Surveying the Field: How Do (and Should) Writing Centers Market and Design

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Margaret Strain


This thesis seeks to fill gaps in literature within writing center scholarship where marketing and design are concerned. I discovered these gaps in literature upon attempting to design marketing materials for the University of Dayton's writing center, the Write Place. In response, I conducted two surveys: (1) a three-part, anonymous marketing and design survey toward writing center professionals to ascertain their current marketing and design practices, as well as (2) an anonymous, session-based survey toward Write Place consultants to ascertain the topics they discussed with patrons for future materials. The writing center marketing and design survey collected 118 responses, which revealed a number of trends and tensions within the field's marketing and design practices. Furthermore, the institutional research of Write Place consultants brought into question how much impact writing center sessions themselves have on writing center perception. Overall, the data indicates a lack of marketing and design expertise and guidance within the writing center field. Therefore, this thesis includes a marketing step-by-step procedure and branding checklist, aiming to consider the trends and tensions present within the writing center field at-large while attending to the unique circumstances of individual writing centers. I applied the procedure and checklist when designing marketing materials for the Write Place, though the effectiveness of those materials is beyond the scope of this project. Ultimately, more research is needed to uncover the marketing and design practices of the writing center field at-large so individual writing centers will be better equipped to market and design within their unique, local contexts.


Rhetoric, Marketing, Management, Library Science, Higher Education, Higher Education Administration, Design, Communication, writing center, writing center study, writing center management, marketing, design, rhetoric, remedial stigma

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