Learning to Write


Tutor Liz Howell is having a productive session with a student in the Writing Center.

The Right Way to Write



The Writing Center at Delta State University is a resource that most students don’t realize is available. 


Delta State’s Writing Center helps all students “from freshmen to graduate students to members of faculty and community” as the university website states. 


For students unsure of how to begin their writing, the Writing Center not only helps with written papers but also brainstorming. It provides help to students in every stage of their paper writing process. 


The Director of the Writing Center, Dr. Judith Coleman, believes that it is important for potential Writing Center clients to know that “it’s not just English” the tutors help with. By this, she means that students of all majors can come in for help.


One tutor in the Writing Center, senior Liz Howell, recently had a session over a “research essay for neuroanatomy for speech and hearing sciences.” She has also worked with a student pursuing a master’s degree on polishing their thesis. 


Some Writing Center tutors say that they get the feeling that students are sometimes scared to come in because the students think they are “bad” writers. 


According to junior Riley Hardin, another tutor, “There are not bad writers, but there are writers with bad habits that make their writing ‘bad.’”


One aspect of the Writing Center that students are often confused about is how it does not focus on grammar. As Dr. Coleman states, “It is more about … higher order concerns of argument and organization and not proofreading. It is not a proofreading service.”


The phrase “higher order concerns” means that the focus will be on aspects like organization, thesis clarity, topic sentences, sentence structure, and format style. If the issues are with grammar, it is recommended to go to Student Success in the Union.


Students can get help in the Writing Center Monday through Friday every week, excluding university holidays. They are open from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.


Recently, the Writing Center gained access to new online software. Students can now book online appointments and get help without having to physically be at the Writing Center.


Dr. Coleman says, “Too often, not only [for] students but faculty and members of the community—writing is a lonely thing; we’re alone in our heads. We’re often alone in a space while we’re writing, and that can lead to us doubting ourselves.”


“We know exactly what we mean and when we read it back to ourselves, our brain congratulates us. ‘I’m the one that wrote this and it’s brilliant.’” 


When students get help from the tutors in the Writing Center, they can still keep that brilliance but make it more understandable.