Peer Writing and Speaking
Peer Writing and Speaking brings together Bates students with trained peer assistants for collaborative conversation at any stage of the writing or speaking process. This robust program provides a convenient, student-centered option for students seeking to develop their writing or speaking.
In 2012-13 peer assistants conducted some 3,000 one-to-one conferences with more than 975 different Bates students – on everything from papers and PowerPoint presentations for first-year seminars, to senior theses and capstone talks at the Mount David Summit. As students themselves, assistants communicate on students’ terms and in their language, bringing student-oriented perspectives, insights, and local knowledge to the conversation.
One group of writing assistants staffs the Writing and Speaking Center in Ladd Library. The Center is open to students on a drop-in basis, Sundays through Fridays, with daytime and evening hours. Conferences typically last between thirty and fifty minutes. About 500 different students, from across all four years, had one-to-one Ladd conferences in 2012-13, many returning repeatedly with work for multiple courses.
A second group of peer writing assistants works with the students in writing-attentive courses while collaborating closely with the instructor. The writing assistant serves as a direct resource for the class, working with students one-to-one or in small groups outside class hours and getting to know them and their individual strengths. More than 1,900 conferences with more than 700 different Bates students were held under this wing of the program in 2012-13.
Student comments about writing assistants
- “The writing assistant helped me to think about my paper more as a whole rather than just sentence by sentence. I now find myself doing much more rearranging with paragraphs and sentences to make my papers flow more logically.”
- “Before working with [my FYS assistant], I tried to find quotes in the readings that fit the idea I wanted to write about. Now I let my ideas grow from the sources.”
- “I would often go in worried, and leave relieved.”
- “The writing assistant was very effective at asking the right questions to help me re-think the content of my talk at micro and macro levels. She was very approachable, respectful, and supportive – she even came to the talk.”
- “The writing assistant made me question what I was actually saying in my paper. As a writer I tend to overdo it at times. He helped me get straight to the point.”
- “I had to talk through my ideas, and this helped me articulate them in writing more clearly.”
- “The Peer Writing Center is a god-send!”
For more information contact:
Coordinator, Peer Writing and Speaking