The Role of the Tutor in Developing
and Facilitating Writing Center Workshops



Rebecca Crews
Miami University

Katie Garahan
Virginia Tech

Photo of Rebecca Crews.Photo of Katie Garahan.

The work of writing centers seems to be continually expanding beyond one-to-one tutoring. In her article "Whose Idea of a Writing Center is This, Anyway?," Jeanne Simpson urges writing center professionals (WCPs) to relinquish their fixed idea of writing centers, saying, "[t]he boundaries between what 'should' happen in a writing center and what does happen and what might happen are porous to say the least" (4). Rebecca Jackson and Jackie Grutsch-McKinney posited in 2012 that though writing center work exceeds the traditional tutoring model, much of this work "remains hidden." They found that WCPs increasingly included non-tutoring activities into their missions; however, very few were talking about it in their scholarship. This theoretical gap poses a problem for WCPs seeking to grow their writing support services beyond traditional one-to-one tutoring. In this chapter, we present results from a survey we distributed to writing center directors from across the country. The goal of this survey was to discover the hidden work that involves writing center workshop practices. We focus specifically on the role of tutors in developing and facilitating workshops as well as how they are being prepared to do such work. From these results, we provide an overview of what current WCPs use to develop and facilitate workshops, and we argue that more research on defining purposeful workshop practices needs to continue. We begin with the catalyst for this survey—our own experiences as graduate assistants and tutors who were charged with the task of developing and facilitating workshops for graduate students at Virginia Tech.

In the spring of 2016, we were approached by Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) delegates to facilitate a writing workshop at the 2016 GSA Symposium for graduate student research. We developed an agenda and outcomes for a workshop to help graduate students turn their presentations into scholarly publications, and we offered this workshop on two consecutive days during the semester. We specifically designed a workshop that would be informal and collaborative for a graduate student interdisciplinary audience; as such, we planned to facilitate group discussion and provide students time to write with our support. After the first session, we distributed a post-workshop survey, which revealed that several participants wanted the workshop to be more directive. For example, participants would have liked "a[n] actual demo for changing a presentation into an article." To address students' desire for a more directive workshop approach, we restructured the workshop the next day and included a guided demonstration using Becky's own work, and we eliminated the discussion of genre and the small group collaboration. While our feedback for this more directive workshop was overwhelmingly positive, we noticed several students who thought the workshop had become too discipline-specific with one student asking if we could offer "a series of workshops for each [field]." We were disheartened that though our original workshop was well-planned and steeped in what we believe to be purposeful writing center practices, namely an emphasis on dialogue and collaboration with attention to interdisciplinarity, it did not seem wholly effective to participants. As we reflected on this experience, we realized we were not fully prepared to develop workshops for a general graduate student population, especially for students outside of the English department. Upon reviewing our experience and our workshop surveys, we began to wonder if our one-to-one tutoring practices could be applied when we moved outside of the writing center to conduct workshops.

We turned to writing center literature to find that few scholars are theorizing the development and facilitation of workshops. Jackson and Grutsch McKinney point out that scholarship about workshops has appeared sporadically throughout the decades and has been anecdotal in nature. Indeed, within the last decade, The Writing Center Journal (WCJ) has included only a few articles (see Carroll; Godbee et al.) that specifically mention workshops. In WLN, several scholars have shared their experiences with workshops (see Adkins; Bedore and O'Sullivan; Malenczyk and Rosenberg; Schultz), but this literature has not yet adequately addressed tutors' roles in conducting workshops for writing center clientele, nor does it explicitly theorize effective workshop strategies about how to educate tutors to contribute to the development and facilitation of writing center workshops.

