The Peer Writing and Speaking Center

Peer Writing and Speaking brings together Bates students with trained peer assistants for collaborative conversation at any stage of the writing or speaking process. The program provides a convenient, student-centered option for students seeking to develop their writing or speaking.

In 2012-13 writing and speaking assistants conducted more than 3,000 one-to-one conferences on everything from PowerPoint presentations for first-year seminars, to papers in all academic disciplines at all course levels, right up to senior theses and posters and capstone talks for the Mount David Summit. As students themselves, writing and speaking assistants communicate on students’ terms and in their language, bringing student-oriented perspectives, insights, and local knowledge to the conversation.

Learn more about who we are

One group of writing and speaking 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. In 2012-13, more than 1,100 one-to-one conferences were held with more than 500 different Bates students.

- Who’s on When in Ladd this semester

A second group of writing and speaking assistants works with the students in writing-attentive courses while collaborating closely with the instructor. The 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 were held in 2012-13 under this wing of the program.

- This semester’s supported courses and participating faculty

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.”
  • “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:
Joanne Cole
Coordinator, Peer Writing and Speaking
207 753-6986

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