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.

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps has tutored in the Writing Center since August 2015. Like many of the tutors you’ll visit here, Rachel is a senior at WKU studying literature; unlike many, however, Rachel has a unique feature–her eyes are two different colors. This often becomes an interesting topic when Rachel realizes students are gazing into her eyes with perplexed expressions.

Along with literature, Rachel is studying professional writing and hopes to attend the University of Kentucky next year to get her Master’s with Initial Certification in Secondary English Education and become a high school English teacher. Rachel is a natural teacher and especially loves helping students brainstorm ideas for papers. Her expertise includes–but is not limited to–MLA format, science writing, and writing for education and literature classes.

When not tutoring or doing homework, Rachel is involved in her sorority, Delta Zeta, writes for the Talisman, and volunteers with the high school ministry at Living Hope Baptist Church.

Interested in setting up an appointment with Lydia or Rachel? Visit the Writing Center today or set up an appointment online. We’re open from 9 AM to 4 PM in 123 Cherry Hall and 4 PM to 9 PM in the Academic Commons in Cravens, Monday through Thursday (9 AM to 3 PM in 123 Cherry Hall on Fridays).


Meet the Tutors: Emily D. & Marcee

Emily Diehl

Emily Diehl grew up outside of Nashville on a small farm where she was homeschooled and learned to love gardening, cooking, fiber arts, and the environment. While studying English and Creative Writing at Trevecca Nazarene University, Emily also took classes on Environmental Justice and volunteered on the campus farm.

Emily is a first year MFA student with a focus on fiction. Though she tutored during her undergrad, this is her first semester tutoring in the WKU Writing Center. She enjoys encouraging students and giving them room to process their thoughts in a safe, judgement-free environment. Her desire is to help students articulate their ideas—both creatively and coherently—and enjoy the process of writing. She is versed in both MLA and APA and has helped many students with dissertations as well as online appointments.

Her favorite authors include Wendell Berry, Jhumpa Lahiri, Marilynne Robinson, C.S. Lewis, and Victor Hugo.

She dreams of owning a small farm where she can homeschool her future children, teach writing to kids from the community, and write novels that do justice to her literary predecessors.

Marcee Wardell

Marcee is a first-year student in the Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program with a concentration in fiction. She began working in the WKU Writing Center this August as part of her graduate assistantship, and has knowledge of MLA and Chicago styles, as well as creative works.  In tutoring, Marcee enjoys seeing students come to epiphanies and realizations about what they’re working on, especially when they’re passionate or excited about what they’re writing.

Marcee hopes to publish fiction and nonfiction as a career, but knows that most professional writers still need day jobs; to that end, she hopes to work as an acquisitions editor after completing her MFA. Marcee originally hails from a small town on the east side of Michigan, and is definitely not acclimated to Bowling Green’s heat and humidity. When she’s not in class, in the Writing Center, or walking up the hill—it’s a long walk—you can find her attending informal workshops, reading a book, or reading at open mic events… maybe even one on Thursday:

Interested in setting up an appointment with Emily or Marcee? Visit the Writing Center today or set up an appointment online. We’re open from 9 AM to 4 PM in 123 Cherry Hall and 4 PM to 9 PM in the Academic Commons in Cravens, Monday through Thursday (9 AM to 3 PM in 123 Cherry Hall on Fridays).

A Post a Day….

The WKU Writing Center is back and we’re anxious to get started!  We want to get you writing and thinking about writing so every day of the week, we will be posting different writing prompts and quotes.  On our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, we will be posting these daily quotes and prompts meant to get you thinking critically.  Each day has a specific theme and will be featured with an image.  Be sure to follow us so you can write and think right along with us!  The following is how each day is categorized:

Monday Motivation

For this one, we will be posting writing and study advice.  This advice is meant to help you when you aren’t sure where to go next with your writing and studying habits.

Typewriter Tuesday

We will be traveling around with Dr. Fife’s typewriters to take photos all over campus.  These photos will feature a writing quote meant to get you thinking about writing and the process of writing in general.

Write Something Wednesday

We will be posting an image with a specific writing prompt.  The prompt may be creative, analytical, formal, or other genre of writing.  Write something really good? Send it us in a message at  and it may be featured on our blog!  Be sure your name, writing prompt, and email are attached to the piece so we can contact you for further information.

Thursday Thought

On this one, the image will feature a literary quote meant to get you thinking critically and allows you to think about writing and literature and how the two are related.  These quotes are meant to be thought provoking while also introducing you to different literary works.

