Don’t Discount the Writing Center


The Writing Center is located in Walsh Library. (Courtesy of Pia Fischetti/The Fordham Ram)

I don’t want to write this article. I would be more than happy to gatekeep the many virtues of the Fordham Writing Center. But as a Fordham student with a couple years’ experience under her belt, I feel obligated to share some of the knowledge I’ve gleaned over the past two years with my fellow Rams.

Within the first few weeks of your Composition I or Composition II class, your professor may bring in one of the tutors from the Writing Center. They’ll give you a sales pitch as to why you should book an appointment with them when you have an essay due that’s worth 30% of your grade. Even though your brain will feel bogged down by all the different “absolutely essential” things you must do in your freshman year, I urge you to pay attention to that sales pitch.

I was skeptical during the sales pitch in my own class. My prior experience with the writing center at my high school was less than helpful. The center was just a cramped room off of the library, and our “tutor” was an English teacher who hated me. I’m convinced that she purposely didn’t correct any of my grammar mistakes. So, I really thought that Fordham’s would be just another  waste of time.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. During my first half-hour appointment, a kind and patient tutor provided thoughtful feedback and critiqued my writing, and then I knew that this was a resource I couldn’t ignore. 

Over the past two years, I have brought every single one of my essays to the Writing Center. Actually, “essays” is pushing it — sometimes I’ve brought scraps of ideas along with my prompt and a tutor helped me craft my muddled thoughts into a thesis and an outline. I truly cannot express how much I appreciate the people in the Writing Center (maybe I should have booked an appointment with them, they would have helped me find the words).

Booking an appointment with the Writing Center might seem like a complicated process, but I assure you that it’s not. Press “schedule an appointment” under the Writing Center’s website, log in to the portal with your Fordham ID and select a time with a tutor. You can book a 30-minute, one-hour or 90-minute long time slot, and the center is located on the first floor of Walsh Library. If you want to ensure an even more beneficial experience, research the different tutors. For example, if you have a philosophy essay due, book an appointment with one of the team members who has a background in philosophy because they might be able to provide you with more specific advice. 

I also encourage you to book your appointments as far in advance as possible, especially during midterms and finals when most people will be needing help with their essays. Similarly, to help me stay on schedule with all of my due dates, I schedule a Writing Center appointment the day before my essay due date. This helps to motivate me and ensure that I’m not word vomiting the night before it’s due, praying I hit the word count. 

Every tutor I have worked with has been so thoughtful and patient, and they have not only helped me improve my skills, but they have also helped me become a more confident writer. If you want to advance your writing to the college level and earn those good grades, then spending some time in the Writing Center is absolutely worth it. I promise you.

Maybe I’ll see you there this semester.