The Writing Center

The Writing Center 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 oral communication skills.

During a typical academic year, Peer Writing and Speaking Assistants (PWSAs) conduct 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, to senior theses and posters for the Mount David Summit. As students themselves, Peer Writing and Speaking Assistants communicate on students’ terms, bringing student-oriented perspectives, insights, and local knowledge to the conversation.

Writing Center Mission Statement

The Writing Center empowers Bates students in becoming more effective writers, communicators, thinkers, and learners. A venue for having beliefs strengthened and convictions challenged, the center supports students in using writing and language to achieve their personal goals. The Writing Center helps students develop a process for writing that will serve them as scholars and citizens. Writing is an invitation to learn, grow, and reflect. As a diverse community of scholars, we recognize equal value in all language varieties, and all ways of speaking and writing. Working with ardor and devotion, we foster collaborative relationships that use writing to engage the transformative power of our differences.

The Writing Center will accomplish this by:

  • Providing a space for students to generate ideas, collaborate, draft, write, revise, edit, and present in a supported environment.

  • Facilitating an on-going conversation on healthy writing practices, language learning, visual rhetoric, and public speaking through tutoring, workshops, resources, and other venues.

  • Providing in-class activities and other interventions to support writing in the curriculum.

  • Advocating for students as writers, and working to support students as they navigate writing in the Bates curriculum.

Student comments about Writing and Speaking 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.”
  • “My FYS Writing and Speaking Assistant tries her hardest to help me grow as a writer.  She is the best!”
  • “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.”
  • “He 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.”


The Writing Center is a part of the Academic Resource Commons. See the Hours tab for information on using the Writing Center