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Friend or Foe?: Writing Center consultants help students combat writing fears
Ashley Leever
Antelope Staff
Photo from Internet

It is often said that the blank page is a writer’s worst enemy. For many college students, it’s the fear of submitting that first big essay. For fledgling writers or veterans of the craft, the Writing Center is a highly sought out refuge for around 1,000 writers who seek help each term.

The Writing Center currently employs 14 consultants who provide their knowledge and support to students seeking help. “We work one on one with students that bring in writing samples and provide them feedback on how they can improve their writing. They ask for our help with questions or concerns they might have, and we do our best to clear that up,” said consultant Collin Grimes, a junior political science major from Grand Island.

Many students seek out the Writing Center’s help to improve not only their papers, but to advance themselves as writers. “We try to help students become better writers, not just fix the little mistakes in their papers,” said consultant Sada Hotovy, a senior history and English major from Lincoln.

Writing alone may seem like a daunting task for many students, but for these consultants it has become more of a passion. “I applied here because I have an interest in writing and thought I was a strong writer. I enjoy English, writing and composition. I didn’t realize initially how rewarding it would be to work with people. I found out it was very enjoyable to have a hand in improving how well they do with their own personal writing,” Grimes said.  

The Writing Center gives both the students and consultants an opportunity to simply focus on their writing and how to make it better. “I really like that we have really short in-depth consults about a student’s writing. It is a special opportunity to just really focus on the writing. It helps students to slow down and just look at the writing itself and what can be done to improve it,” Hotovy said.

The consultants also do their best to make the Writing Center a relaxed atmosphere students feel comfortable in. “We work one on one with students, and it’s very personable, not forced or awkward by any means,” Grimes said.

With a record of helping over 1,000 students every semester since 2003, the Writing Center has also helped the consultants with their own personal writing and goals. “When I write papers now, I stop to think if I’m making my point clear or if I’m being too wordy. I hope that through seeing other people’s papers that it helps me find my own habitual problems,” Hotovy said.

Beyond just improving writing, the Writing Center has helped consultants like Grimes find their niche in the word. “When I applied here as a freshman, I didn’t really have a vision in terms of what I wanted to do, but quickly once I started working here I realized I really like writing. I really like instructing and teaching and working with people. I decided I would like to teach at a university someday,” Grimes said.

Writing is a passion the consultants have cultivated in themselves and hope to have other students embrace as well. “I really enjoy writing and want to continue writing and researching in my own subject. I want to continue to have a hand in helping students improve their writing abilities,” Grimes said.

Reporter Ryan Larsen

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