Collaborative Invention

Even before you've written anything, Writing Center consultants are available to help you generate ideas and recognize the aspects of your topic that will be engaging to your reader(s).

In a one-on-one conversation with your consultant, you will share your reactions to and questions about your topic(s) and reading(s), as well as potential research ideas. By talking through these things and sharing some preliminary ideas or writing with an attentive listener, you'll be able to gather information about

  • What aspects of your topic are most interesting to you and your audience
  • The key concepts of your topic that will help you most during library research
  • The kinds of sources that are most likely to address your questions/topic
  • How to expand or focus the scope of your idea to fit the assignment criteria
  • Any issues that you need to address with your instructor before you begin researching and drafting

When you need assistance at this early stage of completing a paper or project, you should schedule an appointment (262-3144) and bring all materials that you received that are relevant to the assignment and/or any pre-writing material you have generated. These may include

  • assignment-specific handouts and/or syllabus
  • course texts or other books and materials you've gathered
  • brainstorming materials, such as lists, webs/clusters, notes, free-writing and journal entries

The person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read.

- Susan Isaacs