Earn credit, learn grammar, become a better writer
Emily Nickles, Editor-in-Chief
The Write Site is hosting its last workshop before spring break on Friday, March 4 at 12 p.m. in CFO Rm. 104. The discussion of the day will be over subject/verb agreement, deemed a topic of confusion for many students and writers.
These workshops typically have an intimate group setting, with interaction and activities between five to 15 students. Sessions usually last 30 minutes, but the room is reserved for an hour in case students have further questions or issues with the matter being taught.
Junior Social Work Major Tessa O’Connor is the head writing consultant for leading these workshops and has been working at the Write Site since her first semester sophomore year. Enthusiastic about her job, O’Connor said that the reason she started working at the Write Site was because, “I’ve always loved grammar. I’ve always been good at it. I love rules… and so I’ve just kept it up since I learned it.”
O’Connor mentioned that students in core English courses are often required to come to the Workshops for help or are given extra credit for attending. In order to determine which workshops will be held each semester, O’Connor shared: “We regroup at the end of every semester and we say ‘okay, what are the most common problems among students?’ And then we go from there.”
O’Connor noted that comma placement is a common issue because the rules are not always recognized by English speakers and writers. About the upcoming topic, O’Connor explained the difficulty: “So subject/verb agreements, you might think it’s just for English Language-Learner, but it’s really not because if you put a lot of words in between the subject and verb, the likeliness is there that you’re going to base the verb off of those words instead of the subject.”
In addition to basic grammatical instruction, the Write Site has just started offering workshops on MLA and APA styles for citing works and writing papers. O’Connor shared that the Write Site chose to add how-to-do citations to the roster based on student needs: “We saw so many students not understanding the basis of how to do a citation or what the styles mean or what they are.”
Each workshop is held twice a semester. If a student misses one due to conflict in schedule, they are guaranteed to have another opportunity later on. The Write Site also offers appointments with specially trained employees to go over these issues in their work. O’Connor emphasized that a paper or project does not have to be completed for a student to make an appointment, and the Write Site has recently implemented a system of walk-ins for students who are running behind.