How to become more comfortable sharing your own work 

At times, writing can feel like an intensely personal act, and because of that, it is often difficult for writers to share their work. As a student, you’re required to share your work in a variety of ways, whether with your professor, a writing tutor, your classmates, a workshop, a conference audience, or the readership of a journal. If the idea of other people hearing or reading your writing makes you nervous, here are a few ways that you can become more comfortable sharing your work with an audience. Continue reading “How to become more comfortable sharing your own work “


How to Set up an Appointment Online

Setting up an appointment for the writing center online is convenient and fairly simple, but it can be somewhat confusing. These appointments, while set up online, are for you to come to the writing center in person. If you are an off-campus student, you may set up an online appointment in which you send your paper electronically to be reviewed by a tutor. On-campus students must come to the center in person. Continue reading “How to Set up an Appointment Online”

Meet the Tutors: Lydia & Rachel

Lydia Anvar

Lydia Anvar, a senior professional writing major, hails from Louisville, Kentucky–a city full of coffee shops, street art, and all the cheap Mexican food you can get your hands on. Although she’s only been working at the writing center for half a semester, she loves being able to encourage students who lack self-confidence in their writing. She also enjoys getting to learn new things when students bring her papers on topics that she isn’t familiar with. Thanks to her professional writing concentration, she’s well-versed in professional genres like memos, reports, and resumes as well as MLA style. Lydia hopes to get her Master’s in Education from the University of Kentucky to teach high school English; she believe that literature has the power to change the way that we see the world and ourselves–and she want to pass that on to others! When she’s not writing papers or working, she’s watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix or catching a cheap concert in Nashville with her friends. Continue reading “Meet the Tutors: Lydia & Rachel”

He Said, She Said: Quoting and Paraphrasing

A few weeks ago, in the blog “Research: Wading Through Sources” (found here:, I talked about how to choose sources for your paper and to think of your writing as “joining in a conversation” with scholars. Now, I’d like to share some tips for actually integrating those sources. There are a lot of things to cover on this topic, so I’m going to share what you will most likely be using and the areas where I see the most issues in student papers. Continue reading “He Said, She Said: Quoting and Paraphrasing”

Best free online group project tools

Group projects can be a pain. It’s hard to get two, three, four, or more people in the same place, at the same time, and keep everyone on task. Luckily, there are some excellent online tools you can use to collaborate with other students on group projects. These are some of our favorites: Continue reading “Best free online group project tools”

Meet Dr. Jane Fife

I was born in Paducah and grew up in Louisville, so I was thrilled to be able to find a job teaching at WKU. I had gone to college in Michigan and Indiana and got my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Louisville. My first professor gigs were in Ada, Oklahoma and Chattanooga, Tennessee. I started teaching at WKU in 2003, and directing the Writing Center has been part of my job from the start. I also teach various writing classes, including English 100, writing in the disciplines, argument & analysis, and advanced composition.

For fun, I like to study how people write (now and in the past), collect typewriters, read (especially mysteries about books or old manuscripts), travel to beautiful natural places and historic sites, and bake.

My advice to students is that writing is challenging—at least writing in a way that gets your point across well and is engaging for your reader—so mustering the motivation to write can be tough, even for English teachers! To write well, you have to understand your own psychology as a writer: what makes you not want to write, what can you do to change that attitude, what makes your writing environment less distracting, what makes it more enjoyable and more conducive to focus? If you can answer these big questions about yourself, you’re on the way to becoming a better writer and enjoying the journey. Writing is usually not easy, but it can be fun and rewarding. WKU Writing Center tutors can talk with you about what works for them as writers and help you start to understand yourself better. Yes, we want to help you write better papers, but we also want to help you understand yourself better as a writer and the many things you can do to improve how you write, where you write, when you write, how often you write, and how well you like to write. All that will help you improve what you write.

-Dr. Fife

Grammar blogs you should be following

If you write anything (even if you think you don’t write, you do) or say anything, no matter the medium or situation, expressing your point and clearly communicating with your audience is important. Good grammar is an essential tool in doing so; grammar provides the rules that make what we say and write make sense. If you want to be a better reader, writer, speaker, listener, and communicator, here are the grammar blogs you should be following: Continue reading “Grammar blogs you should be following”