MSUM can’t afford to cut the Write Site

BY JESSICA JASPERSON
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Jessica Jasperson

Jessica Jasperson

Students are not magically perfect writers when they step onto a college campus. In fact, students frequently have challenges when writing college essays compared to their less challenging writing expectations in high school.

The English classes students are required to take freshman year can help with this gap of knowledge, but the Write Site can help throughout an entire college career.

Some professors also have an expectation of college students who write essays; an expectation that they will not need to teach how to write well. If the Write Site closes, qualified writing tutors will not be available to help students.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this free service on campus, the Write Site provides a trained staff of tutors who help students during any stage of writing.

In order to work at the Write Site the director, Michael McCord, needs to approve the student after completing tutoring writing (ENGL 395). I’ve been a tutor at the Write Site since September 2012, and I’ve worked one-to-one with dozens of students to help them become better writers.

Different from what you may hear regularly during tour groups, we do not take your paper and “correct” it for you. We do not simply proofread papers for grammar and spelling, it is not our job to bump your grade up from a C to an A, and we cannot get fired for not helping you get a better grade.

The Write Site mission is, “To assist students in improving their writing proficiency and independence during the various stages of their writing assignments. To provide a supportive environment where writers and readers work efficiently one-to-one. To train writing tutors to become effective readers of and responders to texts from various disciplines.”

The Write Site provides what our mission statement describes and more.

After working with students, tutors begin to build relationships and trust between the tutor and the client. International students and English as a second language students benefit from working with one tutor usually throughout the semester.

An array of students visit the Write Site daily, including students whose first language is not English. The Write Site has been extremely helpful in aiding these students, not only with writing but with speaking English. To be able to speak to a person face-to-face is not taken for granted by these students who are learning to speak and write a second language.

Tutors help students in any step of their writing. Whether the appointment is used for outlining, brainstorming about a topic,  using correct MLA formatting or revising a rough draft we are there.

Many people think the most important aspect of writing is grammar, but the content and whether it meets the assignment requirements is important for another set of eyes to read over and to get feedback.

This academic year has been extremely busy. Almost all appointment slots were booked, which illustrates the need for the Write Site to remain a resource for students.

Professors from all majors across campus rely on the Write Site as an aid for students to become better writers. The reality is professors can hand out all the writing assignments they want, but there is not enough time for the professor to sit down with every student to improve their writing skills.

If writing tutors are not available for students, professors will see a decrease of writing improvement, not only in English courses but across all curriculum.

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