The Writing Center
Earlham’s Writing Center is an academic resource that helps both students and faculty engage fully in a “culture of writing” across the curriculum, providing a friendly, comfortable space where student writers of all levels and faculty of any discipline can discover techniques for writing and teaching writing more clearly and effectively.
The Writing Center also offers peer-led consultations about the essays and projects you are working on for classes here at Earlham, as well as creative writing, presentation preparation, and career-focused writing like cover letters and resumes. These consultations are 25-50 minute meetings where you will read your paper out loud, discuss suggestions and resources, as well as where you personally are in the writing process and what concerns you have with the work.
Student Writer Resources
While our center offers many in-person and tutoring-based resources, a multitude of excellent online resources are also available.
Free resource to all Earlham students. Select the title for information about registering.
An amusing site with interactive grammar exercises, as well as easy-to-access (though not the most comprehensive) lists of grammar rules.
A must-have bookmark for any writing resource list: it’s comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand. This online writing lab covers the basics of English grammar and usage, with examples of common mistakes.
While not terribly user-friendly to scan through, this site actually has some great resources for students looking to answer a broad range of questions, including basic grammar, when to use “I,” gender-sensitive language and help for writing specific types of papers for specific departments.
George Mason University’s Writing Center resource page is both extensive and friendly to use and includes major-specific tips on writing.
Another comprehensive site that is easy-to-use and friendly-looking. Also includes citation and general writing tips, as well as another helpful list of links for English as Second Language writers.
Writing & citing help courtesy of Earlham College Libraries.
- The Hierarchy of Rhetorical Concerns – planning
- Pre-writing Activities (Outlines)
- Writing a First Draft
- Writing a Thesis Statement
- Paragraph Structure
- Worksheet to Aid Revision
- Three-Step Revision
- Organizing after drafting
- Introductions and Conclusions
- The Hierarchy of Rhetorical Concerns
Frequently Asked Questions
Appointments are no longer necessary. Feel free to drop in any time we are open. A consultant will work with you on a first come, first served basis. We offer online appointments and reserved appointments by select request. Contact us for more information.
During a consultation, you have 25-50 minutes of focused attention from a peer consultant. Consultants and students read through a text together and collaboratively look for ways to clarify and improve purpose, audience appeal, organization, research, support, style and conventions. This helps us answer questions and offer advice during your consultation. We look at the entire paper because there is more to writing well than having correct grammar.
- A copy of the writing assignment and any info your instructor has provided regarding writing expectations for the class (such as an assessment rubric).
- An electronic version of your outline or draft of your essay or two, typed hard copies, if possible. We can work with handwritten copy if that’s all you have, but you’ll get more out of the session if we can work directly with your draft or ideas on-screen. The Writing Center has four computers available, or you can bring a personal or library-loan laptop.
- Questions! If there are particular questions you have about writing or grammar or citation, please mention them at the beginning of your session.
A Writing Center staff person will contact your professor to let them know you attended a consultation. This may take up to twelve hours.
Yes and no. Consultants improve your writing process, not just the individual papers, so they will help you identify grammatical and spelling error patterns and show you ways to become a better proofreader of your own work. We may not catch every single mistake, but we can help find those that are most distracting to your readers. If you are insecure about your grammatical knowledge, ask your consultant about Grammarly.
Not at all. Just 25-50 minutes with a writing consultant can save you time worrying about where to start and help you write more efficiently.
Nonsense. The most skilled writers share their drafts with other writers and revise according to the feedback they receive. Discussing a paper with an experienced peer is a great way to make sure your writing communicates your ideas clearly and appropriately for your audience. You don’t have to be desperate to benefit from the Writing Center; you only have to be determined to write better.
While logged into your Earlham account via email, the Heart or Moodle, go to grammarly.com/edu. You should automatically be logged in. If not, try to log in with your Earlham College credentials. Should you still be unable to access your Grammarly account, contact the Writing Center or ITS for support.
The Writing Center is student centered, however, we are also excited to work closely with and provide support for faculty members as they work toward inspiring the best writing from their students. Visit our faculty webpage if you are interested in any of the resources below or you would like to schedule a workshop or classroom visit.