Metro Tech/ASU Writing Center opens

A new Writing Center in the library complex at  Metro Tech High School in Phoenix is giving students a leg up on their writing skills.

The center, created in partnership with Arizona State University, is a learning experience for all as the Metro Tech students get advice from ASU students, many of whom are studying education or journalism and benefit from the teaching experience.

Three days a week, students are welcome to visit the center, where they receive help either in a one-on-one setting or with a small group of other students. English teachers will help students set up appointments and obtain passes to the center.

Metro Tech students who visit the Writing Center have the chance to work on all types of writing, from essays and literary analyses to journal writing and memoirs, all skills they will be able to use when they leave high school and enter college or the working world. Those thesis statements won’t write themselves, but with help from the Writing Center, students will learn how to make them stronger and more convincing.

The program was developed by ASU Downtown Faculty Head of Languages and Cultures Barbara Lafford, Ph.D., English Education Professor James Blasingame, Ph.D. and Metro Tech Assistant Principal Evie Cortes-Pletenik to give students extra attention that English teachers may not necessarily have time to give.

During my freshman year at ASU, I was told by my English teacher that if I wanted the chance to raise my grade on an essay I had written, I would have to go to the Writing Center at ASU before resubmitting it. Needless to say, as a future writer I was not pleased about this. But I went.

The tutors were ASU students, not much older than myself. They broke down my essay into different parts so I could try and make my point more clear, instead of being overwhelmed by worrying about the whole essay. I don’t remember what kind of grade I got once I reworked the essay, but I finished the class with an A.

I imagine Metro Tech’s Writing Center works much the same way. Even people who plan on writing for a career sometimes need a little extra help fine-tuning their skills. It can be very helpful to have someone else critique an essay. Often writers get so attached to the way they have written something that they may not realize there is a better way.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll one day be reading the blog of a Metro Tech student to get your education news. — Veronica Jones

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