Writing Center

West Chester University

Dr. Margaret Ervin
Associate Professor of English
FHG Library Room 251

Training and Opportunities

Writing Center Staff group photo

Graduate Student Writing Tutors

We are pleased to have graduate students from diverse academic disciplines working as tutors in the writing center. In recent years, we have had representatives of the graduate programs in not only English but also communication studies, social work, public health, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), geography, psychology, philosophy, and counseling. This variety of backgrounds and disciplines underscores our mission to serve students, faculty, and staff from across campus. They must take ENG 600, the course on writing center theory and practice, to be eligible to work as a writing tutor; however, graduate students hired in the summer may take the course in the fall, consecutively with their first semester of employment in the writing center.

Undergraduate Student Writing Tutors

We welcome undergraduate students from all academic disciplines as tutors in the writing center. Successful completion of ENG 397, Tutoring Writing, makes undergrads eligible to apply for the following semester. ENG 397, which familiarizes undergraduate students with writing center theory and practice, is a course in the English major writings track and counts as a cross-over course for students in the English major literatures track. For students in every major, ENG 397 bears the writing emphasis designation.

The Course that Prepares Students for Writing Center Work: ENG 397 or ENG 600

The course on writing center theory and practice is usually taught in a combined undergrad/grad section in the fall in late afternoon or evening. Students may access MyWCU from the WCU home page to obtain current information on course offerings. Please contact Dr. Margaret Ervin if you are interested in seeing a sample course syllabus.

Graduate Assistantship Application Process

Graduate students interested in becoming a tutor in the writing center should apply for a graduate assistantship in the spring semester. Assistantships are generally offered for the following year. Preference is given to students entering the university for their first year of study. Writing center graduate assistantships are funded through the generosity of the Provost and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean. Graduate students accepted for a tutoring position are required to enroll in ENG 600, Tutoring Composition, as part of their preparation for writing center work.

Applicants should submit the following to Dr. Ervin, Writing Center Director, in ONE PDF file (append documents to the file using page or section breaks):

  1. Cover page
    • Name
    • E-mail address
    • Telephone number
    • Department and program of study (Please note: to be eligible for a graduate assistantship, students must be enrolled in a master's degree program. The post-Baccaluareate in teacher education does not make students eligible for a graduate assistantship. However, post-Bac students are eligible to apply for hourly-wage positions in the writing center, and we encourage them to do so.)
    • Year in the program (first, second, etc.)
    • Expected date of graduation
  2. 500-word statement of intent: Why do you want to work in the writing center? What attributes, strengths, and skills will you bring to the job? What do you hope to learn as a tutor?
  3. An academic writing sample (a class paper, for example)
  4. A resume
  5. Three telephone references
  6. The applicant's name and telephone number is to be included in both the e-mail and the body of the file

Undergraduate Students Interested in Working in the Writing Center

Undergraduate students interested in tutoring in the writing center as an hourly-wage worker should submit the information listed above in numbers 1-6 in a PDF files to Dr. Ervin. Applications may be submitted during fall or spring semesters. To be eligible to apply for a writing center tutoring position, undergrads must have successfully completed ENG 397, Tutoring Writing.

Other Opportunities to Assist Writers
The Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) is a peer tutoring option for undergraduates or graduate students. LARC does not offer tutoring for writing courses, with the exception of tutoring in the Academic Development Program (ADP) sections of ENG Q20 and WRT 120. ADP runs in the second summer session as well as fall and spring. In past years, undergraduate students who have taken ENG 397 have some advantage when applying to serve as a tutor in the summer ADP program. See LARC's web site for details on their application process.

Writing Zones is a college access program that sends WCU undergraduate students to be writing mentors in Kennett High School and at other sites. See the Writing Zones web site for details on their application process. All English BSEd students have an opportunity to tutor in Writing Zones when they take ENG 392, Writing and Teaching Writing, after formal admission to teacher education. Writing Zones also hires "core mentors" who may or may not be in the BSEd program. Having taken ENG 397 is a benefit when applying to Writing Zones.