Director's Bulletin: The Writing Center By The Numbers -->

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Director's Bulletin: The Writing Center By The Numbers

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Back in 2013, we published a short, by-the-numbers look at our writing center. We were a much different unit back then (we had a staff headcount of 29, not the 46 we have today), and the purpose of that post was to let our readers know that they were not alone in seeking writing support. We wanted to show that The Walden Writing Center was a not a refuge for the compositionally inept or a leper colony for the grammatically impaired (stigmas sometimes associated with writing centers), but rather a place that is designed to be as much a part of your university experience as completing coursework, talking with your professor, or nervously checking your grades after an assignment is due.

With a sizable increase in staff headcount late last year, I thought it’d be fun to revisit our stats, see how much our reach has grown, and reemphasize with our readers that your interest in writing support does not make you an outlier, but rather a member of a pretty big (and still growing!) community.

A series of numeric keys in the background with the title text overlaid.

And now for some 2016 stats with some accompanying numbers for context:

  • When we close out the year, our Writing Instructor Team will have conducted almost 11,000 paper reviews. Assuming each essay submitted was at least 6 pages long, that team will have read roughly 66,000 pages of student work or roughly 16.5 million words, meaning that our instructor team has read the equivalent of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings over 35 times in the last 12 months!

If there’s one thing I hope this somewhat silly exercise has shown, it’s that if you have sought out our support in 2016, you’re not alone. Regardless of what services you’ve used, your peers at Walden, although you may not see them, are there with you, by the plane-full, the city-full, the country-full, engaged in this perfectly ordinary university experience of using the Writing Center.

If you haven’t used our services before, well, what’s stopping you?


Brian Timmerman
 is the Director of the Walden University Writing Center. His skill sets include, among other things, leadership and googling statistics for comparative purposes. 

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