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Mood Board: The Writing Center

Just in time for midterms, this week’s Mood Board features Eric Doyle, an esteemed worker at the Writing Center right here in Falvey.

How many students do you help on an average day?

“Help” is maybe a strong word, but I average two or three forced-improvement sessions per day. Mostly I add to their work load by telling them that, no, “Plato is dumb” isn’t a good thesis statement. And those commas are atrocious.

What’s the busiest time of the semester for the WC?

The day before anything is due. For freshmen, the day on which it’s due.

If you could give one general, very broad piece of advice to the students who might be too shy to visit you guys, what would it be?

The most frequent advice I give is to pretend that your professor isn’t your audience. When I write, I imagine my mother (an educated person, but not an expert in my subject) as the reader; if she couldn’t follow along, then I haven’t explained myself clearly enough.

What is your biggest writing-related pet peeve?

I have an irrational hatred of the word “towards.” I know it’s perfectly acceptable, but “toward” is just so much classier.

What’s the most entertaining piece of writing you’ve ever reviewed?

One particular woman brought a paper wherein she’d confused the words “explore” and “explode.” Her essay was essentially a Michael Bay film.

What’s your information routine?

Reddit on my phone while getting ready in the morning, then NPR and The Atlantic once I get to campus and check email.

Android or iOS? What are you favorite apps?

Android. I use Mint for keeping track of my finances, and Zombies, Run! is the greatest thing since the invention of running.

What kind of writing did you review during your latest Writing Center shift?

I had an ACS paper on Aristotelian happiness and contemporary consumerism. It was pretty good, but the author and I worked together to make it better.

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.



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Last Modified: February 23, 2015

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