College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in English (MA)


Shelah Simpson


Writing Center, Colombia, Narrative Theory, Reading, Writing, Orality


English Language and Literature | Higher Education | Rhetoric and Composition


Using the results from a study conducted on Colombian writing centers, this thesis applies principles from narrative theory to posit a grand narrative for Colombian writing center professionals. The study was modeled on one Jackie Grutsch McKinney used to examine US writing center professionals’ descriptions of their work, and the thesis includes a comparison with her results. Respondents were asked to answer seven questions, two of which were multiple choice and five of which were short answer. The questions asked respondents to describe their tutoring staff composition, their center’s operations, writing centers in general, and ways their center resembles and differs from other Colombian centers. The study, which involved both quantitative and qualitative analysis, found that Colombian writing centers prioritize reading and orality, in addition to writing, and utilize faculty tutors in a way that US centers generally do not. The responses also displayed a strong community focus in comparison with US writing centers. Based on the data and conclusions from the study, this thesis also suggests some ways US writing centers can learn from Colombian centers to make their work even more effective.