University News

Professors Unite to Up Writing Skills Within Students

Published: September 30, 2014 | Author: Jessica Young | Category: Academics

It all begins in kindergarten. Learning the alphabet then advancing to combining letters into words then words into sentences, which in turn becomes writing. Though writing is a compulsory course of study, some students, according to professors across Southern Utah University, are no longer seeing writing as a necessary skill.

Blaming the degradation of communication, professors like Camille Thomas, assistant professor of human performance; Kyle Bishop, English department chair; and Johnny MacLean, assistant professor of geology; have teamed up with the SUU Writing Center to inform all students, no matter their major, that writing well is obligatory.

Working with some of campus’ most recognized faces, Rebekah Tobler, a junior English major and Writing Center tutor, saw the need for students of all disciplines to visit the Writing Center and began the WRITE campaign to create good writers in all disciplines on campus.

“All students need to know how to write well,” stated Tobler. “Many students, and also professors, are unfamiliar with the help the Writing Center can offer and that no matter what field you are entering, writing will be a part of it. I wanted to change that and help students succeed.”

Seeing the relationships between writing well and top grades, Thomas confirms that not only does writing poorly lower grades, it puts students in chains.

“We are seeing an erosion in how we talk and write. If we up our standards in how we write and communicate it will allow us to pursue happiness, life and liberty so we aren’t restricted by our limitations and inability to write. We open doors as we learn,” explains Thomas.

Bishop mirrors her sentiments and goes on to say, “I cannot think of an occupation that doesn't require some form of written communication. And even before you get the job, the application processes requires applicants to demonstrate written communication skills — the application, the cover letter, the résumé. If you can’t write well, you won’t get the job.”

Poor writing skills may lead to bad grades and job refusals, but adding on to that MacLean explains that if one cannot communicate effectively in writing, it may lead to harsh consequences on the job.

“Writing in geology, any science, and every discipline is extremely important. It's how we communicate in professional settings. In geology, where decisions have huge financial ramifications, life and death ramifications, or both, the importance of clear communication is obvious,” he explains.

Wanting to help students now so poor written communication will not negatively effect job performance later, the Writing Center will be opening its doors even wider to welcome students in to hone their writing skills and to become even better writers.

Writing Center tutors are available for all to help students with their writing endeavors across curriculum. Tutors are trained to help students at all points in the writing process, so whether it’s brainstorming ideas, developing a thesis, organizing thoughts, revising rough drafts or practicing grammar concepts, Writing Center tutors can help.

To improve your writing, book a free appointment with the Writing Center at www.suu.edu/hss/writingcenter today. 

Dr. Kyle Bishop for a WRITE campaign poster. Dr. Johnny MacLean for a WRITE campaign poster.



Contact Information:
Jennifer Burt
435-586-1997
burt@suu.edu