Rachel writes: A 50-Minute Hour

Last week, I visited the Writing Center for the first time (it’s located in the Grossman Library, Sever Hall). I made an appointment online a week in advance and met with one of the tutors.

I consider myself an experienced writer, but I wanted an objective opinion on a writing issue that had been plaguing me. I brought copies of  my writing as well as the course syllabus, which showed instructions for all writing assignments. 50 minutes later, I had presented my concerns and received a thoughtful response from the writing tutor. I was struck by the care, focus and clarity with which she handled my questions.

It is easy to lose objectivity about one’s own writing; one of the things I discussed with the Writing Center tutor was the way in which one’s brain fills in accidental word omissions, or disregards repetitions,  whereas a pair of fresh eyes will spot such errors right away. After all, even best-seller-list authors have editors.

This 50-minute hour is free and yours for the online appointment (see http://www.extension.harvard.edu/resources/writing.jsp). I understand that, if you are a distance-education student (but not local), you can schedule a tutorial by email.  If you take advantage of this service, remember to plan your questions in advance and pack your essay draft as well as the assignment instructions.

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