Recently, faculty and Writing Center staff at Marshall University partnered to improve undergraduate STEM students’ ability to clearly and efficiently communicate their knowledge of STEM concepts through discipline-specific writing conventions. We (Anna Rollins, the Writing Center director, and Kristen Lillvis, the English Graduate Programs director) corresponded with STEM faculty and coordinated writing classroom workshops in engineering, math, biology, geology, and computer science classrooms; we also hired and trained three graduate tutors who planned and facilitated each of the classroom writing workshops. The tutors had a minimum of one year experience tutoring in the Writing Center and had completed courses in composition theory and pedagogy; none were undergraduate STEM majors. As part of their teaching, these tutors compiled genre and discipline-specific writing activities and developed a pedagogical handbook for future tutors working with student writers in the STEM fields. What we learned from our workshops will benefit writing centers hoping to offer tutor-led workshops aimed at increasing student comprehension of STEM writing conventions. Below, we offer background on our program of workshops, a model of our tutor preparation and workshop offerings, and reflections on potential future modifications of our program.
Rollins, Anna, et al. “Improving Students’ Comprehension of STEM Writing Conventions.” WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, Sept./Oct. 2020, https://www.wlnjournal.org/archives/v45/45.1-2.pdf