Making What We Know Explicit: Perspectives from Graduate Writing Consultants on Supporting Graduate Writers from Praxis: A Writing Center Journal Vol.19 No.2

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Date

2022

Authors

Wittstock, Stacy
Sperber, Lisa
Kirk, Gabi
McCarty, Kristin
de Sola-Smith, Karen
Wade, Jasmine
Simon, Mitchell
Fink, Lauren

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Praxis

Abstract

While scholarship on supporting graduate writers in the writing center has increased in recent years, guides outlining best practices for writing center consultants rarely speak to graduate students working with other graduate writers. In this article, we present a practical guide for graduate writing consultants. Written collaboratively by graduate writing consultants and a program coordinator, this guide represents our collective knowledge built over several years of conducting writing consultations and professional development in graduate writing support. Inspired by Adler-Kassner and Wardle’s “threshold concepts,” our guide is organized around two fundamental ideas: 1) that positionality plays an important role in interactions between consultants and graduate writers, and 2) that consultants must cultivate disciplinary awareness to be successful graduate writing coaches. In each section, we synthesize our own experiences as graduate writers and consultants with writing studies scholarship, and present concrete strategies for conducting graduate-level writing consultations. Through this guide, we demonstrate the mutual benefit of involving graduate student writing consultants in the production of knowledge in writing centers.

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