National Writing Project

The Concept Of A Writing Center

Date: June 16, 2011

Summary: Writing centers exist in a variety of shapes, sizes, and settings, but they share many of the same approaches. Typically they are part of a writing program or learning center and serve the entire school, both at the secondary and college levels.


Excerpt from Article

Because learning to write involves practice, risktaking, and revising, writing centers are places where students are encouraged to try out and to experiment. Removed from the evaluative setting of a classroom, writers are free to engage in trial runs of ideas and approaches, to fail and move on to another attempt, and to receive encouragement for their efforts. Names of various facilities, such as writing center, writing lab, writing place, or writing room, are meant to encourage this view of the writing center as an informal, experimental, active place. This trying-out can be either in the form of talk, as writers practice formulating ideas aloud, or in writing.

Copyright © 1998 National Council of Teachers of English . Reprinted with permission.
The Concept of A Writing Center, by Muriel Harris, SLATE (Support for the Learning and Teaching of English). Originally Published by The National Council of Teachers of English September 1988.

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