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Foundation
Writing seems to be a solitary endeavor, but it is, in reality, a social act in which you not only learn, but you also become part of a larger community. At the Naval War College, when you explore ideas and advocate positions in writing and during seminar or informal discussions, you are joining an ongoing academic conversation. The purpose of the Writing Center is to provide you the resources and support necessary to help you to become a more competent writer—regardless of your level of ability—and a more confident participant in the conversation.
Writing can be an extremely frustrating, and even confounding, process. Being a writer is like being a musician or an athlete: you don’t suddenly know how to be the best, but with hard work and commitment, you can become a better—if not accomplished—athlete or musician. Even then, you would practice and continue working with coaches and teachers. The same is true for writing. In the Writing Center, we can help you evolve as a writer by working with you to clarify your focus for a paper (either for a course or a piece you are interested in submitting for publication), refine a thesis statement, identify and organize your argument(s), understand how to integrate evidence into your paper, develop revision strategies, and find your unique writing “voice.” We can also discuss strategies for overcoming writer’s block, for breaking the counter-productive cycle of procrastination, and reading more effectively and efficiently. And sometimes, we will simply listen as a way of helping you move forward with your writing project.
In the Writing Center, we work with students in one-on-one conferences and small group workshops. There are also other resources available such as handouts addressing grammatical issues and the various parts of the writing process, writing text recommendations, and links to other excellent online writing sites. However, the most essential ingredient for your success as a writer is you. Writing effectively is a process, so having patience and being willing to give the time necessary to evolve as a writer are essential. Even though you are quite busy in your program at the NWC, the research, reading, thinking, and writing you will do are inextricably linked, and to excel, all parts of the process demand time and thought.
There are some things we do not do in the Writing Center:
  • We do not edit or proofread papers;
  • We will not read complete rough drafts and give feedback via email for either course papers or those written with publication in mind. We’ll be happy to do so, however, if you make an appointment to work with us one-on-one;
  • We will never comment on the quality of a paper either before or after it has been evaluated by your instructor. We are here to support you in your development as a writer, but your instructors’ feedback and comments are always primary.
To make an appointment, feel free to stop by the Writing Center located in H-210 or send an email to Dr. Donna Connolly at donna.connolly@usnwc.edu.
We also welcome suggestions for workshops, handouts, and other resources, so please do not hesitate to contact us with your ideas.