Merging Tutoring and Editing in a Chinese Graduate Writing Center
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Graduate students often find a mismatch between their needs and the services offered at university writing centers, a problem that has recently gained considerable attention from graduate writers and their advocates. Second language scholars have long challenged and modified writing center pedagogy to better serve non-native speakers of English (NNS), and similarly, the demand for more specific graduate writing support has resulted in various alternatives. Separate graduate writing centers are better able to accommodate the length and technical nature of graduate writing, and separate editing services meet the students’ need to begin publishing their papers. When the students are graduate multilingual writers (GMLW), that is, both graduate and NNS, graduate needs are compounded by second language issues. The graduate writing center faces challenges that may entail two of the greatest divergences from accepted practice: relocating the balance of attention to process and product, and the resultant redefinition of the role of writing tutors to that of combined tutor-editors. This paper addresses those reconceptualizations, and applies them toward balancing pedagogical values with situated needs at the nascent Tongji University Writing Center. This small Englishlanguage graduate writing center at a Chinese university is being built upon a loosely connected writing support system for the university’s Department of Traffic Engineering, in which outside editors have been assisting the department’s GMLW in publishing in English-language international journals. The globalization of research and concern for equal access to publishing suggest our situation is not isolated.