Before we can develop and hone a set of purposeful practices for workshop development and tutor education, we believed it necessary to explore the current workshop practices of writing centers. To begin this work, we developed and distributed a national survey to WCPs. We then analyzed results from our National Survey on Writing Center Workshop Practices. In what follows, we first describe our research design; then we discuss our results as they pertain to tutors' roles in workshop development as well as tutor education for developing and facilitating workshops. Ultimately, our surveys suggest that while WCPs piece together theory and practice in developing and facilitating workshops, there is no foundational work in writing center literature on this topic. Based on our survey results, we offer suggestions for engaging and educating tutors in workshop practices, and we provide suggestions for further research that identifies purposeful practices for workshop development and facilitation.

Research Design

National Survey on Writing Center Workshop Practices

Using Qualtrics, we created a survey that contained a total of 24 questions: 17 multiple-choice and 7 open-ended. After gaining IRB approval, we circulated the survey via email using the IWCA's list of writing center director contact information, which includes American community colleges, universities, and high schools. To ensure that we distributed surveys only to postsecondary institutions, we cross-checked this information with writing center websites and to the best of our ability omitted high schools. Respondents include current and former writing center directors and assistant directors, administrators, graduate students, and other WCPs (i.e. coordinators, interim director, faculty, etc.). Results indicate that the majority (96%) are current or former directors or assistant directors. Additionally, most respondents (82%) indicate that their writing centers offer workshops.

Our survey captured more comprehensive information than can be discussed in this chapter. To focus specifically on the role of tutors and tutor education for this study, we analyzed six of the seventeen multiple-choice questions and two of the six open-ended questions (see Figure 1).

1. Does your center offer workshops?

2. Do you offer a tutor training course?

3. Do you discuss the development and facilitation of workshops in the tutor training course?

4. Briefly describe the materials you use to talk about workshops in the tutor training course.

5. Who develops content for the workshops? Check all that apply.

  • Writing Center Director or Coordinator
  • Undergraduate writing center tutors
  • Graduate writing center tutors
  • Faculty writing center tutors
  • Other

6. How do you develop the content for workshops (for example, I refer to literature, I ask colleagues, I use what was left for me by a previous writing center director, etc.)? Please describe this process.

7. In addition to the process of developing workshops, what else do you consider when facilitating the actual workshop (for example, location, tutors, materials, etc.)?

Figure 1. Seven survey questions related to tutor education.

The return rate of the survey was approximately 20%; therefore, this data set is not truly representative of all WCPs, their centers, and their experiences. However, we are encouraged by the number of participants who did respond. We sent the survey to just over one thousand contacts and 211 of those participated. Even more, several WCPs contacted us with more information and/or to share with us their excitement for the project.


In order to analyze qualitative data, we used a coding process adapted from qualitative researcher Johnny Saldaña. When we closed the survey, we initially read the data independently and coded for emergent themes. We then discussed initial themes and developed a preliminary list of codes. Because coding is iterative (59), we used these preliminary codes to re-code our data for a second time using Dedoose online coding software. Together, we discussed our second and third rounds of coding and analyzed our results using Dedoose.

In the following sections, we discuss two different aspects of writing center workshops: development and facilitation. Based on our own experience with workshops, we make the distinction that "development" happens prior to workshops and includes practices for creating workshop materials, and "facilitation" refers to the time and practices needed for workshop preparation and delivery.

The Role of the Tutor in Workshop Development

Perhaps not surprisingly, our survey results reveal that tutors play an integral role in the development of workshops. From the 158 responses to the multiple-choice, select-all-that apply question "Who develops workshop content?", 43% selected "undergraduate writing center tutors" and 39% selected "graduate writing tutors." Furthermore, of the 150 responses to the open-ended question, "How do you develop the content for workshops?", 22% discussed and highlighted the role of tutors (or consultants) without being specifically prompted to do so. In what follows, we focus on the responses that address the tutors' roles and discuss two emergent themes: tutor experience and tutor autonomy.

