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Students Flock to New All-Campus Writing Center at UC San Diego

The center aids students through peer-to-peer tutoring, group workshops and instructional programs

The UC San Diego Writing Center was launched in 2012 as an initiative of the Council of Provosts to serve all six of the university’s undergraduate colleges.

The University of California San Diego’s first campus-wide Writing Center opened its doors for business this fall. In its first three weeks, the center provided academic assistance to almost 400 UC San Diego students on papers for some 40 different courses. At peak operation, the center is capable of providing up to 300 students with half-hour tutoring sessions every week.

Launched as an initiative of UC San Diego’s Council of Provosts, the Writing Center’s goal is to provide assistance to undergraduates from all six undergraduate colleges.

“Writing is a critical skill for students in every field of study, including the sciences and engineering,” said Susan Smith, chair of the Council of Provosts. “The Writing Center offers UC San Diego students opportunities to improve their writing throughout their undergraduate years as preparation for graduate and professional school and their eventual careers.”

The center aids students through peer-to-peer tutoring, group workshops and instructional programs.

Located on the ground floor of the Mandeville Center on campus, the Writing Center is under the direction of Madeleine Picciotto. Picciotto received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Princeton University and has over thirty years of experience teaching writing at institutions that include Princeton, UCLA, Spelman College and the University of Massachusetts.

“Writing is an important tool for thinking,” Picciotto said.  “Having to articulate something in writing––whether it’s an argument or proposal––can help crystalize your thoughts. Good thinking and good writing go hand-in-hand.”

The center’s peer mentors, carefully selected on the basis of their writing skills as well as their ability to communicate effectively, come from all six colleges and a wide variety of majors. They have been trained to provide academic support throughout the writing process to students working on papers for any of their classes.

Students may register online for one 30-minute session per week or, if they choose, they can sign up for a regular weekly appointment (meeting with the same writing mentor at the same time each week) throughout the quarter.

Special outreach and support are available for international students.

Drop-in hours are offered every weekday afternoon and on Sunday evenings in selected college residence halls. There is no limit to the number of times that students can attend drop-in hours.

For more information UC San Diego’s Writing Center, visit: writingcenter.ucsd.edu.