Writing Center Journal


This study sought to determine the impact writing center consultations have on student writing self-efficacy and to illuminate effective consultant strategies for fostering student writing confidence. As part of a multimethods study, a survey was administered for students to reflect upon and to assess their feelings of writing self-efficacy by describing experiences in writing center consultations. Selected respondents were asked to elaborate on the strategies used by their peer consultant(s) in an optional open-ended interview. Findings suggest that writing center consultations help increase writing self-efficacy. The effective consultant strategies described by study participants are synthesized into an overarching consultant framework of empathy-based tutoring, which includes four key consultant moves that work to foster writing self-efficacy: listening, translating, advising, and motivating. Results from this study have implications for further consultant training and/or professional development programs and reaffirm the value writing centers bring to student writing growth.