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The RISD Writing Center—it’s not just for writing anymore

27 Aug

Welcome — and welcome back — to campus, everyone. We’ve spent the summer preparing a year full of new features, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

As always, the RISD Writing Center offers free, hour-long tutoring sessions to support developing an effective writing process. We work with all kinds of RISD writers (strong, struggling, and in between), all kinds of writing (academic, professional, personal), and at all stages of the writing process (from brainstorming to drafting to revision).

Here’s the BIG NEWS: this year, the Writing Center will begin offering tutoring support and workshops in two new areas:

Public Speaking (in class presentations, class discussions, critique …)

  • using your body in space
  • projecting your voice
  • focusing content
  • using narrative structures
  • engaging the audience

Visual Communication (in printed matter, presentation visuals, websites …)

  • establishing aesthetic or tone
  • choosing and setting type
  • designing on a grid
  • creating image strategies
  • selecting and applying color

If you’re looking for guidance on your public speaking or visual communication, make an appointment with a tutor with a “PS” or “VC” next to their name on our online schedule. These tutors are specially trained to support you in everything from basic principles to subtle refinement.

Feel free to write, call, or stop by to learn about these services and all our resources. See you around the Writing Center!


A Look Back, A Leap Forward

9 Jun

What a wonderful year it has been for the RISD Writing Center. We’ve taken on new ventures and participated in engaging events, from public speaking workshops and Grad Thesis Writing Retreats to a full day of exploring ekphrasis and our series of Readings in the Writing Center. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with faculty, staff, students, and guests, and we want to thank everyone who could be part of it.

Now that it’s summer, we’re looking ahead to 2014-15, and we’ve got plenty in store: we’ll be continuing our support for the RISD writing community and continuing to build on some of this year’s new endeavors, but we’re also expanding in exciting new ways. Here’s a sneak peek at what we’re planning and what we’re reading.

Summer Reading

This summer, we’ll be considering new perspectives for tutors, especially in terms of collaborative learning and social justice. These readings will help us train tutors as leaders and as allies, both in the work they already do and in new approaches:

  • Augusto Boal’s Games for Actors and Non-Actors
  • bell hooks’s Teaching to Transgress
  • Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed
  • Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown’s A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change

This coming year, the RISD Writing Center will expand its tutoring to include writing, public speaking, and visual rhetoric for all RISD composers. In preparation for this big step toward multimodal composition, we’re looking at the following books:

  • Sohui Lee and Russell Carpenter’s Routledge Reader on Writing Centers & New Media
  • N. Katherine Hayles’s How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis
  • David M. Sheridan, Jim Ridolfo, and Anthony J. Michel’s The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping a Theory and Pedagogy of Multimodal Public Rhetoric
  • Le Odell and Susan M. Katz’s Writing in a Visual Age
  • Xu Bing’s Book from the Ground
  • Mathieu Borysevicz’s The Book About Xu Bing’s Book from the Ground

As always, we’re keeping in touch with critical conversations around writing, art, and design. These texts are our latest finds on the topic:

  • Noel Carroll’s On Criticism
  • Elizabeth Fisher and Rebecca Fortnum’s On Not Knowing: How Artists Think
  • Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several Short Sentences About Writing

We wish you good summer reading, too, and look forward to seeing you all in the Fall.

Tweet at Us!

3 Jun

The RISD Writing Center has a brand new Twitter account, and we’re eager to join in the conversation around writing in the context of art and design.

Follow @RISDWriting to see the events, news, and writers/artists we’re excited about.

Have something to share? Something to ask? We can’t wait to hear from you.

First Tweet


New Year, New Workshops

4 Sep


Welcome — and welcome back — to campus, everyone! The RISD Writing Center is excited to start the 2013-14 academic year. We can’t wait to see both new and familiar faces and to hear what new projects everyone’s working on.

In addition to one-to-one tutoring sessions offered six days a week, we’re also excited to bring you a new series of workshops this year. You’ll find a variety of topics from particular writing tasks (like the Formal Analysis paper and artist’s statement) to common concerns (like research techniques and forming a thesis statement). See what’s happening this Fall in our list of descriptions: click here to download.

You can also check the calendar on our new Workshops page for upcoming events. There, you can easily find what fits your schedule and even add reminders to your own Google calendar.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Best of luck for the new semester!

Click on the Clock!

27 Nov

Did you know that we have a wait list?

The final weeks of the term are always busy here at the Writing Center.  This makes it difficult to get an appointment within the next week, but remember that our fabulous wait list feature can help.

If you are looking for an appointment on a day that is currently full, click on the clock icon next to the date.

A window will appear and guide you through a quick and easy process. Once you have added yourself to the wait list, the schedule will send you an email any time a student cancels an appointment, so you can then log on and make an appointment for yourself.

We understand that schedules can change and emergencies come up.  This wait list feature helps everyone make the best of those situations.  Please continue to respect each others’ time through responsible use of our online schedule: only make appointments you plan to keep or cancel a few days ahead of time.

The Grad Thesis Books Are In!

10 Jun

Visiting the graduate thesis show at the Convention Center is one way to witness the cumulative intelligence and rigor of RISD’s graduate students. Another is to behold the stacks of fresh-from-the-presses graduate written theses, pictured here in the Graduate Studies office, where they gather for a read by Dean Patricia Phillips before migrating to the Fleet Library’s shelves for all to see.

These beautifully bound, illustrated, researched, and articulated documents are a testament to the depth of the graduate experience at RISD, and are quite often integral to the thesis work itself, conceptually and even literally. A good many grads this year included their written thesis in the graduate exhibition, and the Graphic Design grads produced a takeaway “catalogue of the show, which is also the show.”

Congratulations, grads, on your keen expressions of your work and ideas in text and image.

And congratulations, Anne West, on your new book—Mapping the Intelligence of Artistic Work—just out from Moth Press and luminous proof of your many years of generous, generative, irrepressible, and inimitable grad written thesis teaching at RISD.

Here We Go!

27 May

The RISD Writing Center began this academic year with a new brochure. Designed by Max Ackerman (BFA GD ’11), it features on its cover an installation by Jason Huff (MFA DM ’11) that inspired us because it embodies one of our core beliefs—that writing can be a generative force in the making of art and design. (Jason turned his studio into a black box and spent two days and nights in it fasting. On the first day he cleared his thoughts through meditation; on the second day he wrote five hundred descriptions of “every piece I may make someday.” A bell rang approximately every three minutes to keep things on track.)

This brochure, which is full of quotes from RISD students about what writing means to them, text-based student art, and an overview of how writing is practiced at RISD in and out of the curriculum, suggested that the Writing Center just needed a blog. Today, almost a year later, thanks to technical support from Erica Morse (BFA GD ’12 and editor of the amazing All-Nighter), we finally launch that blog.

Stay tuned for posts on all sorts of art + design + writing events, news, workshops, happenings, and more.

Left: Jason Huff, Black Box, 2010
Right: RISD Writing Center Brochure, designed by Max Ackerman