English faculty

Thomas Truesdell, Ph.D.

Director, Academic Support
Coordinator, Writing Across the Curriculum
Lecturer in English

Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
M.A., DePaul University
B.A., Northwestern College

VPH 127


Tom Truesdell currently directs the Peer Learning Center at Northwestern and teaches in the English department. Before returning to his alma mater, he served as a writing center specialist at the College of Lake County (IL) and a graduate assistant in the DePaul University Writing Centers. His research addresses both writing center and composition theory, although he is interested in almost anything that deals with writing, language, and literacy. Tom received his Master's degree in Writing Theory and Pedagogy from DePaul University and a Ph.D. in Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


  • Responding to Writing

    Responding to Writing

    (2 credits) This course will enable students to develop a theorized practice for responding to writing. Students will study methods of response, conferencing strategies, approaches to revision, English as a Second Language (ESL), interpersonal dynamics, and the ethics of text intervention. As a course requirement, students must satisfy a practicum commitment by working a minimum of one hour per week (for pay) in the Writing Center. Prerequisite: recommendation of a writing instructor.
  • First-Year Seminar: Speaking and Writing in Community

    First-Year Seminar: Speaking and Writing in Community

Publications and presentations

  • “The Communally Focused Writing Center.” The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning. (Forthcoming).
  • “Social Justice, Language, and the Christian Liberal Arts: Why School Isn’t Always Fair.” Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought (August/September 2010): 10-13.
  • “Problems with Bruffee: Post-Process Theory and Writing Center Opposition.” Praxis: A Writing Center Journal 5.2 (Spring 2008).
  • “Not Choosing Sides: Using Directive and Non-Directive Methodology in a Writing Session.” Writing Lab Newsletter 31.6 (February 2007): 7-11.
  • “Don’t Forget Us: The Impact of Director Presence on Tutors.” Writing Lab Newsletter. 29.3 (November 2004): 1-3.
  • ESL Writers: A Guide For Writing Center Tutors (2nd Ed.). Shanti Bruce and Ben Rafoth, Eds. English for Specific Purposes Journal. August 2010. Book Review.
  • “Peer Tutor to WC Administrator: Using Peer Tutoring Experience in Writing Center Administration.” NCPTW, November 2012, Chicago, IL.
  • “Now What? Using Your Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Degree.” DePaul University, May 25, 2011, Chicago, IL.
  • “English is Not My First Language Either: Starting an EFL Writing Center in Taiwan. IWCA-NCPTW Joint Conference, November 2010, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • “Opportunities for Writing Centers in Taiwan.” National Cheng-Chi University, December 10, 2008, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • “Not in the Classroom: A Discussion of Writing Center History, Theory, and Administration.” National Chengua University, December 9, 2008, Chengua, Taiwan.

Professional experience

  • Director, Academic Support, Northwestern College
  • Coordinator, Writing Across-the-Curriculum, Northwestern College
  • English Instructor, Northwestern College
  • Writing Center Specialist, College of Lake County (IL)
  • Writing Center Coordinator, DePaul University
  • Freelance Writer-Editor, Harvard and Northwestern Universities
  • Staff Writer, N'West Iowa Review, Okoboji Magazine, and Discover Magazine


  • International Writing Centers Association
  • Midwest Writing Centers Association
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • National Council of Teachers of English


  • Distinguished Graduate, DePaul University
  • Graduate Assistantship, DePaul University