The UMass Amherst Writing Center believes that everyone is a writer and all writers bring valuable literacy backgrounds to their writing. We seek to create a culture of writing across campus where all faculty, students, and staff respect past writing knowledge and extend it to new situations. Writing is best learned through collaborative inquiry in supportive and reflective environments to help develop multiple approaches to any writing task, including reconsidering what academic writing is and exploring the options available to writers of academic texts. To that end, we commit to educate and train ourselves to meet the needs of those with whom we work.
We understand our role primarily as readers who provide an interested, thoughtful, and open-minded response to writing. Our goal is to help writers meet their communicative purposes as they define them and in the voice in which they choose to communicate. We are writers too. We believe we learn from writers coming to the Writing Center, just as they learn from us. As a result, we work in ways that employ writers’ knowledge learned in other literacy contexts, including at home, at school, and at work. We value the differences in writing and language that writers bring with them from different regions, nations, and areas, and the dialects and languages used in these spaces.
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