Tutor Experience

About 40% of respondents who addressed the tutors' roles highlighted tutor experience or expertise as significant to the development of ideas, topics, and workshop content. Respondents "consult tutors," "receive recommendations from consultants," and use "[t]utors' ideas" when generating topics and workshop content. Participants reported that their undergraduate and graduate tutors' experiences with one-to-one consulting allow them to identify clients' needs and generate ideas for types of workshops. For example, in explaining how the process of developing workshops begins, one respondent noted that both graduate and undergraduate "tutors will mention how they noticed a certain class is coming a lot or how a certain assignment seems challenging for students," and they will "develop resource materials" for workshops accordingly.

Survey participants usually did not distinguish between undergraduate and graduate tutors' experience and expertise; however, some did make distinctions between the two groups. Those who referred to undergraduate tutors highlighted their tutoring knowledge and skills gained from one-to-one sessions. One participant asserted that they base the workshops "on the experience of undergraduate tutors who conduct hundreds of individual consultations." Respondents also emphasized the importance of their graduate tutors' teaching experience. One participant noted that graduate student consultants "often draw on their experiences as teachers" when developing topics and content. Thus, respondents identified both their undergraduate and graduate tutors as professionals with unique expertise that is useful to workshop development. In these instances, undergraduate and graduate tutors' experiences with clients in tutoring sessions and graduate tutors' teaching experiences become the foundation for workshop development.

Tutor Autonomy

Respondents revealed that tutors have varying degrees of autonomy when developing workshops. Approximately 20% of respondents who discussed tutors' roles mentioned that workshops are developed either solely or primarily by tutors. One respondent explained that while the director chooses topics for tutor-led workshops, they "leave it up to the coordinator and co-presenters to flesh out the details." Tutors have full autonomy to utilize good research practices by developing content for workshops with the help of outside materials or resources. One respondent noted that tutors create workshops using literature, their colleagues, and their own experiences.

About 15% of participants who discussed tutors' roles described them as having partial autonomy to develop workshop content, with several mentioning that tutors generate topics and/or create the workshop content on their own but receive approval from the writing center director. One writing center director explained that the "writing consultants brainstorm and present ideas" and the director "help[s] to shape and inform them." Thus, the tutors are responsible for generating ideas, but the director guides them in creating the content and subsequently presenting the workshops. In other instances, the director gives the tutors more autonomy in the initial development of the workshops and provides feedback before they present. One respondent noted that when a faculty member requests a workshop, the director assigns two tutors to develop a plan and "ask[s] for drafts and provide[s] guidance as needed." In these cases, while tutors are not the sole developers, they have quite a bit of responsibility for developing workshops.

While participants identified tutors as being primarily responsible for developing workshops, almost half mentioned that tutors have shared autonomy. That is, workshops are developed through collaboration among writing center staff. One participant mentioned that "[u]ndergrad writing consultants and the writing center director work together to plan student-focused 50-minute workshops." Tutors also work with one another to develop topics and workshop content. One respondent explained that a "team of consultants," led by a graduate student, develop original content and modify existing content.

Though a few respondents specifically delineated the differing roles of graduate and undergraduate tutors, the level of autonomy varies only slightly between these groups. Both graduate and undergraduate involvement in developing workshops ranges from full to partial to shared autonomy. Ultimately, our results suggest an interesting narrative about the roles tutors play in writing center workshop development. Directors value tutors' experience and expertise, and while this is not a new idea, writing centers are one of the few spaces where authority figures provide students high-impact professional development opportunities, particularly with undergraduates, to develop and facilitate knowledge with little-to-no supervision. Such opportunities include using their specific expertise to lead a group, working in interdisciplinary teams, and collaborating with peers and faculty.

Tutor Education for Developing Workshops

Survey results reveal that while 67% of respondents do offer a tutor education course, only 35% discuss workshops in their courses. In this section, we briefly describe the materials our participants use and considerations they make to teach workshops in their tutor education courses.

