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

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, for more details.


7–9 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday


The Writing Center is in the Terrell Main Library in Mudd Center. It occupies space on the first level just off the Academic Commons next to the CIT office.

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 work as a writing or speaking associate state that it is both a rewarding and empowering experience for themselves and the students who seek their assistance. Some students have used their training in rhetoric and composition to jumpstart their endeavors post Oberlin.

Writing Associates Program News