The Northeastern University Writing Center is open year-round to serve and assist the broader Northeastern community at any stage of the writing process. Consultants in the Writing Center are undergraduates, graduate students, and teachers of writing who are trained to work with any member of the Northeastern community on all aspects of writing across disciplines, from conceptualizing, to planning, researching, organizing, drafting, and revising.
Each consulting session is structured to reflect the philosophy that writing is a social activity, a form of knowledge-making, and that writers grow by becoming aware of their own writing choices. Consulting sessions last for about 45 minutes and are tailored to serve each individual writer’s goals and concerns, with the understanding that writing growth is a continual process which cannot be completed in a single day or session.
At the Writing Center, we affirm and value all languages and Englishes; we understand that writing serves multiple purposes and that effective writing takes many forms beyond the constraints of Standard American English.We recognize that language prejudice is unjustifiable. We recognize and practice intersectional ways of embracing, learning about, and engaging with multiple converging identities within writing and within our center. Consultants practice transformative listening in their sessions, acknowledging their own, as well as writers’, intersectionalities, subjectivities, and biases and allowing the session to shape itself according to those realities and needs.
- To allow student writers to make their own decisions as they negotiate between their individual writing goals and audience expectations regarding genre, context, and situation.
- To prioritize critical thinking and higher-order organization over questions of grammar, punctuation, or standards of “correctness.”
- To support the collaborative process of writing as student and tutor continually teach and learn from one another, and build a community of writers.
- To critically engage with writing as a social process, with the understanding that student writers bring their own unique positionalities and perspectives to their writing.
An Anti-Racist and Decolonial Statement
A recognition: At the Writing Center, we recognize that we are situated within racism. Racism is pervasive and exists not only within the institution of higher education, but also in the ways writing has been traditionally taught. Traditional notions of “good writing” and “good academic English” are inherently racist, perpetuating the myth that any form of writing which deviates from this “good academic English” should be “corrected.” We recognize the pressures of conforming to this norm where individuals actively seek to acquire a “good academic English” to fit within the status quo. At the Writing Center, we commit ourselves to actively deconstructing these racist writing and teaching practices within the work we do.
An acknowledgement: Universities across the U.S. have been established on stolen lands. The Writing Center acknowledges that Northeastern University, in particular, has been established on the land of The Wampanoag and The Massachusett People. As a whole, writing curriculums are based on assimilatory, disciplinary, and exclusionary principles reinforcing language assimilation and erasure. Writing centers have often reinforced such ideological practices. This statement reflects our commitments to anti-racist and decolonial work, understanding that ideologies of writing and language continue to affect students, especially those historically oppressed and excluded by the American education system.
The role of the writing center and consultants: Consultants, with student writers, can recognize and acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all for writing approaches. The practice of enforcing monolingualism only maintains colonial educationist practices, and so at the Writing Center we actively work at dismantling the one-size-fits-all “standard English” approach to writing and language. By recognizing racist practices and committing ourselves to anti-racist and decolonial pedagogy, we can create a more inclusive, safe, and empowering space for all students.
- We are committed to challenging and dismantling all forms of racism and discrimination that perpetuate traditional conventions of “good” writing and language
- We support all students, marginalized or dismissed, regardless of religious or spiritual identity, disability status, race or ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, country of origin or immigration status (including but not limited to LGBTQ+, DACA, BIPOC individuals)
- We will continually self-reflect and adapt our ways of thinking and being to reflect an evolving sociocultural landscape
- We wholly and humbly respect and solicit feedback from all communities on practices that may unknowingly reflect ignorance to the oppressive realities that exist within our systems and services
- We consider our mission statements and goals as dynamic documents, continually evolving to reflect and respond to the Writing Center and its community’s practices, needs, and beliefs.
Disability and Inclusion Policy
The Writing Center is committed to providing the best possible service to every member of the Northeastern community. If you identify as having a disability, you can contact the Writing Center to book two consecutive appointments per day as needed. If you need any specific or particular accommodations, please contact the Director or Assistant Director of the Writing Center or reach out to the Disability Resource Center or the University Health and Counseling Services. The Writing Center’s commitment to transformative listening depends upon constructive feedback from the community, so for any comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at WritingCenter@northeastern.edu.
Disability Resource Center
20 Dodge Hall
University Health and Counseling Services
Forsyth Building 1st Floor, 70 Forsyth Street
The current mission was developed by a committee made up of Writing Center consultants and administrators: Brianna Zaragoza, Caroline Grand, Nina Mouawad, and Nwabisi Chikwendu with comments and guidance from Professor Romeo Garcia, the Writing Center Director Isabel Sobral Campos, the Writing Program Directors and last but not least, the Writing Center Summer 2021 staff.