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What's Wrong with Writing Centers?

You may have heard of, or read a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education with the click-bait and sensational title "What's Wrong with Writing Centers."  We, at the MSU Denver Writing Center, are very proud of the services that we administer and we are fully enmeshed in the ongoing conversations about how to make writing centers even more helpful.  Therefore, we wanted to put the article in context for you.  The subject of the interview, Lori Salem, wrote a letter to the editor in response to the way her research was presented.  Below, you will find links to both the original article, and her response.

To be clear, I don’t believe that there is anything fundamentally “wrong” with writing centers.

Lori Salem

Temple University

Apply for a Writing Center Scholarship!


Any MSU Denver student who has used the MSU Denver Writing Center during the 2017-18 academic year can apply—Any major or minor, full or part-time, any GPA, undergraduate or graduate student! Apply or nominate someone now!

The Student Perseverance Scholarship - Two $1500 scholarships will be awarded. This scholarship recognizes someone who has made substantial personal sacrifices or overcome significant challenges to attend college. Perhaps you (or the person you wish to nominate) are a Dreamer, a recovering addict, a single parent . . . but you didn’t let that stop you from becoming a committed student.  Submit an application or nomination!

The Committed Writer Scholarship - Two $1500 scholarships will be awarded. This scholarship recognizes someone who has made a significant commitment to becoming a better writer. Submit an application or nomination!

Application deadline: March 16, 2018

Questions? Contact Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Writing Center Director, at or 303-556-6071.



Get it in writing!

Do you want to say what you really mean? plan and organize a writing project? document source material? avoid plagiarism? make writing less stressful? learn how to proofread your work?

Get help at any stage of a writing project, from finding a topic to organizing the content to producing the final draft.

We work with writers in all areas of study, at all levels, in all stages of their writing processes, and with all types of writing projects. The Writing Center offers students resources for developing as writers and thinkers, sharing their work and ideas, and receiving thoughtful feedback on work in progress in a practical, friendly, collaborative environment. In our humble opinion, all students would benefit from working with a writing advisor.

We can help you with 

  • essays and research papers for any class
  • senior capstone projects and portfolios
  • Honors theses
  • Individualized Degree Program rationales
  • scholarship essays
  • graduate school application essays
  • creative writing, including poetry and fiction
  • resumes and cover letters

We offer 40 minute consultations and 10 minute Ask a Question sessions. Ask a Question sessions are designed for students to ask one or two simple questions, such as "how should I cite this source?" For all other situations, we recommend a 40 minute consultation.

Please note that if you are a MSU Denver student needing help with writing for a CCD class (such as ENG 060 or ENG 090), you should go to the CCD Writing Center on the fourth floor of the Confluence Building. 

Learn more about the Writing Center by viewing our orientation video here.

Need a quiet place to write?

Come to Breakfast Club! Enjoy breakfast snacks & coffee in the KC Writing Center on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 8-10 a.m. No appointment needed—just show up, get caffeinated, & write!

Spring 2018 Workshop Schedule

Attend one of our interactive workshops to learn about a specific aspect of writing in a group setting. All workshops will take place in the Writing Center’s SSB location (SSB 230G). No reservation necessary—just show up!  

  • Mastering Grammar and Punctuation Basics. Facilitated by Erienne. Thursday, February 8, 2-3:15. 
  • Focusing and Developing Thesis Statements. Facilitated by Erienne. Monday, March 5, 2-3:15. 
  • Citing Sources in MLA Format. Facilitated by Melissa. Tuesday, April 3, 3:30-4:45.
Want to hone your craft?

Join or form a writing group! The Writing Center is happy to host student, faculty, and/or staff writing groups, providing a comfortable space and coffee! 

Here are some tips for forming groups: 

1. Find other writers. You might ask classmates to join, post a flyer announcing that your group needs members in the Writing Center, and ask your writing professors to suggest peers who might be interested. 

2. Decide on a regular time to meet. Meeting once a week might be difficult to maintain once the semester gets rolling. Groups often find that one meeting a month is manageable without being overwhelming. 

3. Discuss with your members what kind of group you want to be: a workshopping group that shares and comments on drafts? an accountability group that shares goals and encourages each other? a shut-up-and-write group that meets to write? 

4. Establish ground rules. If drafts are to be discussed, who will bring drafts? How long will discussion last? If you are a shut-up-and-write group, will there be designated time for socializing? 

To arrange to use the Writing Center for your meetings, call us at 303-556-6070 or come by in person. 


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