The Writing Center (WC) at Northeastern University is a nexus for research, service, and programming centered around writing and the teaching of writing. It helps students, faculty, and alumni of all academic levels, from all disciplines, become more effective writers.
As a part of the Writing Program, The Writing Center is an intellectual home for Writing Center research and the discipline of rhetoric/composition and writing studies more broadly, including conducting research on writing and the teaching of writing, preparing graduate students to enter the field, and educating writers at all levels. The Writing Center also reinforces the work of the Writing Program in that it views writing and reading as interrelated, understands that writing serves multiple purposes, considers writing as knowledge making, recognizes that student writing deserves critical engagement, and, most importantly for the Writing Center, understands that effective writing takes many forms. Each consulting session is structured to reflect these philosophies as are the programming and research initiatives that are sponsored by and emerge out of the Writing Center. Additionally, the Writing Center views writing as an intellectual activity—ideas are as important as the words used to express the ideas. To this end we see our work as helping writers through multiple and collaborative means–including the use of technology and alternative learning devices– to develop knowledge of and facility with the conventions that characterize different discourse communities and to reach their individual writing goals.
Consultants in the Writing Center are carefully selected and trained undergraduates and experienced graduate students and teachers of writing who work with any member of the Northeastern community on aspects of writing, from conceptualizing, planning, researching, organizing, drafting, and revising. We assume that all clients can become more effective writers with feedback from knowledgeable readers during the writing process and that all consultants can become better teachers from the consulting process.
As part of its programming, the Writing Center provides learning, teaching, research, and professionalization opportunities for its staff as well as workshops to the larger Northeastern community. The Writing Center also holds a modest library of resources and reference materials on writing studies.
Ultimately, the Writing Center, while a function of the university, is also a location from which to critique institutional dynamics as they relate to writing and literacy, and build community in a peer-to-peer learning environment.
The Northeastern University Writing Center would like to define our commitment to diversity and inclusion by reaffirming the power of language and its ethical potentials and demands. To this end, we reiterate the International Writing Center Association’s commitment to “civil discourse, inclusive language, and collaborative practice [and the] ideals of democratic education and social justice.” And, we take up the charge by the National Council of Teachers of English to use writing to “foster responsible and respectful inquiry and discussion across a range of public, academic, and civic contexts.” Fundamentally, all language holds political weight and to write for an audience is to engage others in an inclusionary relationship, and it is this sense of engagement that we support. We believe in the value of research supported by fact-based evidence, critical engagement with texts, and the power of language to change our world(s). We support diverse perspectives that recognize the value of others and that uphold our community’s shared values. In particular, we support students who feel marginalized or victimized, including DACA students, students with disabilities, students of color, LGBTQA+ students, Muslim students, and non-US citizens.