Max Lichtenstein

  • Peer Tutor

Max is a senior from Miami, Florida studying political studies, American culture studies, and psychology. On campus, he is a features editor for the Washington University Political Review, a member of Phi Delta Phi pre-law fraternity, a DJ at KWUR 90.3 FM, and writes for WUnderground, WUSTL’s premier (only) satirical newspaper. He likes listening to music, over-analyzing movies, and trying (and failing) to make his friends laugh.

What brought you to The Writing Center?

In my experiences with writing, I have found that it can be intimidating to approach a teacher or professor for help or questions. A fear of sounding stupid, a lack of concrete questions, or the shame of having procrastinated have all stopped me of walking through a professor’s door. Oftentimes, talking through my paper with a friend has provided an important step in overcoming this hesitation, creating a more laid-back environment to develop ideas before consulting the person deciding my grade. I hoped that as a peer tutor at The Writing Center, I could provide a similar space for Wash U students through a widely accessible system.

What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?

I love the brainstorming sessions. Seeing a student develop an idea is an incredibly exciting experience, especially when they come in claiming they have absolutely no idea where to start. The students that say this usually dominate the conversation, and it’s great to see them realize how many ideas they actually had as I just nod my head.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Starting! I don’t usually consider myself a particularly terrible procrastinator, but it can be hard not to wait around for an epiphany that will never come rather than taking initiative.

What advice do you have for writers?

Think of every sentence as introducing a new idea. Spending a lot of time on a single point is okay, but writing should be dynamic, constantly developing that single point. This will keep your writing both thorough and concise, as well as entertaining.