Writing and Media Help Center develops communication skills for students


Photo: Karuna Ang/Iowa State Daily

Samantha Johnson, senior in technical communication, helps Shu Guo, junior in finance, with his essay for his Engl150 class, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, at the Writing and Media Help Center located in Carver Hall.

Grace Gardner

With nearly 900 students seeking tutorial aid last semester, the ISU Writing and Media Help Center is serving double the students this year as last year.

Though the center is serving more students than ever, the personalized help the center provides remains the same.

“We’re able to form relationships and engage in conversation with the students,” said Casey White, graduate in English and tutor at the center. “Students are able to schedule appointments with the same tutor each time they visit to provide consistency.”

A common misconception about the center, White said, is that it is an editing service.

“Our primary goal is to re-conceptualize students’ thinking and to help them become better communicators,” he said.

Another misconception about the center is that it is only for remedial writers, White said.

“We see everything from freshmen who need help on essays, to Ph.D. and master’s degree students who are working on their dissertations,” White said. “It’s important to have another set of eyes to look at your work.”

The center provides services not only to English majors, but to students from a variety of departments, said Chris Nelson, coordinator of the Writing and Media Help Center.

The Writing and Media Help Center also provides tutoring for visual, electronic and oral projects as well as written ones.

“The Writing and Media Help Center consultants work with writers at all levels of ability with any writing concern, so that writers can not only become self-sufficient, but also develop critical thinking skills to help them communicate effectively in any communication medium,” Nelson said.

The center, located at 300 Carver Hall, currently has 11 tutors but hopes to expand its hours and number of tutors this semester to accommodate the requests of more students. While walk-ins are accepted, it is recommended to schedule an appointment in advance.