Unlike many writing centers that feature undergraduate or graduate students as tutors, MIT’s Center is staffed entirely by professionals — lecturers who all have advanced degrees, who all are published writers, and who all have years of college classroom teaching experience. The staff includes experts in English as a Second Language. In 2008, it was the featured writing center in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal.
The Center’s mission is best summed up by its motto: “Be a better writer.” The Center is a teaching institution, not a fix-it shop. Its lecturers teach clients techniques and strategies for being better writers and better public speakers. It does not edit or proofread. Faculty members often send their best writers to the Center so that they become even better writers.
Originally housed in 14N-317, the Center moved to the basement of Stata Center in 2004 and then to its present location (12-132) in 2007. In its first year, its director, Steven Strang, and four consultants worked with 66 different clients who made a total of 110 visits. Last year, its eight lecturers and the director worked with 1,053 different clients who made 3,213 visits to the Center.
In addition to one-on-one consultations, the Center has sponsored many minisessions on writing topics, Independent Activities Period (IAP) sessions, and dissertation support groups; since 2002, it has sponsored the MIT’s Writers Group.
In short, the Center has been MIT’s “one-stop shopping” for anyone associated with MIT and interested in learning more about writing and oral presentations. Appointments are scheduled online by going to the Center’s website and clicking on “Appointments.”