Centering the Writer or Centering the Text: A Mediation on a Shifting Practice in Writing Center Consultation
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Since I began working with students as a writing consultant in the University of Rhode Island’s Writing Center two questions have vexed me: Where should the consultant’s focus be during a consultation–on the writer or on the text? And when is it time to move to a more directive approach to writing consultation? These questions have concerned me since the fall of 2005, when, at the request of the new interim director of our writing center, I read Stephen North’s article “The Idea of the Writing Center.” The new director wanted to remind us that North’s axiom, “our job is to produce better writers, not better writing” (438), should continue to loom large in our center’s lore. We were reminded to be writer-focused.