14Writing Center Publicity  

A Writing Center is useless if students and faculty are not informed of the services it provides, including location and tutoring hours. In advertising the Writing Center, emphasize that 

1. It is not just a proofreading service but it is help for all stages of the writing process.

2. It is not for basic writers only but for everyone, regardless of classification or major.


You may be asked to participate in advertising the Writing Center in a variety of ways.

Key Idea
In all discussions of the Writing Center, especially with students, keep your comments positive and upbeat.

How do you get the word out? Following are some ideas for Writing Center directors and/or tutors to try:

Word of Mouth
Mention Writing Center services to friends and classmates and encourage tutees to tell their friends about the Center. Take opportunities in class discussions when the professor is explaining writing assignments to mention the Writing Center. Always keep your comments positive and your attitude service-oriented.

Classroom Visits
You may be asked to visit classes early in the semester to introduce the Writing Center. These visits can be particularly valuable in freshman orientation classes. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself as a tutor, to explain the services of the Writing Center, and to answer any questions the students might have. Refer to specific writing assignments in that class as appropriate. Also, consider presenting a quick skit with another tutor to provide an example of a typical tutoring session; this can help spark student interest.

Faculty Meeting Visits
You may be asked to introduce the Writing Center at a faculty meeting early in the semester. Also, the tutor may be able to visit division or department meetings; take the opportunity to ask faculty how the Writing Center can help meet their specific needs.

WAC Workshops for Faculty 
Your institution may offer an annual or bi-annual workshop for the faculty on Writing Across the Curriculum to encourage the use of writing assignments and exercises in all classes and to emphasize the importance of using writing to learn. This could provide a key opportunity to advertise and encourage the use of Writing Center services, and you may be asked to help.

Click Tip
A sample outline for a WAC Workshop.

Tutor/Class Partnerships
You may be asked to partner with particular writing-intensive classes.

E-mail or Flyer to the Faculty and/or the Student Body
You may be asked to inform the faculty and/or student body of services in the Writing Center at the beginning of each semester in written form; send an e-mail or place a flyer in their campus mailboxes. Provide faculty with a blurb about the Writing Center to include in their syllabi, such as

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available in the Writing Center, located adjacent to the Bell Library computer lab. See http://www.montreat.edu/writing for more information.

E-mail or Flyer to Staff
You may be asked to inform appropriate staff, such as student services and academic staff, about Writing Center services, location, and hours, so they can pass along the information when questions from students arise. Also inform resident assistants to encourage students on their hallways to visit the Writing Center.

Writing Center Information on the Web
You may be asked to create a Writing Center web page with anything a student or faculty member might need to know about the Center—the location, the tutoring hours, procedures, resources available in the Center, the names and/or photos of the tutors, contact information for the director, and a list of frequently asked questions. Include the web address in all other advertisements.

Click Tip
A sample Writing Center web page (Montreat College)

You may be asked to create posters to advertise the Writing Center. Provide Writing Center hours and brief info on key bulletin boards on campus, including the library, student center, dorm lobbies, classrooms, and even restrooms. Consider an advertising slogan for the Writing Center, an interesting logo, or other gimmick to catch students’ attention. For example, one Writing Center uses a pencil as its logo, and its posters around campus are in the shape of a pencil. The Montreat College Writing Center uses a different question or statement on each poster to catch students’ attention; some of these include 

“Where does the comma go?”
“How do I format footnotes?”
“I need to write 10 pages, but I only have 3!”
“I have writer’s block!!”
“How do I write a book critique?”

Table Placards
You may be asked to place table placards with Writing Center hours and brief info in the cafeteria or campus grill.

Ads in the Student Newspaper or on Campus Radio or TV Stations
Another way to get the word out is to advertise in newspapers or on radio or TV. Again, a catchy slogan and/or logo is needed. Be sure to include key information, such as location and tutoring hours.

Free Stuff
Tutors can print basic Writing Center info on freebies, such as bookmarks, pencils, pens, or post-it notes. Put these in student and/or faculty mailboxes or give them away with textbook purchases in the campus bookstore at the beginning of each semester.  

Contests With Prizes
Your Writing Center could host contests, such as worst sentence or grammar puzzlers. Be sure to publicize the contest as well as the winner(s) and include key info about the Writing Center.

Open House
Host an open house for the Writing Center near the beginning of the semester. Advertise it widely, invite faculty as well as students, and provide refreshments and door prizes.

Digging Deeper Assignments

For Further Reading

Bibliographic Sources




The Writing Center: Past and Present The Student/Tutor Relationship The Clueless Student The Unfocused Student The Disorganized Student The Underdeveloped Student The Unrevised Student The Unpolished Student ESL Strategies Research Strategies Discipline-Specific Assignments Documentation Styles Writing Center Ethics Writing Center Publicity

© 1999, 2000, 2002 Virginia Bower (Mars Hill College), Charlene Kiser (Milligan College), Kim McMurtry (Montreat College), Ellen Millsaps (Carson-Newman College), Katherine Vande Brake (King College). All rights reserved. This manual was made possible by a Culpeper grant from the Appalachian College Association; click here for information. If you encounter difficulties with these web pages, please notify kmcmurtry@montreat.edu.