Writing Center hosts first International Write-In Day

Temple is one of more than 100 educational institutions participating in International Write-In 2017.

Senior journalism major Anh Nguyen helps freshman psychology major Mary Cleary edit papers for her English 802 portfolio in Paley Library on Friday. | JAMIE COTTRELL / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On Friday, Temple joined more than 100 colleges across the country and overseas for the first time to celebrate International Write-In 2017 at Paley Library and in Tuttleman Learning Center from 3 to 7:30 p.m.  

Undergraduate and graduate students met with tutors, librarians and Leslie Allison, the assistant director of writing at Temple’s Writing Center.

This is the fifth annual International Write-In. According to its Facebook page, from Nov. 29 through Dec. 12, schools, colleges and universities across the world bring together student writers. Each school provides a space for student writers to come together and work on their final assignments. Participating institutions connect over social media with #IntlWriteIn17. 

Temple’s Writing Center hosted the university’s first write-in and tutors from the Writing Center were available for support. The Write-In gave students space to work on their academic, creative, political or personal writing.

At the Writing Center in the Tuttleman Learning Center, graduate students worked on academic papers. In Room 130 of Paley, undergraduate students worked with tutors on their academic writing and Paley Lecture Hall was designated for political writing, like letters to government officials and creative writing, like poetry. However, no one participated in the Paley Lecture Hall space.

Mary Cleary, a sophomore psychology major, heard about the event from her English professor. She said she was tutored for triple the amount of the time of a normal thirty-minute walk-in session at the Writing Center.

“I know that the Writing Center can be really busy this time of year and walk-in appointments aren’t as long as regular appointments,” said Cleary, who was working with a tutor to organize her final portfolio for Analytical Reading and Writing. “This was helpful because it allowed me to have a long amount of time with a writing tutor.”

In total, 41 students shuffled in and out of the three rooms to work on their papers and receive tutoring. Eight tutors worked the event.

The event also made writing tutoring more accessible to students. Most students focused on academic writing.

Graduate students gather in the Writing Center on Friday afternoon to participate in the fifth annual International Write-In. | JAMIE COTTRELL / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Annie Reisenwitz, an undergraduate writing tutor at the Writing Center, said because so many undergraduate students utilize resources at the center, there are long wait times for walk-in appointments. The Write-In gave students a simple way to get help from tutors just by walking into the event rooms.

“At the Writing Center, your time is delegated in very specific ways with the appointments or the walk-ins,” said Reisenwitz, who is also a sophomore political science and Spanish major. “But here it’s all walk-ins, so there’s really no limitations on how long you can spend with a student, how long you can help them with the process.”

Raquel Mattson-Prieto, a tutor at the Writing Center, said she thinks that students benefit from the help of International Write-In Day, especially during finals time.

“I think the timing of the event is perfect too because it’s right at the end of the semester when students are working on final papers and their definitely looking for that extra support,” said Mattson-Prieto, a Spanish Ph.D. student.

Allison said she felt that one of the greatest benefits from the International Write-In was bringing undergraduate students and graduate students together.

In the future, Allison plans on hosting the International Write-In in just one space to offer the graduate students and undergraduate students a place to work together, which she sees as a rare occurence on campus.

“I felt excited when I saw undergraduate students giving advice to graduate students because I think that’s what writing should be all about,” Allison said. “It’s about building community.”

“I think a lot of the times people get the idea of writing as just me alone in a cubicle,” Allison added. “But actually if you look at what authors and famous writers do, they’re often sharing and being a part of a group in a community and exchanging ideas to produce better writing.”

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