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About

The Center fOr Writing and Speaking (COWS) is committed to developing Whitman students' writing and speaking skills. The COWS employs trained student tutors who provide one-on-one consultation in academic writing and speaking to all Whitman students. The COWS also hosts events to improve Whitman students' communication competence. The center is located in Olin 191.

Writing Tutoring Appointments

Book now to guarantee an hour-long appointment.

Appointment Hours          
Monday
3pm-4pm, 6pm-11pm
Tuesday
3pm-4pm, 6pm-11pm
Wednesday
3pm-4pm, 6pm-11pm
Thursday
3pm-4pm, 6pm-11pm
Friday
3pm-5pm
Saturday
None
Sunday
2pm-5pm, 6pm-11pm

We also invite you to visit during our walk-in hours.

Walk-In Hours               
Monday
7pm-11pm
Tuesday
7pm-11pm
Wednesday
7pm-11pm
Thursday
7pm-11pm
Friday
None
Saturday
None
Sunday
3pm-5pm, 6pm-11pm

You are welcome to visit the COWS at any stage in your composition process. Please bring all materials related to your assignment including notes, drafts and professor comments. We prefer hard copies of your work. At the COWS, we are not proofreaders. Instead, expect us to help you hone your ideas, discuss your organization, and identify areas for development. 

Speaking Tutoring Appointments

Our Speaking Tutor, Forrest, is available by appointment Monday 9pm-11pm, Thursday 8pm-10pm, and Sunday 9pm-10pm. Forrest has equipment to record and film your speeches.

Open Writing Hours

In addition to tutoring, the COWS also offers a quiet and focused atmosphere for writing with access to computers, a printer, and writing resources.

Open Writing Hours for Students
Monday
4pm-6pm
Tuesday
4pm-6pm
Wednesday
4pm-6pm
Thursday
4pm-6pm
Friday
None
Saturday
None
Sunday
10am-2pm
Open Writing Hours for Faculty
Monday
None
Tuesday
9am-12pm
Wednesday
9am-12pm
Thursday
None
Friday
1pm-3pm
Saturday
None
Sunday
None

Senior Thesis Support 

Thesis Appointments

The COWS offers thesis-specific appointments. The students who tutor these appointments, Ari, Jesse, and Forrest, have all completed senior theses in rhetoric studies. Thesis appointments are available Monday, 7pm-9pm with Ari, Wednesday, 8pm-10pm with Jesse, and Sunday, 7pm-9pm with Forrest. Please email our senior thesis tutors to arrange a single appointment or a recurring appointment series.  

Thesis Boot camps

Thesis boot camps provide quiet, structured time for students to work on theses. They take place from 11am to 4pm on Sundays, one to three times a semester. Lunch and snacks are provided. Please see the Events page for the current boot camp schedule. 

Copyediting Policy

The mission of the COWS is educational: we support students in their growth as writers and speakers. As such, copyediting is beyond our purview. If you would like copyediting for your senior thesis, you are welcome to contact Assistant Director Allie Donahue or a tutor to hire privately. 

Whitman Writers' Group

The Whitman Writers' Group encourages Whitman students' creative composition. We invite essayists, journalists, poets, memoirists, lyricists, playwrights, novelists, and other creative thinkers to join us for focused writing sessions with optional peer feedback. The Whitman Writers' Group meets in the COWS on Sundays from 4pm to 5pm. 

Stay in touch!

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Work for the COWS

Students are required to take COMP 310: The Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing, taught by Professor Lydia McDermott, as a prerequisite to working in the COWS. The course introduces major theories in peer-tutoring, debates concerning the teaching of writing, and practical tutoring techniques. 

Once students have completed the course, they may fill out an application to work as a tutor. 

If you have questions, please email COWS Director, Professor Lydia McDermott.

You may also apply for the position of Assistant Director of the Center for Writing and Speaking. This position requires a bachelor's degree.