, who tend to think in terms of a binary ‘good’ and ‘bad’ writing rather than thinking in terms of generic and disciplinary expectations. By helping students understand this simple fact, we aim to equip writers to become more confident and self-aware, skilled not only at writing lab reports or op/eds or research papers, but also at negotiating the many, constantly changing types of writing tasks they will encounter.”
To celebrate the opening of the new location, the Center for Writing Excellence will host a launch party from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 25 in Allgood Hall, Room E158. Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend. Prizes, swag and treats will be provided.
The CWE will be open Jan. 17-May 2 during the spring 2023 semester. The center offers weekday, weekend and evening hours in-person and online.
Other Center for Writing Excellence opportunities:
- One-on-one and small-group consultations
- Writing and speaking groups
- Writing retreats
- Publication workshop series
- Writing across the curriculum brown bag series: Bad Ideas About Writing
- Workshops for undergraduate and graduate students
- Customizable in-class workshops and curriculum consultations
- Writing and communication resources