It’s finals season at Bowdoin, and for most students this time of the semester not only brings exams and projects, but also papers. This year, Bowdoin’s Center for Learning and Teaching joined 80 other schools across the globe to organize a “Write-In” to help students wherever they are in the writing process.
During the three-hour event Sunday evening, students were encouraged to work on their papers and use the resources provided by the center’s writing assistants and reference librarians. Director of the Writing Project Kathleen O’Connor said the event was designed to “give people motivation to set aside three hours to work along with other people who are going through the same thing…They can write and make progress on a paper, and if they have a question there’s someone here they can address it to.” It would also hopefully push students through writers’ block and procrastination problems.
Shea Christina ’18, one of several writing assistants at the Write-In, said that the event last year was offered as a 10-hour drop-in session. This year, students who signed up were asked to commit to writing for the whole three hours.
O’Connor implemented a raffle every hour to incentivize students to stay and work on their papers for the duration. Students won stationary supplies, coloring books, chocolate and style handbooks.
While writing assistants were available to address any issues students ran into with their essays, Carmen Greenlee, Bowdoin’s humanities and media librarian, was also present to help with citation questions. “I’m here to remind students that research is part of the writing process, and that librarians are available to help them at all different stages of that process,” she said.
Students from all class years participated in the Write-in. Sophie al Mutawaly ’19 said she came because she was uncertain how to approach her paper for her first-year seminar. Following the event, she said has a clearer picture of how to write her paper on the depiction of Syrian refugees in American and German news media. Calvin Henry ’16 spent the three hours working on a final paper for his seminar in social psychology. “I came here as a way of forcing myself to look at what I’ve worked on so far, and implement the edits from my writing project conference,” said Henry. “It’s been really helpful,” he added.