Waseda University Academic Writing Program, one of the five basic education areas offered by GEC, has two pillars. One is the writing center and the other is the “Academic Composition” course for first year students. The Writing Center is a support organization outside regular class. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members in the university are free to use the center. Writers can come for individual discussion about their papers or ideas with tutors who have undergone a specialized training on academic writing. We support all kinds of academic writing in Japanese or English such as writing class assignments, term papers, dissertations, journal articles, applications to study abroad, research plans and so on. Writers can choose to discuss their work in several languages such as English, Japanese, etc. We also hold writing consultations at the Nishiwaseda Campus and Tokorozawa Campus twice a week.
The “Academic Composition” course is a regular course designed to teach fundamental skills in academic writing, primarily for first year undergraduate students. The course is conducted online for 8 weeks, within which students write and submit a short paper every week. Students receive individual feedback weekly from trained instructors. The course is open three times a year. Currently, some departments offer this class as a compulsory subject.
In both practices, the Waseda Academic Writing Program aims to nurture “independent writers”. Tutors and instructors do not edit or proofread but rather, through discussions, they convey their impressions on the paper as a reader, provide viewpoints about the issues of the writing and share possible ways of improvement so that the writer can develop the writing by oneself.
There are approximately 30 tutors and 60 to 70 instructors, who are graduate students from various graduate schools in the university, working every semester. Through rigorous training, these tutors and instructors become specialists in writing guidance in addition to their specialization in their own respective fields upon graduation.