Skip to Content

The Writing Center

Dr. Deborah Balzhiser, Director
ASBN - 1st Floor

TUTORING: The Writing Center provides 25- and 55-minute one-on-one writing consultations, working with writers to develop long-term writing skills and productive, ethical writing habits. The Writing Center’s trained tutors assist students at any level of study, in any discipline, and with any type of writing—essays, research papers, job search materials, graduate school applications, and more. The Writing Center sees staff and faculty, too, when there is availability. In Fall 2014, graduate students filled 24% of the appointments, and during the 2014-2015 academic year, the Writing Center worked with writers from over 100 different majors. 

WEBSITE: A visit to the Writing Center’s web site provides access to handouts and an interactive on-line grammar/spelling/punctuation exam, as well as information on current Writing Center staff and hours of operation.

WORKSHOPS: Every semester the Writing Center hosts workshops aimed at helping writers improve. Workshops address general writing topics, such as writing according to certain style guides (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.), tone, audience, and how to write at the college level. The Writing Center also provides workshops to help students prepare for the PUG exam. Additionally, faculty may request that a Writing Center tutor conduct specific workshops in their classrooms.

TOURS: Faculty members can arrange a class tour, where their students visit the Writing Center to learn about its services, what to expect in tutoring sessions, the confidentiality policy, and why using the Writing Center matters. Students are more likely to make a tutoring appointment after a tour. This is important because a study at Texas State University in 2013 found that students who use the Writing Center are 4% more likely to be retained by the institution.

CUSTOMIZED WORKSHOPS/LECTURES: Faculty may also request customized workshops/lectures. With small classes, the Writing Center staff can lead drafting and revising workshops.

LIBRARY RESOURCES: The Writing Center library houses hundreds of texts covering all aspects of the writing process, including a special collection of writing-across-
the-curriculum references books. Students and faculty may check out non-reference materials.

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Faculty interested in informing their students of the Writing Center’s services may request the following:

  • a classroom visit
  • a Writing Center tour
  • promotional materials (pens, pencils, brochures, bookmarks)
  • customized workshops/lectures

COMPUTER LAB: In ASBN 1st Floor, the Writing Center provides ten computers for student use.

Please let us know how we may further serve you and your students.

Director : Dr. Deb Balzhiser

Back to top


Each semester, the Writing Center offers a variety of workshops intended to provide Texas State University students with additional writing instruction. Writing Center counselors are available to present these workshops to classes. Contact the Writing Center at 245-3018 for arrangements.

After the Thesis Statement: Many writers succeed with thesis statements to then discover they do not know how to organize or close the paper once they reach a final draft stage. This class offers practical techniques for polishing essays.

Beyond the Five Paragraph Essay: So many first-year students have learned the myth of “five paragraphs a paper make.” In this workshop, the participants become the teacher/grader and edit a five paragraph paper together in order to learn how to expand and correctly write an essay that moves beyond the five-paragraph theme.

Close Reading Techniques: This brief overview of approaches to texts is designed to create additional perspectives for writers to consider as they read class assignments and draft essays.

Developing a Strong Thesis: In this workshop, participants learn how to construct strong thesis statements. We will also demonstrate how having strong theses facilitates the drafting process. All participants will bring one thesis statement to work on during the workshop.

Grammar and Mechanics: So many students arrive in an English class only to discover their limitations in grammar and mechanics. Where else can they learn these skills? The Writing Center gives them these basics and shows them continuing resources for self improvement.

How to Read a Poem: This four letter word terrorizes students who feel inadequate, inept or otherwise clueless reading, discussing, and writing about poetry. The workshop instructor will address these concerns and suggest approaches for students to study poetry. Hopefully participants will discover that they enjoy reading poetry beyond class requirements.

How to Read a Short Story: Similarly, this workshop teaches the participants the basic approaches to reading and appreciating this fiction form.

Preparing for the Essay Exams: Although most students fear essay exams, in this workshop we stress that with preparation they can change essay exams from exercises in terror into an opportunity to show their professor how much they've learned.

Producing Effective Personal Statements: When applying to graduate school, many students dread writing the personal statements they must compose as part of the application process. In this workshop, participants will read and evaluate a variety of personal statements before they workshop their own personal statements.

Quotations, Citations, and Plagiarism : The ins and outs of this frustrating but essential writing skill and concern are taught in this workshop, plus a discussion of how to incorporate these supporting facts with the writer’s own ideas.

Researching the Web: As with dating, when using the Internet it pays to be selective. This course shows participants how to evaluate web sites, cite Internet sources, and make the most of the online sources available through the Texas State Alkek Library web site.

Writing with Style: In this workshop, students will learn how to make their papers clear, direct, and interesting by beefing up their writing style.


The Writing Center staff looks forward to seeing you, and we invite your feedback. 

Dr. Deb Balzhiser, Director

Keri Fitzgerald, Assistant Director

The Writing Center Staff

Back to top