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Writing Center

About the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center

The ability to speak and write in a clear, organized, and effective way is a central part of the liberal arts education at Hamilton College. To help all Hamilton students strengthen their writing abilities, the College established the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center in 1987. The central focus of the Center's services for students is peer review, provided through the writing conference program.


The Writing Conference

All writers benefit from sharing their work with a reader, and a writing conference allows you to do just that. During a writing conference, a peer writing tutor will read your draft with an objective eye; give you feedback on its strengths and weaknesses; and help you revise the areas which need rewriting. Your writing tutor will examine first the structural features of your draft: thesis, organization, and the development of your argument.  Your tutor also will identify errors in grammar, mechanics and style and work with you to revise these errors.

You are an active partner in the discussion; at no time does the tutor take over authorship of your writing.  At the end of the conference, in accordance with the Hamilton College Honor Code, you fill out an acknowledgement form noting what aspects of the writing you and the writing tutor have discussed.


When to Have a Conference

You are welcome to come in for a conference with any type of writing at any point in the process, from thinking about the topic to polishing a final draft. You may choose to meet with a tutor to:

  • Clarify your ideas
  • Develop a thesis
  • Organize your argument
  • Strengthen specific paragraphs or sentences
  • Revise a paper after grading


More Information 

For details about scheduling a writing conference and a description of a writing conference, see Getting the Most Out of Your Writing Conference.

For more information about the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center at Hamilton College, contact:

Sharon Williams, Director
phone: 315-859-4362
e-mail: swilliam@hamilton.edu