WJ needs a writing center

Implementing a writing center is exactly what high school students need to help improve their writing. This concept would be a perfect addition to our library and would seriously help prepare students for wherever they go after high school, whether that be college or a different path.

A writing center can be defined as a welcoming space where students can work with teachers and staff to help improve their writing, language and grammar skills when it comes to their English assignments. But these newly learned abilities could also be used for different classes as writing styles vary in each class and subject.

Many students enter high school with basic English writing skills that they had used throughout their middle school assignments. This got them passing grades, as most teachers only look for what they’re grading and not how the actual writing is executed. Nitpicking every little thing in an essay is time consuming — especially as many teachers have five classes with 30 students in each.

The issue with that is many students go into high school and receive bad grades but they don’t know why they are getting points off. Grammar is no longer taught because they’re expected to know it; then there are some students who do know how to use correct grammar and find the lessons to be useless and a waste of time. Which leads to the point that there are standardized tests like the SAT and the ACT that have a section devoted to contemporary grammar — something that is being discussed and deliberated constantly. For example, the Oxford comma: there is wide controversy over the Oxford comma because some people believe that it should be used before “and” and some say it shouldn’t.

No college professor wants to be reading a student’s essay that has horrible grammar and can’t follow the traditional style of formatting of an accepted paper. They are looking for the content, and seeing simple mistakes that should’ve been addressed in primary and secondary school isn’t good for the students’ grade.

Adding this writing center would be able to fix and correct these mistakes that many high schoolers face. Whether they are handing in something for their honors/on-level English class or writing an AP essay that will be read by teachers who don’t know WJ students and aren’t familiar with their (lack of) knowledge regarding grammar and technique, it’s important that students receive the necessary aid to improve their skills

Some students don’t even go to college after high school — they might immediately begin working serious jobs or internships where they are expected to have some understanding of how to write a passable and well-organized essay or email. Email is a major source of communication, especially in our technologically advancing world. Students can’t be sent out of high school to future jobs without knowing how to write a polite and thought-out email. I’m not saying that this writing center should teach us how to write emails, I’m simply saying that those tools given to us would be helpful when it comes to emails, as well.

This writing center could be inserted into the library where teachers and staff can help students. Yes, it can be time-consuming and many teachers already have so much on their plate, but at the end of the day, isn’t their most important goal for their students is to see them leave the building prepared and educated for the real world? As soon as seniors graduate, they’re on their own. Each student should feel confident that their writing skills that they’ve learned from WJ are adequate and will be recognized as proper in whichever path they continue on.

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