Free Write Friday

We’ll post a general or thematic writing prompt.  All you have to do is write! The goal of Free Writing is to allow your pen to flow freely from one thought to another as you write on the page.  These pieces are generally creative, but take your own spin on these ones.  Write something really good? Send it to us in a message at and it may be featured on our blog! Be sure your name, writing prompt, and email are attached to the piece so we can contact you for further information.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so you can receive each daily update and take a chance on writing! Writing every day improves your writing skills; it’s like any craft…you have to practice to get better.  So what are you waiting for? Let’s write!

The WKU Writing Center

Welcome back, WKU!

Welcome back, students and faculty alike! The WKU Writing Center is revamping our blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Follow us, like us, visit us!!
There’s lots of new stuff coming up from us (Monday Motivation, Typewriter Tuesday, Write Something Wednesday, Thursday Thought, and Free Write Friday…more info coming on these). Don’t be left out!!! Check out our pages and write along with us!

As always, the WKU Writing Center is located in Cherry Hall 123. We’re open Monday thru Thursday from 9-4 and Friday from 9-3. Need help with that essay? Want to work on that paper? Come by and see us. Our tutors are always looking to help!

Happy August,

The WKU Writing Center

Getting started at the end

By Abby Ponder


We’re nearing the end of the semester–or, more accurately, we’re barreling towards it at full speed–and it’s at this time of year that the panic sets in. You have a planner in front of you and a to-do list off to the side, but rather than making you feel organized and coherent, it’s just sending those stress levels skyrocketing because there’s so much to do.

That’s fair.

It’s even worse as a senior.

I am currently preparing to say my farewells to WKU as graduation looms a few mere yards away. Suddenly, I’m looking at an avalanche of things to do to help prepare for the transition from college student to adult in the real world.

It’s a lot–sometimes overwhelming. And, as a result, it might seem easy to let your papers slide and “come back to them later.”

Sure, it’s easy to do that.

But don’t.

This is your time to shine, my friends: to write that stellar final paper and look at how far you’ve come since that early lit review your freshman year. You know the one I’m talking about–the one with more comma splices and missing apostrophes than you care to admit. Furthermore, don’t you want to end your college experience with a paper you’re proud of, your last hoorah?

And you might be thinking that, sure, that all sounds well and good, but it’s so much easier said than done. And, honestly, I’d agree with you. Sometimes its hard to find that motivation when the senioritis kicks in.

my emotions

My advice? Look at the bigger picture. Look at that finish line.

The WKU Writing Center Blog has several pieces of advice that will help you on that journey towards knocking your final papers out of the park, too:

Above all else, though, have confidence in yourself and your writing.

And for all you folks who are graduating, congratulations! Best of luck as you move forward.


Where to write at WKU

By Abby Ponder

We all know that starting a paper is often the most difficult part of writing the paper. In fact, we’ve covered it in great detail on this very blog. At the end of the day, though, we all have our own spaces and places to tell our stories; however, if you’re wanting to stay on campus for your writing days, we’ve got a couple suggestions for you.

Your Dorm (or home)

It seems pretty self-explanatory, but some people write their best work from the comfort of their own room.

There are obvious pros to writing in this location: (1) you’re comfortable, (2) you don’t have to deal with people distracting you from writing, and (3) you’re familiar with the space and everything in it. Let’s be honest, it’s also really convenient–especially when you’ve procrastinated until the night before the paper’s due. Not that you’d ever do such a thing, though, right?

But, at the same time, these pros can sometimes be cons. Being comfortable might mean you’re more easily distracted or tempted to take a nap. Plus, if your roommate or friends from down the hall are hanging out, you’re more liable to be distracted by them than hearing a stranger order a cup of coffee or rant about the latest Scandal episode. Who knows, in your own room you might even watch that Scandal episode yourself.

Really, whether or not your dorm (or home) works well for your writing depends on your personality and your ability to concentrate. Test it out and use your best judgment.


Helm/Cravens Library 

This seems like the most obvious place, of course. It’s quiet. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be quiet. (Cough.) There are seemingly endless floors–nine, nine floors–and endless rows of books and shelves. Some of the shelves even move! The cubbies of desks sprinkled throughout the perimeter of each floor are also especially appealing if you like to be alone with your thoughts. Or you can use the computer lab on the fourth floor in Cravens. There are usually plenty of computers available, and it’s one of the best places to go if you need to concentrate and thrive off people’s judgment to keep you off Facebook.

