Become a Writing Consultant

How to Become a Writing Commons Writing Consultant

To become writing consultants, students must have strong interpersonal communication skills, an ability to discuss writing in progress and must participate in our writing consultant education program. To succeed and advance, writing consultants must continue their professional development throughout their semesters of employment. 

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Are You a Reflective Writer?

Successful writing consultants are reflective and articulate about their own writing processes. They are able to explain these processes to others. Prospective writing consultants must be able to communicate with diverse audiences about writing.

Do You Have People Skills?

Writing consultants must be excellent listeners. They must exhibit an unusual level of patience, persistence and flexibility in order to meet the needs of Writing Commons users. They must demonstrate teamwork, professionalism and leadership to succeed in our highly collaborative work environment.

Are You Willing to Prepare?

Students who wish to become Writing Commons writing consultants must train through coursework in the department of English at Kent State University, or must have successfully completed a comparable training course and served as writing center writing consultants at another accredited college or university writing center. We offer several pathways to joining the tutoring staff.

Traditional: 3-Credit-Hour Upper Division English Course

This training method is the "fast track," leading to a position as a fully qualified writing center writing consultant. Undergraduate students who wish to be considered for positions as fully qualified Writing Commons writing consultants must successfully complete a 3-credit-hour online course, ENG 41194, Tutoring of Writing, during or before their first semester of employment as trainees. This course may be taken for honors or regular credit. At the discretion of the instructor of the course (the Director of the Writing Commons), students may work in the Writing Commons while enrolled in the course. The course provides:

  • A complete introduction to Writing Center Studies and to consulting theory and history.
  • A complete guide to traditional writing consulting pedagogy.
  • Practical experience coaching writers across the curriculum.
  • Exposure to identity and power issues in writing center work.
  • Theory and practice with synchronous and asynchronous online consulting methods.
  • Introduction to coaching multi modal composers.
  • Research methods in Writing Center Studies.
  • Current issues in Writing Center Studies.
  • Publication and presentation opportunities.
  • Practice coaching new writing consultants.

This upper-division English course is an ideal choice for students in English, education, special education, language teaching or any of the helping professions, and it is excellent preparation for graduate study in any field. The course is a hybrid online course, requiring participation in hands-on activities, as well as completion of asynchronous online content. Registration is by permit through the director/instructor. Continued employment in the Writing Commons requires a final grade of B or better in ENG 41194, as well as recommendations from the Writing Commons senior staff and the approval of the director. 

ENG 41194 counts as an upper-division English elective, counts toward English major "writing and language study" requirements, and counts for the writing minor. It also counts toward experiential learning and diversity university requirements.

Individual Investigation English Course for 1 or 2 Credit Hours

This training method is a "slow and steady" approach to learning the field. Undergraduate students who wish to train to become writing consultants, but who may not feel ready for upper-division or honors coursework in Writing Center Studies may enroll, with permission from the director/instructor, in 1 or 2 credits of Individual Investigation to learn the basics of Writing Center practice. This method of introduction to the Writing Commons is ideal for students who for whatever reason may want to take a slower, more incremental approach to learning the field of writing center studies. To earn additional certifications, additional coursework or on-the-job training is required for students who train under the Individual Investigation method. The Individual Investigation method provides:

  • A basic introduction to in-person consulting methods.
  • Practical experience coaching writers in person across the curriculum.

Positions for Previously-Trained Writing Center Writing Consultants

Some semesters, as demand for consulting and budget concerns dictate, we are able to advertise for previously trained writing consultants. For a detailed job description and information on minimum job qualifications, log in to Handshake and search for the "Experienced Writing Consultant" position. This position is ideal for graduate students who worked in a writing center as undergraduates, or for transfer students who worked in a writing center at another accredited college or university campus.

Positions for Graduate Writing Consultants

Graduate Writing Consultants meet regularly with graduate students developing long term projects such as theses, dissertations, articles and presentations. They also facilitate feedback and accountability groups for graduate student writers. Use the application below "Graduate Writing Consultant" to be considered for this position. Writing Center consulting experience or experience teaching writing-intensive courses is strongly preferred for this position.

Opportunities for Writing Commons Writing Consultants

Once you become a writing consultant, you not only help your fellow students, you help yourself to on-the-job professional development, leadership training and opportunities to publish and make presentations. You won't find a job that offers more diverse ways to build your resume.

Ongoing Professional Development

Writing consultants are expected to develop themselves professionally throughout their semesters of employment. Professional development includes required weekly staff meetings and in-service training days, online tutoring training, continued coursework, presenting research at professional conferences, working on outreach projects and developing resources. 

Asynchronous Feedback Training

Continuing Writing consultants have the opportunity to learn response techniques for working with writers asynchronously online in a 1-credit-hour course or as on the job professional development. Once certified for asynchronous online consulting, writing consultants are considered Senior Writing Consultants and may assist in training new writing consultants.

Ongoing Professional Development Courses

We offer individual investigations on nine different writing center issues as well as a "build your own" option for writing consultants who want to develop their own course of study. Topics range from plagiarism prevention to advanced online tutoring, to ESL writers, research and conference preparation and more. The course, ENG 41096, is registration by permit only. Through the Department of English and the Honors College, Writing Commons writing consultants may participate in ongoing research projects as an assistant for course credit, or may initiate their own research projects for course credit.

Projects and Downtime Committee Work

Writing consultants have downtime projects and develop consulting resources for the Writing Commons based on their interests and expertise, and on the needs of the campus community. Past projects have included web design, public relations, mini-lessons, handouts, promotional materials, event planning and developing training materials.

Outreach and Community Service Projects

All writing consultants participate in Writing Commons Outreach as classroom Ambassadors or as Event Representatives. Writing consultants help develop and administer service projects in the community, such as our "Writers in Residence" program at local high schools. Writing consultants facilitate class visits and tours, and help promote and develop the Writing Commons. Past projects include book discussion groups, display cases, posters, group services, satellite tutoring locations, creative writing groups and more. Writing consultants may create and facilitate 50-minute writing workshops based on their individual areas of expertise. Past workshop topics include science writing, RefWorks, resumes and cover letters, paraphrasing, plagiarism, understanding assignments, giving feedback, outlining, commas, wordiness and organizing.

Conference Participation and Support

Writing consultants regularly make presentations at a number of professional conferences, including the Northeast Ohio Writing Centers Association, the East Central Writing Centers Association, the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing and the International Writing Centers Association Conference. Writing Commons Donor Funding is available to support consultant conference participation.

Awards and Honors

Undergraduate writing consultants in good standing at the Writing Commons are eligible to be nominated for the John C. Tamplin Award for Writing Center Work each spring. Recipients receive an award stipend and are honored at the annual English Department Awards Ceremony.

On-the-Job Management Training

We offer paid professional development for writing consultants who want to become student managers by training senior writing consultants and helping to manage our office.

Some people call it "the best job on campus," and it all starts with training to consult with writers!

Want to join us? Apply today!

Undergraduate Writing Consultant Trainee Application for undergraduates who want to train to become writing consultants.

Experienced Undergraduate Writing Consultant Application for applicants who have worked as writing center consultants at an accredited college of university.

Graduate Writing Consultant Application for graduate students only.

Contact Writing Commons Director Jeanne R. Smith ( for more information on becoming a writing consultant or graduate consultant.