In my experience as a college professor, students are more and more often entering college without the academic writing skills that they need. Notice that I said skills, not ability. A skill is something that you can develop, and that’s what this blog is for.
Understanding why students are under-prepared for college is a big discussion; too big for this blog. Instead of focusing on that, I’m going to focus on helping students–whether you have excellent writing skills and just need a little boost, or you’re new to college, aren’t sure what people are talking about, and don’t want to admit it. (That’s OK, by the way – it’s just a new skill to learn.)
From essay questions to five-page formal papers and beyond, students largely do not know what’s expected of them or how to get from the assignment sheet to a decent, completed product. What’s more, the students I’ve talked to know they don’t know it, but don’t know how to fix it. This blog serves a dual purpose for me: as a resource for my own students, and as a way to reach out to a larger body of students who just need a little help in order to succeed. As a first-generation college student, myself, I think that it’s important to reach back to those following me and offer them a hand up.