Student Summer Scholars Manuscripts


Writing Centers, Environment




Do writers' environments affect their work and their productivity? If so, how, and why? My

presentation outlines what an ideal writing space could and should be for various kinds of


Presently, writing centers do not necessarily encourage writing within their spaces. I explain

reasons why writing centers should remodel their spaces so that writers can write in the center,

rather than simply drop by for tutoring help, as is the typical writing center practice. Writing

centers already pride themselves by running on a model of active and social learning, which

would only be expanded by creating spaces for writers to write together.

I conducted my research through three methodologies. First, I conducted a survey of

experienced and inexperienced writers to find out what value they find in different writing

spaces. Second, I visited four Michigan writing centers and conducted interviews with their

respective directors to see if and how writers could use their centers as writing environments.

Third, I completed extensive readings from learning center/building design and writing center

scholarship to learn about cutting edge space design in order to determine redesign strategies to

make writing center spaces more hospitable to writers. My findings demonstrate the importance

of a good writing environment and argues that if writing centers became spaces for writers to

write, they could expand their pedagogy to intervene during the writing process and build a

supportive community of writers.