Today, I went to the Writing Studio at Duke for the first time. I wasn’t alone. There were at least three other students in the studio with me, waiting for other appointments. I met with a writing tutor and as we sat down, she first had me read my paper aloud. What I really value about Duke’s Writing Studio is that it is not meant for quick fixes or only a resource for students struggling with their writing. Anyone can benefit from the writing studio, and everyone can. In our session, my writing tutor had me discuss my paper. As I talked out my topic and the various anecdotes I used to highlight my personal writing process, I came to realizations that I hadn’t during my writing process the first time around. She had me taking notes, articulating old ideas in different ways, and coming to my own conclusions about the reorganization my paper needed in order to be more cohesive and clarifying. I benefited greatly from the session as I saw my paper in an entirely different light, and as I left, I wondered why I hadn’t taken advantage of the Writing Studio’s resources sooner. That is the kind of tutor I would like to be. One that does not diminish the student’s writing; rather, one that bolsters the student’s self-confidence and leads them toward self-realization and self-betterment as they reevaluate their own work. I believe that more teachers should emphasize the benefits of the Writing Studio, and encourage their students to visit more often, especially emphasizing that the Writing Studio can benefit even the most skilled writer.

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A picture of the first page of the paper I brought to the writing studio today. The reverse outline she taught me to make is on the side margins, and my own comments are scattered throughout the paper.

A picture of the back of one of the pages of my paper, in which I wrote down a bunch of ideas I had to include in my paper in order to tie my first anecdote in with my second. My tutor got me talking, and once I started I couldn’t stop accumulating more and more ideas to enhance my paper!

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