"Should I Take Notes as you Brainstorm?": Examining Consultants' In-Session Notes




Bahrainwala, Lamiyah

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Because writing center pedagogy emphasizes individual client needs, there are few consultation strategies that might be considered “staples.” However, reading the client’s paper aloud and taking notes on scrap paper as the consultant are two such strategies. In fact, they are so entrenched in consulting pedagogy that many writing centers list them on consultant training “checklists.” While there is a respectable amount of scholarship examining the readaloud strategy (see Block; Huang), there is a conspicuous absence of literature examining the type of note-taking that occurs during consultations. It is important to examine these notes because clients often leave with them, and may reference them throughout their writing process. Additionally, while many writing centers do email clients a summary of their consultations, the notes produced during the session can offer insight into the dynamics of a consultation. Finally, there is great variation in the way consultants employ the note-taking strategy. Given this diversity, it is even more important to examine consultant notes to establish efficient note-taking strategies for writing center consultations.

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