Our Philosophy

Writing Center Philosophy


Minimalist tutoring

Open & free environment 

Collaborative learning

The CCNY Writing Center is a free and open place for collaborative learning. The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring that teachers cannot always offer in their courses. We welcome students from the full range of academic subjects taught at CCNY. 

Our overarching tutoring philosophy is rooted in minimalist tutoring, which engages students to work on their college assignments under the supervision of a trained tutor who assumes the role of a writing coach rather than a proofreader/editor. Our goal is to create better writers, which takes time. Tutors employ various techniques, such as asking leading or open-ended questions, to help students self-identify as writers and take ownership of their writing. Furthermore, our approach takes into consideration CCNY students’ various cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Over time, minimalist tutoring lessens students’ dependence upon the tutor and aims to develop independent writers by focusing on students’ engagement in each session.   


Writing Center tutors are trained in mandatory monthly professional development sessions. Most of our tutors either hold advanced academic degrees in various fields, such as English Language and Literature, Philosophy and Science or are graduate and undergraduate students. Under the broader umbrella of minimalist tutoring, tutors are encouraged to develop individual tutoring philosophies. We value having a diversity of tutoring styles in order to accommodate students’ distinct personalities. Our tutors also take into consideration the range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds of CCNY students and work hard to adapt their tutoring to fit students’ different learning styles and learning needs.