To teach tutors about workshops, respondents use existing workshop materials as pedagogical tools and as the foundation for in-class content development. Participants teach the development of workshops using previous workshop materials, including PowerPoint and Prezi presentations, handouts, "game plans," workshop handbooks, scripts, outlines, activities, itineraries, sign-in sheets, brainstorming, and outcomes. Several respondents noted that they familiarize their students with these existing materials and explain the process of content development and the rationale for each workshop. Others use existing materials as models from which the students can create new material to be used in future workshops. For example, an instructor of a tutor education course reviews old materials with students and then prompts them to "work as [a] group to develop materials for new workshops." Furthermore, participants highlighted the necessity to stabilize reliable materials in order to easily access and update them from semester to semester. One participant reported that they would like to "[c]onsolidate our workshop materials online so that they are always available and to ensure that we're all working on the latest versions."

Participants also use materials from outside sources or literature to teach tutors about the development of workshop content. Several respondents highlighted specific writing center or writing pedagogy scholarship, including Jackie Grutsch McKinney's Peripheral Visions, Hephzib Roskelly's Breaking (into) the Circle, The St. Martin's Sourcebook for Writing Tutors, Beth Finch Hedengren's A TA's Guide to Teaching Writing in all Disciplines, The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, as well as resources from writing center publications such as WLN, Praxis, and The Writing Center Journal. Despite the dearth of scholarship specific to workshop practices, respondents still ground their discussion of workshops in research about writing center theory and practice more broadly.

Five respondents reported that they draw from literature or materials outside writing center scholarship when offering workshops outside of English studies. One respondent uses "information outside [the] field" and another uses "literature [that] is more far reaching," particularly when discussing workshops offered "across campus." To obtain such resources, participants collaborate with or approach faculty members in other disciplines. These responses point to the often interdisciplinary nature of workshops.

These results indicate that only about half of the respondents who offer tutor education provide formal instruction on workshop practices. At the same time, our findings described in the previous section reveal that tutors receive on-the-job education by working closely with directors and in collaborative teams with other tutors or staff members to develop workshop content. Thus, our results suggest that workshop education takes place through various means. For an example of supporting tutors in developing workshops, see Dan Gallagher and Aimee Maxfield's chapter in this collection.

The Role of the Tutor in Workshop Facilitation

When explaining the considerations they make specifically for facilitating workshops, 20% of our respondents mentioned the role of tutors or consultants. Fourteen participants reported that tutor availability greatly affects their workshop schedule. One respondent mentioned their center's limited number of tutors as a hindrance to enhancing workshops, and another asserted that their center cannot facilitate workshops during busy times in the semester (e.g. midterms and finals) when "tutors are needed for sessions."

Much like when developing workshop materials, respondents also take tutor background and expertise into consideration when planning for the facilitation of workshops. Participants described choosing tutors to facilitate workshops based on their field of study or choosing tutors who "best suit the needs of the [workshop]." In these cases, tutor expertise is derived from their writing center experience and disciplinary knowledge. These results reveal that tutor experience and expertise is important not only in workshop development, but also facilitation. There is potential value in including on-the-job education for facilitating workshops for tutors at all experience levels. As tutors increase their expertise—both disciplinary and writing center—they will be more able to make valuable contributions to the writing center while developing as professionals.

Our findings reveal that respondents are interested in engaging tutors even more in the workshop development and facilitation process. In response to the last survey question (Is there anything you don't currently do in the development and facilitation of workshops that you'd like to do in the future?), several respondents indicated a desire to include writing tutors more significantly in workshops. One participant would "like to have a workshop team of tutors who facilitate the requests and planning for the workshops," asserting that "getting them engaged in the administration of it more would [provide] excellent leadership opportunities." Another noted that she "would like the tutors to generate and lead a workshop on their own." These results reinforce the notion that workshops are a salient venue for tutor professionalization, providing students with opportunities to gain experience collaborating with faculty and working as administrators. Perhaps more importantly, this finding suggests that tutors' involvement with workshops may continue to increase.

Respondents also mentioned tutor preparation as a consideration when facilitating workshops and in doing so provided models of on-the-job facilitation education. One explained that "tutors attend a workshop, and then present the next one," and another asserted that first time tutors are observed by the director. Additionally, respondents maintained that they cover topics specifically related to workshop facilitation skills and strategies in their tutor education classes (see Figure 2).

