Burton Zhenwei Pu

Burton Zhenwei Pu
  • Senior Tutor

BA in English Language and Literature, Yunnan University, China
MA in English and American Literature, University of Montana
PhD in English and American Literature, Washington University in St. Louis


Dr. Pu came to the U.S. to pursue his graduate study in 1982. His long journey of learning and teaching the English language and literature has endowed him with a unique perspective to see the importance of language and writing. In the past 30 years he has taught various courses ranging from academic writing and literature to the general humanities. Dr. Pu has worked at The Writing Center since its establishment and has been a part of the Washington University community for 30 years.


What brought you to The Writing Center?
My passion for writing and my desire to help build a culture of writing on the campus of Washington University.

What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?
Each day in The Writing Center, writers from different cultures with various educational values encounter, communicate and interact with each other. Writers collaboratively help writers not merely to improve their writing technically but to help them grow to be better writers generally. Being a part of this inspiring process is what I like most.

What do you find most challenging about writing?
Writing touches the core of a writer’s identity and reflects his/her sense of self, world view and relation to the world. When writing, one actually involves him/herself in a painful but inspiring process of self questioning and of defining and articulating an effective way to express his/her ideas clearly and concisely. Not to be overwhelmed by this process is very challenging to me.

What advice do you have for writers?
Writing is a process of thinking; clear thinking leads to clear writing and hence enriches our learning.