The Writing and Speaking Center

The Writing and Speaking 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, Writing and Speaking Assistants communicate on students’ terms, bringing student-oriented perspectives, insights, and local knowledge to the conversation.

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.”