Despite the best of intentions, too often, students avoid working on their writing assignments. If you have ever found yourself staring at a blank computer screen because you did not know where to begin or have panicked because you could not finish a paper, do not despair. Help is available at the Writing Clinic (WC).
Students may have noticed that more classes now require such written assignments as essays and research papers. With an increased focus on writing instruction all across education, many professors at Ewha have not only increased the amount of writing tasks for their courses, but also weigh them more heavily in their overall assessment.
Academic writing can be a difficult process even when it’s done in a student’s native language because it requires deep knowledge and complex skills. When drafting essays, students must understand how to organize ideas, use appropriate language, construct proper syntax and choose the right format. Therefore, students must read extensively, conduct research correctly, collect relevant information and give proper citations to sources.
Since most Ewha students are non-native speakers of English, the challenge of writing college-level papers in English is even more difficult, which is why the English Program Office (EPO) offers support through its WC. Students can make an appointment with either a professor or with a Teaching Assistant (T.A.).
Although both consultants offer students guided help, the professors communicate in English, while the T.A.s communicate in Korean.
The goal of the WC is to encourage independence on writing tasks, so we do not edit students’ papers.
In a typical session, the consultants will read and discuss students’ overall writing and will offer suggestions for improvement. If a student needs more targeted help, consultants will work with students and advise them on various skills, such as how to brainstorm for ideas, choose a topic, develop a thesis statement, cite references, and improve word choice.
Acquiring good writing skills is a long-term process, which requires commitment, so students will succeed if they practice.
When visiting the WC, students should have a clear understanding of their writing task. Identify the nature of the assignment: Is it a summary of a passage? Is it a persuasive essay? Is it a research paper?
Consultants can provide the best help if the goals of the written task given by your teachers are clear because criteria, even for the same type of essay, can vary. For example, some professors may require students to organize a cause-and-effect essay using a “block” pattern while others may require students to organize it using a “chain” pattern.
Therefore, bring any relevant materials given by the teacher, such as a description of the task, a checklist for the criteria or lecture notes to the appointment.
The WC is open to undergraduate students who are officially enrolled and are working on an assignment that must be written in English.
Due to high demand, we cannot help students with non-course-related writing tasks. Each student can schedule up to ten appointments per semester, so they can receive consistent support. For more information, contact with us through the EPO Web site.
We look forward to meeting you at the WC.
* Professor Caroline Kim has a master’s degree from Queens College and a master’s education degree from Teachers College Columbia University. She is the Assistant Professor of the English Program Office and the coordinator of the Writing Clinic.