Plus, if you’re working on your paper between 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., then stop by and see us at our Cravens’ location. We’ll be hanging out at the reference desk.

Ultimately, the library is a wonderful place to write. Generally it’s even my first choice! Unless, of course, it’s final weeks. And then you might have to fight for that spot, buddy.


Starbucks/Einstein’s/Java City

Nothing breeds productive thoughts like the smell of brewing caffeine in the air. For some people (myself wholeheartedly included), a coffee shop is the undisputed best place to write. There’s enough hustle and bustle to stifle the silence, but you can also do your own thing with a nice cup of joe by your side. It’s a great environment! Plus, you can also feel really mature as you sip that latte and type away.

Just keep in mind that if you’re camping out in your fave coffee shop for a few hours at a time, you should actually buy something while you’re there. (This is also especially true for coffee shops off campus.)

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 2.19.03 PM.png

The Colonnade (or anywhere outside, really) 

Now that we’re nearing spring and the weather is warming up, writing a paper outside is an ideal idea-churning location. What better place is there to feel an idea sprout from your pen and see words blossom on your screen? Whether you’ve got a hammock, a blanket, or a spot on the Colonnade steps, you’re guaranteed to be writing in comfort and style.

Fair warning, though, that comfort and style might be a little too distracting.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 2.22.23 PM

Mass Media and Technology Hall 

If you enjoy writing on desktop computers, then MMTH is the place for you.

It’s also the place for you if you need people’s judgment to keep you on task but find the quiet of the library stifling.

Conversely, if noise bothers you, then you might want to reconsider. Either way, though, it’s an excellent place to print that paper off before class. And if you’re not already using WebPrint from your laptop, now is the perfect time to start…


So, where are your favorite places to write? Share in the comments below! And good luck as you move forward with those papers, my friends. Don’t forget that the WKU Writing Center is here to help you with the paper writing process. Give us a call at (270) 745-5719 to set up an appointment today.


Your Paper’s Roadmap

by Abby Ponder

If you’ve ever taken any English class ever–or if you’ve written a paper in general, really–then you’ve probably heard of thesis statements. In fact, you’ve probably used them. Several times. And perhaps you’ve felt a sense of dread building in your stomach upon seeing those words in crisp, clean ink at the top of an assignment. The butterflies are a-fluttering and the tummy is a-rumbling.

Trepidation when it comes to thesis statements is not an unusual phenomenon.

This uneasiness stems from somewhere, certainly, but sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on why thesis statements cause all the organized thoughts in your head to fly out the window.

For some people, thesis statements are simply overwhelming. Ideally, according to the Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois, “every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message […] A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also a comment about your position in relation to the topic.”

In laymen’s terms, a thesis statement is the paper’s roadmap. It highlights what the paper is going to be about and informs the reader on how they’re going to get there.

With that in mind, writing the statement seems like a lot of pressure. It’s got to contain a whole lot of information that you, as the writer, might not know yet. And that’s okay!

So, you know what you should do?

You should save it for last.


When you’re writing an essay, it can be really tempting to write in chronological order. It makes sense, after all: it’s a natural progression of thoughts, exposition, and explanation. However, just because you write the bulk of your paper in chronological order, it doesn’t mean you can’t write the introduction last.

See, sometimes as you write your ideas change. Though you may have started in a structured, “I’m going to talk about this, this, and this,” mind frame, your ideas can evolve the more you put words on paper. Wait until the paper’s finished, examine the main ideas you address, and then construct your thesis.

It helps tremendously–I promise.

However, if you like a little bit more structure before you start writing, the value of an outline in indisputable. If you use an outline, the chances are pretty good that it’ll come into play again when you’re writing your actual thesis statement, too.

And, while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to break away from the traditional “3-point thesis.” The content of the statement is arguably more important than the structure. So, as you write your statement, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it answer the assignment’s primary question? (If there is one.)
  • Do you reference specific points? 
  • Does it answer the “so what?” question? (i.e., if I’m reading your paper with absolutely no context, am I going to understand why this paper is important?)
  • Does it, ultimately, say something? Sometimes writers get caught in a trap of wandering in circles, using words without really ever saying something. Your thesis doesn’t exist to expand on a word count. Instead, it is there to expand on an idea. Use it to your advantage.

You can even find more questions to ask yourself, along with examples, by visiting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s webpage devoted to the topic.

So, take a deep breath. Writing thesis statements takes practice and, ultimately, confidence. The more faith you have in your statement, the more likely you’ll say something worth saying. Write with your shoulders back and your thinking cap in place.

Good luck.