The Writing Center

In August 2014, I entered the world of the Writing Center for the first time as a freshman. Assigned to make an appointment with a consultant for my first Writ 1 paper, I was unsure of what to expect. I felt uncomfortable at the thought of being required to share my writing with someone I didn’t know very well, and especially worried that the consultant would decimate my argument, that I’d have to rewrite my entire paper. Both of those things happened. But I’m so glad I followed through on my appointment. Luckily, I realized I had to rewrite my paper 2 weeks before it was due, rather than at the last minute, thanks to the Writing Center’s help. I’ve gone back for almost every writing assignment I’ve had since.

The Writing Center is a warm, welcoming space on campus, home to 16 writing consultants and Prof. Wendy Menefee-Libey, who also directs Mudd’s (free and super helpful!) Academic Excellence tutoring program. With plenty of snacks, seasonal holiday mood lighting, and accessible academic help, it’s an environment conducive to independent work, or for collaborative team meetings – whatever you need to get the work done.

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Cookies, candy, tea, fun writing related jokes – essential items in your academic times of need

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Richard Liu and Anji Malpani ’18 working in between classes. Although it’s more likely that both are mentally recharging here. Richard is taking the opportunity to snack, while Anji is in the middle of playing Endless Lake. the FB Messenger game (Great game. Rumor has it a Mudd alum made it)

Lillian Liang’18, who joined the Writing Center staff late Spring 2016, loves her job. She says “I really enjoy writing myself and I feel like it’s a way to process your own thoughts. And once you have them down on paper it’s a way to even have dialogue with yourself and figure things out. I really like talking through that process with other people because sometimes it’s a really good moment when you know that you helped them form a new idea or figure out what the next step in their essay is, and I think that’s really fun.”

She wants people to know that the Writing Center is “a resource that you should feel free to use even if you feel like you’re good at writing. Even for conceptual development of what you want to say in your essay… We’re not just here to proofread your paper or evaluate it in any way. [We are] more of a resource to help you work through your own ideas.”

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Lillian Liang ’18 is a consultant at the Writing Center. Here, she and Anji Malpani ’18 are modeling what a consulting session might look like. Now if you look in the background, it’s likely that Richard is playing Endless Lake, the epic FB Messenger game. “Most people have two shifts which are each two hours long. And each shift has the potential for three appointment slots which are each 40 minutes long.” – Lillian

The Writing Center isn’t limited to the HSA (humanities, social sciences, or the arts) assignments. Seniors go in to review their final Thesis or Clinic reports. Graduate school applicants work on their essays with consultants and Prof. Wendy. It’s a resource everyone can benefit from.

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Writing Center staff also hold productivity parties like the Writers Block Party.

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Anji Malpani ’18 browses some of the Writing Center’s many resources. To the right, we have Hot Tub, the Writing Center cat.

I’m a fan of the Writing Center, not only for its helpful staff but also its peaceful and productivity charged environment. Be sure to check out the Writing Center on your next visit to Mudd!

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Eli Weissler ’19 in his usual spot at the Writing Center, probably doing real work, unlike the rest of them. He’s a fan of the cookies. 

All dialogue is from excerpts of Preethi Seshadri’s interview with Lillian for Anth111 Intro to Anthropology, Science, and Technology, a Mudd HSA class taught by Prof. Marianne de Laet. Thanks Preethi and Lillian!