The idea of setting up a writing center at Middle East Technical University was several years old before it was finally materialized. With the support of the President of the University, the decision was made, and preparations were initiated. In the summer of 1999, the Chairperson of the Department of Modern Languages (MLD), who also became the first advisor to the center, went to the University of Delaware to do research and enhance her knowledge on writing centers. Upon her return, preliminary research continued. A survey was conducted for needs analysis, and seminars and workshops were held to train prospective tutors.
In December 2000, the Director of the School of Foreign Languages sent out an announcement to MLD and Department of Basic English (DBE) explaining the purpose behind this endeavor. As explained in this announcement, METU, like other reputable universities around the world, needed a writing center to help faculty members and graduate students write academic papers and guide them throughout the process of research and in accordance with international standards. Finally, after more than one and a half years of preparation, on March 19, 2001, the School of Foreign Languages Academic Writing Center opened its doors and started providing service to the academic writers of METU. Today, AWC continues to provide tutoring service with two full-time coordinators and experienced instructors from the DBE and MLD.