How Oregon’s Writing Center Uses Peer Tutors to Engage Reluctant Writers

Everyone takes writing for granted.

Well, not really. It doesn’t take long for faculty to complain about the quality of student writing. Many lament that students would rather learn fun technologies – the Snapchats and the InDesigns – than perfect their grammar and sentence structure. And faculty aren’t the only ones who care. Employers consistently tell us and our colleagues at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication that they need stronger writers. Even in this multimedia world, writing is a core skill; our photojournalism instructors, for instance, constantly stress the need for photographers to write strong cutlines and clean email pitches. But it does feel, sometimes, that writing is an afterthought, something we expect students to know when they get to J-school. As journalism and communications curricula expand – social media, entrepreneurship, data, design – it’s hard to find the time to focus on writing in the
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