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The Writing Center's Mission and Goals

Our primary mission is to help MSU Denver students become stronger, more confident writers by developing healthy writing processes, metacognitive awareness, and a broad repertoire of writing strategies. Additionally, we work with MSU Denver faculty, alumni, and community members who want to become stronger writers.

Our Goals

  • Welcome all MSU Denver writers at any stage in their writing process, in any discipline, composing in any genre; 
  • Promote writing as a thinking tool; 
  • Recognize language and writing as sites of institutionalized racism, patriarchy, and other forms of oppression;  
  • Build students’ understanding of how they learn best; 
  • Help writers develop transferable writing skills, including drafting, revising, editing, content development, and source use, through metacognitive reflection; 
  • Help students understand and negotiate expectations for academic, professional, and disciplinary writing; 
  • Foster understanding and acceptance of diverse identities, cultures, viewpoints, and linguistic backgrounds; 
  • Support instructors in developing writing assignments that are informed by current writing theory and research and reflect an inclusive, anti-racist lens; 
  • Encourage, support, sponsor, and participate in writing research; 
  • Practice methods and strategies informed by current theory and research; and 
  • Mentor undergraduate writing advisers and interns. 

Outcomes

Students who visit the Writing Center will

  1. Demonstrate that they understand that writing is a process.
  2. Use invention strategies as part of their writing process.
  3. Recognize that every piece of writing has a purpose and an audience. 
  4. Make appropriate rhetorical choices about thesis, development, organization, and style by considering the purpose and audience of a piece of writing. 
  5. Demonstrate a growth mindset toward writing.
  6. Use writing as a thinking tool as well as a communication tool.
  7. Be able to use multiple revision strategies at various points in their writing process.
  8. Use resources appropriately.
  9. Advocate for the use of their own voice in writing assignments. 

 


Writing Center Statement on Anti-Racism

The MSU Denver Writing Center supports Black Lives Matter and is committed to anti-racism. We are proud of the statements issued by our university and fully support them (which can be found here and here). We particularly commend the President and the MSU Denver Board of Trustees for their commitments to use the university system for “constructive social and political change” and, to that end, we are now, and have always been committed to creating an anti-racist environment in the writing center and will become even more active in the university community in these pursuits. We also stand by the resolution of the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy and the Africana and Chicana/o Studies Departments as they strive to make MSU Denver more equitable.

We recognize that the police have murdered countless brown and Black people, including George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Atatiana Jefferson. We mourn the countless other Black, Brown and Indigenous victims, the numbers of which are growing every day. We acknowledge that systemic racism and police brutality are the causes of these deaths. In order to address these tragedies and enact justice, we support efforts by the Black community to dismantle white supremacy, and to end police violence. We support an overhaul of the current racist systems in our society, including our government and criminal justice system, and believe that such change cannot come soon enough.

We recognize the role racism plays in shaping educational systems, including here at MSU Denver. Because we focus on writing, we are deeply aware of the role language plays in shaping thought and power structures. Language and our attitudes toward spoken and written language are both vehicles for and symptoms of systemic and implicit racism. As writing professionals, we are called to value the language of Black, Brown, and Indigenous groups and dismantle the white supremacy embedded in social, academic, and professional communities.  

In our commitment to anti-racist practices we will take concrete, actionable steps to challenge and dismantle practices that value white voices and uphold white supremacy over Black, Brown, and Indigenous voices in our community. (check back later for a list of tangible actions)

We will continue to: 

  1. Acknowledge our complicity, as individuals and as a writing center, in upholding and circulating white supremacist language attitudes and practices. 
  2. Define our complicity as a racist, harmful practice that we must stop.
  3. Diversify writing center staff, leadership, and practices. 
  4. Help faculty identify and revise assignments and grading rubrics that are embedded with racism, including approaches to grammar instruction and assessment. 
  5. Collaborate with campus and community departments and organizations to facilitate anti-racist workshops and foster awareness of the politics of language. 
  6. Embed anti-racism theory and practice in all staff education and training.
  7. Build on programs such as RIDES and Frederick Douglass Day. 
  8. Build a resource library on Black, Brown, and Indigenous topics and pedagogy.
  9. Privilege Black-, Brown-, and Indigenous-owned businesses in purchasing decisions. 
  10. Accept that we will make mistakes, receive criticism humbly and with gratitude, grow from our missteps, and remain open to suggestions.

To that end, we welcome any and all feedback about this policy and/or our actions. Please let us know how we're doing at the button below.


Land Statement

The MSU Denver Writing Center wishes to acknowledge those who came before us and lived on this land, the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The Cheyenne and the Arapaho have both been displaced many times via US Government treaties. In 1851, parts of Colorado, including the land our campus sits on, was promised to both tribes. However, due to the incoming gold rush and White settlement, these promises were not kept. The tribes were then forcefully relocated from their land in 1867 to Oklahoma, where they remain in small numbers on reservations in the state today.

The MSU Denver Writing Center also recognizes that the creation of our campus, starting in 1973, displaced not only the working poor and immigrants living in the Auraria neighborhood, but also small businesses and industry as well. By displacing so many, this campus effectively moved or destroyed the culture, community, and tradition of this land.

We are fortunate to call Auraria and MSU Denver a place of learning and inclusion, but we also recognize the loss of so many different people for us to have this opportunity. We are grateful to have the ability to work and learn on this land, and continuously strive to implement practices within this meeting place that break down colonial thinking and its effects. As the most recent stewards of this land, we must never forget the ones who came before us or their ancestors who are still with us. There are many ways to support Indigenous peoples today, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, at The American Indian College Fund, Association on American Indian Affairs, or the Native American Rights Fund.

The Singular They

The Modern Language Association has recently weighed in on the use of "they" as a singular pronoun. Check out the article here!

Client Testimonials

Real Writing Center Experiences



"[...] You may remember assisting a rather unhappy faculty member who was distressed by comments and revisions on a doctoral proposal manuscript. I thought you would like an update on my progress. After meeting with you, I felt more confident in my abilities and was able to read the Reviewer comments with a less sensitive frame of mind. I made revisions as I thought needed and looked for the few small things you had pointed out. When I turned in the final manuscript I was more confident that I had done it right, and the feedback bore that out. I had very few minor revisions, and the reviewer even complimented me throughout the manuscript. At this time I am waiting for confirmation from my program that the final revisions were sufficient. Thank you!"   ~ Deborah A. Mathias MSN, RN  

 

 


MSU Denver Tedx and Anarchy

Two of our writing center colleagues present!

We are so proud of Matthew Candelaria and Colton Lee, for presenting at the MSU Denver Tedx. Their passionate plea for anarchy in all levels of society has been a major influence on the MSU Denver Writing Center's pedagogical theories. See what anarchy is all about!
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