The topic on Writing Skills has been in the news recently. Top UJ Student, Charity Chisoro, and UCT Keswick Price-winning student, Megan McLaren, both cited the importance of writing skills. To add, this was re-inforced by Prof Don Ross, Dean of the UCT Commerce faculty in his article on the importance of Writing skills.
The first UJ Writing Centre was opened on the Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) Campus in 2003 and six years ago it was still the only UJ Writing Centre. Since then three more Writing Centres have emerged and blossomed. The number of students who attend a one-on-one writing consultation annually has risen from 300 in 2003 to 7000 in 2013.
The popularity of the Writing Centres among students and lecturers is an indication of the centres’ impact on the students’ academic development and achievement and of the quality support provided to academics from all nine faculties. The Writing Centres are seen as beacons of hope by students who often attend lectures and tutorials in overcrowded auditoriums that offer little opportunity for individual attention from the lecturer or tutor. In a one-on-one consultation the student benefits from the writing consultant’s full attention and is bound to assume responsibility for his or her own learning. This is especially needed, because most students who visit the Writing Centres are first years, often from previously disadvantaged schools and communities.
Not Only for Struggling Students
The Writing Centre, however, is not only for struggling students. Writing Centre records show that students who make use of the centres frequently are those who would like to improve their academic writing and their marks. These students often go on to excel in their other years of study as they do not just focus on passing assignments, but on acquiring excellent academic writing skills.
The collaborative, student-centred, process-orientated approach to student assistance espoused by the Writing Centres and the excellent guidance provided by their respective teams of qualified, well-trained, diligent, dedicated, caring and friendly postgraduate writing consultants have empowered thousands of students year-in and year-out.
Thumbs up to all UJ students who use the Writing Centres and to those who will keep using them, and to all lecturers who work hand-in-hand with the Writing Centres. Keep up the good work!
Kabinga Shabanza and Herve Mitoumba-Tindy
Make use of the services that are being provided to you. Improving your writing skills will be something that will benefit your essay marks as well as help you in the future if you need to write emails or papers for work. Be the best version of you that you can be.