Debby Ellis Writing Center

Student FAQ 


Who can visit the writing center?

All Southwestern students of any major are welcome for consultations.  The Writing Center is also open as a quiet place to work any time Mood is open, even if staff isn’t present.

How many times can I visit?

There are no limits on how many times you can visit, even for a single paper!

Can the Writing Center help me even if it’s not an English paper?

No matter what type of paper you’re working on, we’re here to help.

What should I bring with me to the Writing Center?

Please bring the writing prompt for the assignment and a printed copy of your work so far.  If you have a specific part of the paper you want the consultant to focus on, please let them know.  Also, please do arrive with enough time for the consultation to take place.  While we’re open until 9:00 we’d like at least 30 minutes to perform a consultation.

Who works in the Writing Center?

All Writing Center staff take a full semester class titled “The Teaching of Writing.”  They learn about writing center theory and receive hands-on experience in the classroom and as an intern in the writing center before they become a full-fledged consultant.

Does using the Writing Center violate the Honor Code?

Coming to the DEWC is not a violation of the Honor Code.  Some professors may prefer that you mention your visit when you turn in a paper, and some may forbid it on take home exams.  When in doubt, ask your professor.

Will you tell my professor I visited the Writing Center?

Only if you ask us to!  While we use data from our sign-in sheets to improve outreach, we never contact your professor about your consultation without discussing it with you first.  However, please note that having the DEWC contact your professor may be in your best interest - it shows the professor you’ve made an additional effort on the assignment, which might encourage them to award a higher grade.

Who is Debby Ellis?

Professor Ellis was a scholar of Medieval Literature and a professor of English here at Southwestern.  She helped establish the Feminist Studies Program and the Undergraduate Writing Center.  When Professor Ellis died in 1999, her students suggested that the Undergraduate Writing Center be renamed in honor of her memory.