Specific topics cited by respondents regarding the types of workshop facilitation strategies covered in tutor education courses include how to

  • work in large group educational settings
  • vary instructional activities
  • assess comprehension
  • manage a safe learning environment
  • evaluate and respond to group dynamics
  • use role modeling to develop facilitation strategies
  • ask good questions
  • manage workshop time

Figure 2. Specific topics instructors teach in tutor education course regarding workshop facilitation skills and strategies.

These responses indicate that engaging in workshop facilitation can be quite different than one-to-one tutoring. Indeed, working with and managing a group of clients calls for a different set of strategies, which are somewhat akin to teaching. As one respondent explained, graduate students often draw from their classroom experiences when conducting workshops. These results suggest, then, that workshop facilitation, in particular, calls for a unique set of writing center practices. As such, we believe that more clarity in tutor education practices for workshop facilitation needs to be explored in future studies. Research might, for example, explore the potential similarities between classroom teaching and workshop facilitation.

Developing Workshop Purposeful Practices

Andrea Lunsford and Lisa Ede issue caution as we expand services beyond tutoring, namely that we "will need of course, to stay grounded in the best writing center practice" (13). We would like to take this caution a step further, to assert that we need to theorize purposeful practices specifically for the workshop development and facilitation and to include them in our scholarship. Our results suggest that one-to-one tutoring practices cannot be adopted wholesale for conducting workshops, particularly for workshop facilitation. For instance, as discussed in the previous section, participants' responses indicate that engaging in workshop facilitation incites the need to address skills and strategies not related to one-to-one tutoring, such as "varying instructional activities," or "assessing comprehension" in a group setting. Therefore, in what follows, we offer a starting point for developing purposeful workshop practices. Then, we discuss our ongoing efforts to develop an online resource that gathers and shares the current information WCPs already use to develop and facilitate workshops. Finally, we advocate for more empirical research in writing center studies.

As this study aims to offer a step toward developing purposeful practices by identifying WCPs' considerations when developing and facilitating workshops, based on our surveys, experience, and research, we've compiled suggestions for WCPs as they begin or continue to develop or modify their workshop practices (see Figure 3).

Consult tutors when developing topics for workshops. Since undergraduate and graduate tutors are constantly engaging in one-to-one consultations, they understand clients' specific needs and challenges, which can become the exigence for specific workshops.

Choose the level of tutor autonomy that works for your specific writing center and staff. Autonomous tutors develop workshops on their own or use literature or outside materials. Semi-autonomous tutors generate topics and material and then seek director approval. Tutors who share autonomy work in collaborative teams that may include directors as well as graduate and undergraduate students. As our results demonstrate, tutor experience and expertise are invaluable to workshop practices. Tutors with more writing center experience may be comfortable with more autonomy or may be equipped to lead a team. Additionally, depending on the workshop topic, it may be appropriate to assign tutors with disciplinary expertise a leadership role in workshop development and facilitation.

Examine existing workshop materials before developing new workshops. Existing workshop materials can serve as foundational pedagogical tools from which tutors can create improved workshops. We are currently creating a website, the Writing Center Resource Site, which will be an open source writing center repository for writing center professionals to share and gain resources for development and facilitation of workshops and other important aspects of writing center work.

Consider implementing a combination of formal education and informal education, such as on-the-job training, for developing and facilitating workshops. Formal education can take place within tutor education courses (if available) or in professional development. For on-the-job training, graduate or senior tutors can lead collaborative teams while novice tutors observe or assist. Additionally, directors or assistant directors can observe rehearsals of tutor-led workshops and provide feedback before an actual presentation.

Figure 3. Crews and Garahan's suggestions for Purposeful Workshop Practices based on the National Survey on Writing Center Workshop Practices results.

