About the Center

CWS Staff 2017The Center for Writing and Speaking (CWS) is a peer tutoring organization devoted to improving and enhancing students’ writing and speaking skills. Staffed by trained peer tutors, the CWS provides students of all ability levels with individual assistance in writing papers and in preparing and practicing speeches and presentations.

Imagine having the opportunity to prepare for a critical presentation with a peer tutor who understands the nuances of body language and the importance of maintaining eye contact with your audience. What if you have great ideas for a paper, but you’re unfamiliar with the format the instructor has assigned? Let’s say you need quick tips fast—such as the dos and don’ts of writing a research paper, a résumé, an outline for an informative speech or tips for mastering an employment interview? You’re working on your senior project and need some feedback before turning in the next draft, or you want to practice a speech you are about give for an off-campus organization. The Center for Writing and Speaking can help you do your best work with all of these assignments and more.

We encourage students to come in for tutoring at any stage of the process, from understanding the assignment and idea development to the final stages of editing and polishing. Tutoring conferences are collaborative: the student brings her ideas, intentions, and knowledge, and the tutor brings experience in helping writers and speakers turn their work into successful final projects. Throughout the conference, tutors emphasize critical thinking and student ownership of their work. As CWS director Christine Cozzens said, The Center for Writing and Speaking should really be called the center for intellectual engagement outside the classroom.

The CWS is located on the ground floor of Campbell Hall and is open 24 hours a day as a student work space; tutoring is offered six days a week. Two different spaces provide students the opportunity to work in the kind of environment that is best suited to meet their needs. The Tutoring Hub (G-14) offers a comfortable, relaxed tutoring environment with ample seating and desks, coffee and tea (to give you that extra push while writing your paper or working on your presentation!), and all the best reference materials to help make your assignment a success. Meet collectively with your presentation group—or individually—with a tutor as your prepare your project. If you are working on a speech and want to practice your delivery, our Presentation Center (G-17) has state-of-the-art projection equipment to help you make the most of what you have to say.

Available resources include over 100 student-produced handouts on many aspects of writing and speaking, books, journals, computers, printers, scanners, software and audio and video playback equipment. Christine Cozzens, Charles A. Dana Professor of English, directs the CWS, Mina Ivanova, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Graduate Writing and Digital Communication program serves as the interim director, and Imani Young Bey, class of 2017, is the Center coordinator. Over 5,000 tutoring conferences are held at the CWS each year; that means Agnes Scott students from all majors appreciate and make good use of this service.