Looking at the demographics of the students utilizing the writing center (WC) at a university in the US mountain west, the author questions whether the commenting styles in which WC tutors are trained accurately address the needs of the user population. Data on what courses WC visitors are enrolled in shows that the majority of WC user are introductory English students, with 70% of users being enrolled in one of the two required introductory level English courses (ENGL 1010 or ENGL 2010). Tutor training focuses on facilitative commenting styles, tactics that may not be effective for this given population of users. To better serve this specific introductory-level English student, tutors should be trained in how to give more directive (yet not authoritative) comments. In this way, introductory level students can build a solid foundational knowledge of traditional academic writing conventions from which they can make better-informed self-directed decisions later in their writing careers.
Clem, Samantha, "Audience Awareness in the Writing Center: Guiding Introductory Writing Students with More Directive Comments" (2019). Writing Center Analysis Paper. Paper 35.