Empirical research is yet another opportunity for WCPs. While it is evident in our study that WCPs use materials from the field that suggest best practices for one-to-one tutoring, we cannot assume that one-to-one tutoring offers an apples-to-apples comparison to workshops. In other words, because the field lacks established practices for the development and facilitation of workshops, our respondents have done their best to work from what is available to create ala carte practices. Therefore, to suggest purposeful practices, and subsequently study them for effectiveness, we would like to begin with a foundation of workshop practices, distinctly different from one-to-one tutoring. For example, while we do not have a wide range of empirical research in writing center studies about workshops, Jessa Wood et al. offer an excellent example of empirical research in their study of the benefits of workshops to help students understand how to paraphrase. They delivered pre- and post-tests to identify the effectiveness of the workshop for helping students to avoid patchwriting. Additionally, though not explicitly related to workshops, Holly Ryan and Danielle Kane provide a potential model for empirical assessments in their study of the effectiveness of different intervention techniques used in writing center classroom visits. To assess these techniques, they administered pre- and post-classroom-visit surveys to students in 41 writing courses. In turn, workshop assessments could measure the effectiveness of materials and strategies through pre- and post-workshop instruments, such as tests, surveys, or interviews. These studies provide two examples of the many different ways to assess workshop practices. To identify purposeful workshop practices, as a field we can continue to develop and publish empirical studies.


As graduate students, when we were asked to develop the interdisciplinary workshop for other graduate students, we had not been trained to develop and facilitate workshops. Therefore, when it came time to do so, we felt as though we lacked expertise—especially because we were working with other graduate students across the disciplines. What we discovered then, as graduate students trying to figure out how to create a workshop for a multidisciplinary audience, and what we also found here in this study, is that there is little focused writing center literature that examines purposeful practices for workshops, yet there is a breadth of literature and practices WCPs use. As a result, we suggest that WCPs can begin to build on purposeful practices mentioned in Figure 3.

Since this study, Katie continued as a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech (VT) in the writing center for an additional year, and Becky went to work at Miami University as the First Year Integrated Core Director for the Farmer School of Business. Below, Katie shares how she used what she learned from this study to help her develop and facilitate workshops at VT. Soon, Becky will also be the director for the disciplinary writing center in the business school at Miami, and she shares below how this study will inform her work moving forward to develop and facilitate workshops in disciplinary spaces.

Katie and Becky share a video of their experiences and closing remarks for the chapter.

Katie's Experience in the VT Writing Center

I attempted to implement what I learned from the surveys in the VT Writing Center when I was working as the assistant to the writing center director and was specifically in charge of graduate student outreach and support. In the past, our center generally accepted workshop requests from professors or instructors, and one or two graduate tutors worked together to develop and facilitate workshops in those classes. During the 2016-2017 school year, the writing center director and a fellow graduate assistant and I decided to be much more systematic about how we developed and facilitated workshops. We felt that having specific processes for developing workshops and preparing tutors to present them would help us begin to refine our workshop practices. We created a graduate student workshop series in which a team of 3-4 graduate tutors worked together to develop and facilitate workshops. Each team was led by either a PhD student or the writing center director, and the workshops culminated with a follow-up survey for clients. While we faced challenges such as time constraints, tutor availability, and the occasional lack of attendance, we built a foundation for future workshops as well as future development, facilitation, and preparation practices. In doing so, we began to hone purposeful practices for workshops.

Becky's Thoughts Moving Forward

Ultimately, this study is an opportunity for professional development for our undergraduate students in the business school at Miami. Our students are hardworking and high achieving, striving to obtain jobs (mostly internships) after their first year of college. Therefore, as I revise the curriculum for our tutor education class for the fall, I will purposefully include practices for developing and facilitating workshops that build on the resources and practices we identified here. Additionally, I hope to help tutors, both undergraduate and graduate (the business writing center at Miami is mostly staffed by undergraduates), develop professionally so they feel comfortable and excited about including the work they've done in the writing center on their resumes.

