The Writing Center seeks qualified consultants who are excellent writers and have good person-to-person skills. They also need to be currently enrolled as graduate students at USC.
Consulting. Consultants typically work one-on-one with students for 30-minute sessions. What consultants do in that 30 minutes can range from brainstorming to development of ideas to review of a finished draft.
The focus is usually on helping the student to see ways to make a paper's argument stronger. Students sometimes also ask for help with mechanics, grammar, and usage. Especially needed is familiarity with the conventions of business writing. Experience with ESL issues is also a plus.
Workshops. Consultants also give small 50-minute workshops on about a dozen different writing related topics. Materials have been prepared for these workshops, including instructor's guides.
Hours. The positions are part-time up to 12 hours per week through the fall and spring semesters. Hours are flexible. Consultants are expected to work a regular schedule each week, based on their availability and other commitments.
Orientation. For new consultants, there are 2-1/2 days of orientation sessions during the week before fall classes begin.
How to apply. The Writing Center does its hiring during the end of the spring term for the following academic year. If you are interested in applying for a job with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a CV or resume, writing sample, and cover letter explaining why you would be good for the job.
I would strongly recommend working at the Writing Center for graduate students in any discipline who have already had some experience in teaching writing or linguistics. I have found that being a Writing Center consultant has strengthened both my teaching and writing skills. The range of students that we help also means that one is exposed to a wide variety of disciplines and writing styles, from business to science to creative writing. In addition, it is wonderful to be able to help students who sometimes view the entire writing process as mysterious and difficult, and who very often do not even know where to begin with an assignment. It is equally rewarding to work with more experienced writers! Finally, the environment at the Writing Center is highly collaborative, and I count fellow colleagues as close friends.
-Graduate student, Anthropology
Working at the Writing Center has been great. At times, even fabulous! Simply put, working here means the improvement of your teaching skills, and the betterment of your own writing skills.
-Graduate student, Political Science
I really, honestly, truly enjoy working at the Writing Center. Few things in life are more enjoyable than when you know you are helping someone. The students really appreciate your feedback and support. Over the course of the semester, you have the opportunity to work with certain students regularly and help them develop their writing ability. When you can see them getting better from paper to paper, it's very rewarding. I will be studying in Mexico City in the fall, and one of the things at USC that I will miss the most is my job at the Writing Center.
-Graduate student, Business
Beyond monetary compensation (what grad student couldn't use some extra cash?!), the chance to work as a consultant at the Writing Center has been quite rewarding. I've watched with joy as the bulbs lit up in students' heads as they come in for consultations, but as much as I might have helped other writers along the way, I learned more about my own writing and teaching ability than anything. Looking back, I consider it a pleasure.
-Graduate student, International Relations