Writing Center Journal


This article explores the emergence and development of writing centers in Brazil, using the author’s experience founding the Centro de Assessoria de Publicação Acadêmica (CAPA) at the Universidade Federal do Paraná as a case study. The author provides some historical context about Brazilian education and its traditional “banking model” of education (Paulo Freire) that did not value individual expression—including through writing. This model persisted even as composition studies evolved elsewhere. Academic literacy development in Brazil is thus a relatively recent phenomenon, and the effects of that paucity are felt among scholars in higher education settings. This motivated the author’s research into publication challenges faced by Brazilian faculty and graduate students, which revealed a need for more institutional support. This inspired the idea for CAPA, conceived as a space promoting dialogue around writing, not just language editing. In establishing CAPA, critical considerations were the use of a public call mechanism familiar to Brazilians (“o edital”) to make consultations part of the writing process, offering translation to draw more people from around campus, and conducting outreach that stressed writing over “English.” CAPA’s mission to foster academic identities and combat epistemicide makes it unique, but also gives it a very Brazilian flavor. Unlike some writing centers in other global contexts, CAPA was not an imported idea but emerged from local needs, fully integrated with Brazilian higher education culture, compatible with Brazilian understandings like critical pedagogy. CAPA represents a Brazilian innovation contributing original knowledge to international writing center conversations.