Writing Associates Program and the Writing Center

The Oberlin College Writing Associates Program offers a dynamic space for students to think critically, be creative, and collaborate with their peers.

Writing Associates can talk with writers about any stage in the process: together, WAs and writers, can talk through an assignment, brainstorm, discuss a draft, develop a thesis, polish prose, or explore grammar issues. Writing Associates come from many majors and are eager to listen and help writers reach their goals, whether they connect through the Writing Center or through a class with a designated Course Writing Associate.

For updates about the Writing Associates Program, follow us on Instagram @ocwritingassociatesprogram and like us on Facebook!

The Writing Center is Open This Summer!

During the summer semester, the Writing Center is offering in-person drop-in hours, in-person appointments, and Zoom appointments. See our full schedule of drop-in hours and appointments.

Writing Associates are eager to work with you! You can:

  1. Drop in to the Writing Center, located in the back right corner of the first floor Terrell library.
  2. Make an appointment for an in-person session or for a Zoom session. We ask that you make all appointments at least 3 hours in advance, and cancel them at least 12 hours in advance if you can no longer come so other students may sign up for the slot.

Looking for help when the Writing Center is closed? Check out these audio guides created by WA Kate Fishman to walk you through every stage of the writing process!


The Writing Center provides free drop-in writing consultation and appointments for students working on academic assignments for any class and on any topic. The center is staffed by student writing associates and welcomes all writers to a private one-on-one writing session throughout the semester.

Students can visit the Writing Center for a session at any stage of their writing process. Writing associates can assist students early in their writing process by helping to clarify prompts and assignments, brainstorm ideas and topics, or develop research strategies. Associates also can help students in the drafting and revising stage of their assignment by providing advice on paragraph organization, idea and argument coherence, among many other issues. Students at the end of the writing process can also bring in their papers for help in sentence-level corrections and editing for flow and clarity.

The Writing Center will remain open through the last day of reading period. The Writing Center is closed during fall break, spring break, Thanksgiving break, exam periods, winter term, and summer.

The Speaking Center was launched in 2016 with the goal of supporting students in their speaking endeavors and instilling a sense of confidence in their ability to communicate. We want students to become more conscious and conscientious speakers. We seek to accomplish this through sparking a critical dialogue on campus that further develops student understanding of audience, purpose, and context, as it applies to both the academic and professional conversation.

To that end, we offer one-on-one Speaking Center sessions, where students are able to work with a trained peer speaking associate on all parts of the presentation process.

In addition, we offer a range of workshops throughout the year on speaking in both academic and professional settings, such as conference presentations or job interviews. If you are interested in this, send email to Cortney Smith, csmith5@oberlin.edu for more details.

Benefits of Working with an Associate

We like to think of our associates as ‘informed outsiders.’ They’re able to ask probing questions and get students to think about the style of the genre that they’re writing in.

Frances Purcell ’18 , Writing Associate Fellow

Students who participate as writing or speaking associates through the Podis Writing Pedagogy Fellowship state that the experience is rewarding and empowering experience for both themselves and the students they work with. Many WAs have used their experience in writing pedagogy to jumpstart their endeavors post-Oberlin.

Writing Associates Program News