This semester, it has been my pleasure to work as a Peer Tutor in the Writing Center. Tutoring allows me the opportunity to work on a one-on-one basis with students which has opened my eyes to many things. Students come in mostly seeking help with grammar and punctuation. Although many students struggle with grammar and punctuation, many more struggle with global issues such as focus, development, and organization.
The lesson I find myself teaching the most is how to develop strong thesis statements and topic sentences. Educating students in these skills allows them to have more control over the focus, development, and organization of their own writing. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that grammar and punctuation are not important, but how effective is the best grammar in the world if a reader cannot follow the flow and main idea of the content they are reading?
This is precisely why Writing Centers exist. More students should utilize the services provided by writing centers. Tutoring exists for BIG subjects such as algebra, chemistry, trigonometry, calculus, foreign language, etc. But, what students don't realize is this: writing is a major subject area as well. The ability to effectively communicate is important to EVERY discipline!
Therefore, I strongly encourage students to go to their campus writing centers and take full advantage of the services they can receive there. Many employers require their job candidates to take examinations in the basic skills needed for a position. In the end, the ability to communicate well through writing may be the one thing that separates one candidate from the next.