Working at the Writing Center

By: Leah Alsept


Writers keep writing and tutors keep tutoring at UF’s Writing Center

Students might have seen the Writing Center’s new location in CBSL 135. The new space is a big change for the program, which was originally located in the basement of Old Main. Oilers won’t have to go below ground looking for help anymore and can now step into the new space lit with cool blue lights – and one such instance was for the Writing Center’s Mid-Semester Writing Tune-up.

Eden Middleton is a senior English major at UF, tutoring for the Writing Center since Spring 2021. Though it’s been over six months since she’s started tutoring, Middleton can still recount the first time she ever tutored with the Writing Center.

“It was really awkward. I felt like that imposter syndrome. You feel like as a tutor, you have to know all the right answers,” Middleton said. “Dr. [Courtney] Bates tells us that we don’t [have all the answers], but you still feel it,” she continued. “They ask you questions… my adrenaline’s running and I’m like, I don’t know what to do, but it’s really not that bad.”

A common experience when people are tutored or do the tutoring for the first time is nervousness. Volunteer tutor Matt Oscovitch is in the Masters of Writing and Rhetoric program here at UF, but he had never tutored prior to the Tune-up event.

“When I first started, I guess, it was a little bit [nerve wracking], you don’t want to give someone bad advice,” Oscovitch admitted. “But I think like once you realized that you know how to write [it gets better].”

If in-person meetings are too nerve wracking for a student wanting to use the Writing Center, they can always schedule an asynchronous email appointment with one of the tutors available. Middleton actually prefers email appointments, she says.

“I like to do email appointments better because I feel like I can sit there and take my time and I don’t have to like freak out about like the nervous interaction, you know? And I feel like I can take my time I can really go through their stuff and get them like the best feedback,” Middleton explained.

Email, Zoom, and in-person meetings with Writing Center tutors can all be scheduled online through Starfish. Middleton urges students to come to the Writing Center for help.

“[Because] they can really help. It’s not as scary as you think, because it’s actually a really great place to come and get help with your papers,” she said.

The Writing Center offers help to students struggling with a variety of writing issues from the ground up – brainstorming ideas, tips for finding sources, drafting and revising a paper, and creating citations. It’s all in the name of helping students.

“I guess writing’s important to me just because you can do so much with it. Like you can write fiction, like write stories. You can like convince people to do things [with] rhetoric,” Oscovitch commented. “You can write movie scripts, you can write books, um, poetry. If you can think of it, you can write it; I just think that’s so cool. The vast things you can do.”

Please view the UFTV segment this story was featured on below:


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