Works Cited

Adkins, Tabetha. "The (Un)Importance of a Preposition: How We Define and Defend Writing 'Center Work." The Writing Lab Newsletter, vol. 36, no. 1-2, 2011, pp. 1-5.

Bedore, Pamela, and Brian O'Sullivan. "Writing Centers Go to Class: Peer Review (of our) Workshops." The Writing Lab Newsletter, vol. 35, no. 9-10, 2011, pp. 1-6.

Carroll, Meg. "Identities in Dialogue: Patterns in the Chaos." Writing Center Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, 2008, pp. 43-62.

Gallagher, Daniel, and Aimee Maxfield. "Learning Online to Tutor Online." How We Teach Writing Tutors: A WLN Digital Edited Collection, edited by Karen G. Johnson and Ted Roggenbuck, 2018,

Godbee, Beth, Moira Ozias, and Jasmine Kar Tank. "Body + Power + Justice: Movement-Based Workshops for Critical Tutor Education." Writing Center Journal, vol. 34, no. 2, 2015, pp. 61-112.

Grutsch McKinney, Jackie. Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers. Utah State UP, 2013.

Harris, Muriel. "Preparing to Sit at the Head of the Table." Writing Center Journal, vol. 20, no. 2, 2000, pp. 13 - 22.

Hedengren, Beth Finch. A TA's Guide to Teaching Writing in all Disciplines. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004.

Jackson, Rebecca, and Jackie Grutsch McKinney. "Beyond Tutoring: Mapping the Invisible Landscape of Writing Center Work." Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, vol. 9, no. 1, 2011.

Lunsford, Andrea A., and Lisa Ede. "Reflections on Contemporary Currents in Writing Center Work." Writing Center Journal, vol. 31, no. 1, 2011, pp. 11-24.

Malenczyk, Rita, and Lauren Rosenberg. "Dialogic for 'Their Own Ends': Increasing the Pedagogical Independence of Peer Tutors in the Writing Center and the First-Year Writing Classroom." The Writing Lab Newsletter, vol. 36, no. 3-4, 2011, pp. 6-9.

Murphy, Christina, and Steve Sherwood. The St. Martin's Sourcebook for Writing Tutors. 4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011.

Roskelly, Hephzibah. Breaking (into) the Circle: Group Work for Change in the English Classroom. Heinemann, 2002.

Ryan, Holly, and Danielle Kane. "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Writing Center Classroom Visits: An Evidence-Based Approach." Writing Center Journal, vol. 34, no. 2, 2015, pp. 145-172.

Ryan, Leigh, and Lisa Zimmerelli. Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors. 6th ed., Bedford/St. Martin's, 2016.

Saldaña, Johnny. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. 2nd ed., Sage, 2009.

Schultz, Matthew. "Recalibrating an Established Writing Center: From Supplementary Service to Academic Discipline." The Writing Lab Newsletter, vol. 37, no. 9-10, 2013, pp. 1-5.

Simpson, Jeanne. "Whose Idea of a Writing Center is This, Anyway?" The Writing Lab Newsletter, vol 35, no. 1, 2010, pp. 1-4.

Wood, Jessa, et al. "Sparking a Transition, Unmasking Confusion: An Empirical Study of the Benefits of a Writing Center Workshop and Patchwriting." Writing Center Journal, vol. 37, no. 1, 2018, forthcoming.


We would especially like to thank our research participants who took the time to respond to our survey. Additionally, we would like to thank Diana George for her guidance and support on this project. We would also like to thank Karen Johnson and Ted Roggenbuck as well as the WLN regular editors for their insightful feedback on this chapter.


Rebecca Crews is the Director of the First Year Integrated Core and Interim Director of the Howe Center for Business Writing in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University. She is currently working on researching disciplinary writing centers.

Katie Garahan is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Writing at Virginia Tech, and she currently serves as the editorial assistant for the minnesota review: a journal of creative and critical writing. Her research interests include rhetorics of education policy and reform, professional identity, gender and education, and writing center theory and practice.