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A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6–12, Revised Edition

Richard Kent

A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 612, Revised Edition is a how-to and, ultimately, a why-to book for middle school and high school educators as well as for English/language arts teacher candidates and their methods instructors. This revised and updated International Writing Centers Association 2006 Book of the Year shows writing centers as places where writers work with each other in an effort to develop ideas, discover a thesis, overcome procrastination, create an outline, or revise a draft. Ultimately, writing centers help students become more effective writers. Visit any college or university in the United States and chances are there is a writing center available to students, staff, and community members. Writing centers support students and busy teachers while emphasizing and supporting writing across the curriculum.


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A Decade Later: A Revised Look at High School Writing Centers It’s summertime and the student leadership team of Skyline High School Writing Center (MI) is revising its training manual for tutors. According to writing center director Jeffrey Austin, the Skyline tutors “had a more difficult time than anticipated” handling online tutoring sessions, so they’re working to develop more training strategies just as they have with face-to-face tutor- ing. Along with the revised training handbook, Austin and a small team of tutors are redesigning the center’s website. In its third year of operation, Skyline Writing Center has about 40 tutors. They’ve established a partnership with the Sweetland Center for Writing at the University of Michigan, and members of the two writing center staffs will present at the annual fall conference of the International Writing Centers Association in Pittsburgh. “Our work with Sweetland,” explains Austin who is also an English teacher at Skyline, “is unique because it bucks the traditional model of these kinds of collaborations: Sweetland isn’t coming to us as a service provider, but as an equal. Our tutors work side-by-side: sometimes Sweetland’s tutors are xvi a guide to creating student-staffed writing centers the knowledge base and sometimes our high school tutors are the knowledge base” (Personal correspondence, July 4, 2015). The Skyline Writing Center in Ann Arbor is one of a growing number of high school writing centers across the United States. Since the first edition of this book appeared in 2006, the high school writing center community...

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