Four WP Graduate Students Present Research at 35th Annual Conference of Northeast Writing Centers Association

Katia Arco, Morgan Bonanno, Eric Scholz, and Kristi Polidore

Four William Paterson University English majors presented their research about online tutoring and its use in writing centers at the 35thannual conference of the Northeast Writing Centers Association.

Graduate students Katia Arco, Morgan Bonanno, Kristi Polidore, and Eric Scholz made their presentation, “Running with the Devil: A Holistic Analysis of and the Local Writing Center,” at the conference held on March 30 and 31, 2019 at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT.

“We’re excited that our graduate students, three of whom also work as peer writing consultants in our Writing Center, conducted this research and were accepted to share their findings and insights at this conference – all of which pushes us toward the best practices in our field,” says Sean Molloy, assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center.

The students began their project in Professor Molloy’s class, Pedagogy of Composition, co-taught with Professor Chris Weaver,asking the simple question, “What platform should we use to reintroduce online writing consultations to our Writing Center?”

“We wanted to develop strategies for training online writing consultants in our own Writing Center,” says Eric Scholz, summarizing the research for the group. “We encourage all tutors, regardless of subject or session type, whether the session be in-person or digital, to consider not only the limitations of their current consulting situation but also the strengths. For example, digitally based writing consultants lose the benefit of body language and nonverbal cues, but they gain the ability to temper their responses and to reflect before communicating their ideas to students.”