Secrets of the Writing Center (How to Get Your Piece Edited)

How you can get your essay edited by the Writing Center!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Anjali Karunadasa

The Writing Center: a room so hidden that an article done specifically on the sixth floor (its place of residence) hardly mentions the name twice. Well, the center shall no longer be unknown! The days of confused students wandering around the sixth floor trying to find this elusive area and perplexed sophomores searching the dark web for editors’ emails are over. Today, I will explain how you can get your piece edited at the Writing Center without all the hassle.

The simplest way to reach said center requires the essay you want to be edited, a copy of your lowest graded essay, a bowl, matches, incense, and a few cookies (preferably nut and allergen free). You should also send an email asking for an appointment at the center beforehand as this often yields the best results—editors have been known to send people who haven’t emailed beforehand to the Realm of Words and Grammar, a mind-boggling pocket universe that is nearly impossible to escape from. Our sources say the correct email to send notice to is Once you’ve sent your R.S.V.P. to the center, here’s how to get there.

As you ride up the 4-6 escalator, you must crumple up the copy of your lowest-graded essay and place it into the bowl, setting it on fire with the matches. Next, while chanting “the deans will not see me, the deans will not see me, the deans will not see me,” light the incense with the flames of your burning failure. The smoke from the incense will waft in the direction of the Writing Center, and all you must do now is follow it without getting caught holding a lit fire. Make sure to put it out when you are done. Safety first! If you do get caught, you may face up to a week of lunch suspension and a fine of one phone for the day. To avoid this punishment, we recommend purchasing an invisibility cloak so you can sneak out during lunch.

You will know you have reached the Writing Center when you walk into a small, musty room and the incense suddenly (and dramatically) goes out. Take a look around this strange place and contemplate its past. The antique murals on the wall—including renderings of pencils, paperclips and a cyclops—are bathed in the cold daylight streaming in from the windows on the far side of the room. Empty, off-white chairs are scattered around tear-stained tables, upon which sit huge mugs full of stickers. The sounds of cars and buses from the West Side highway and the screams of tortured students from the class next door can be faintly heard through the walls. The room seems devoid of life, except for the few stray students (and sometimes teachers) typing away.

You will probably look around, confused—where are the actual editors? Know that they are hiding from you; they probably doubt that you truly need their help, so they are content to stay out of sight. You can get their attention by going to the single computer near the window and playing a Rick Roll. An editor robed in Stuyvesant merch and Doc Martens shall appear hovering in front of you in a T-pose and ask you for the password in a serious, monotone voice. It is crucial that you perform the next few steps carefully, and without laughing, or you shall be cast out of the Writing Center for all of eternity and will never ever be able to find it again. There is no actual password—it is a trick question. Instead, hand the editor the cookies (you didn’t forget about the cookies, did you?) with a wink and pull out your essay to be edited. The editor will take the cookies and your essay and disappear back to the Realm of Words and Grammar from whence they have come, reappearing a few seconds later with your edited essay in hand and thousands of comments on it.

As you’ve obviously noticed, the Writing Center doesn’t exactly have the easiest-to-access system. If you screw up even one of the previous instructions, you are very likely to get a different result from your efforts. Because of this, the Writing Center has faced much criticism from confused students over the years, especially after the pandemic. “Why is it so hard to get to the Writing Center? I just want my essay edited, man,” said Richard Roll, a sophomore who had a particularly hard time navigating the center's system. "I did something wrong and somehow ended up in the Realm of Words and Grammar. I'm really more of a math person, so it was super hard to get out. Plus, I think I'm also banned for life and somehow owe them 35 mechanical pencils?" Roll’s story is an example of one of the worst case scenarios.

However, long-time users of the center praise it for its speedy editing and kind editors. One senior, Veronica Funnie, said, “I love how fast the work is done! I blink and suddenly the editor is back with a fully edited piece! I do wonder how they do it, but I guess I should just be glad that I have this resource.” As a plus to getting your work edited well, the editors are also known to give out cute (and totally not cursed) stickers (which totally won’t send the stuff you stick them on to the Realm of Words and Grammar).

Unfortunately, we have no useful information to share if you were wondering how the center’s somewhat unbelievable system works. Reporters from The Spectator Humor Department have repeatedly tried to get an interview with the Grandmaster editor, but their efforts were in vain. Currently, there is an ongoing mission to get an undercover reporter to work as an editor and infiltrate the Writing Center, but none of our reporters have been accepted as of now. Apparently, editing should not include adding jokes to the essay.

So, though the Writing Center is certainly strange, this piece must be ended by saying it is a very useful resource, at least for those of us who know how to use it correctly.