Writer’s Block writing center starts at OHS


courtesy of Brittany Franks

The Writer’s Block is a school organization designed with the goal of providing students with aid in their writing. The logo, designed by a student, was decided upon by a school-wide vote.

Emmie Stevens, Staff Writer

English teacher Brittany Franks started a writing center for OHS to help students learn to write more effectively. Students that sign up can bring a rough draft of an essay for any class to discuss with a peer tutor.

“A lot of students tend to have difficulty writing, whether it’s writing scholarship essays or essays for a class,” junior and peer tutor Marawan Elgohry said. “What we’re trying to do is make sure that everyone has a chance to make the best essay possible by speaking to those that can help.”

Franks got the idea for the writing center from attending the “Transition to College Writing Symposium” in October of 2017.

“It’s basically a conference for high school teachers, junior-college-level English teachers and senior-college-level teachers,” Franks said. “The goal is to figure out how to help kids transition from high school writing to college writing. One of the sessions I went to was about writing-center practices, and the way that writing centers are different from the peer edits that you’re used to in English class. In a writing center, we don’t call it a peer edit; we call it a peer tutor. After I attended that session, I thought about the Power Hour we have here at Oxford, and I though it was a good opportunity to have a writing center, and kids would have an hour during the school day that they could visit it.”

Although the writing center is new, Franks hopes it will grow over the next few years.

“I’m excited for the word to spread and for us to get some regular appointments,” Franks said. “I’m excited to take the student tutors to some different events to meet some other writing-center tutors. I think that will be a good opportunity for them. “

Students can sign up through the google form posted on Charger Nation or on the writing center’s twitter (@Chargerwriting).

“I believe that everybody’s essays can always become better,” Elgohry said. “There is no perfect essay. Basically, I just believe that, as a tutor, my responsibility is to make sure that everyone that walks in has an idea of what they can do to make their essays better, as well as an idea of what is required. I know some people don’t always understand what the prompt is and what they have to do in order to make a higher grade. I believe that’s the purpose of the tutor—to make you understand what it’s asking from you.”

The concept of peer tutors is meant to help students feel comfortable in talking about their writing.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” junior and peer tutor Gretchen Bartholomew said. “We’re not going to judge you or your writing. The main goal is for you to feel comfortable and for us to help you as much as possible. I think if the student is willing to come and listen to our suggestions, they will have a better paper and a better understanding of how to write the paper in the future.”

Peer tutors encourage students who need help to sign up. They are excited to help people with their writing this year.

“Anybody that’s interested in getting a higher grade on an essay, or that has a scholarship essay that’s coming up, that you need help on, just make some time during Power Hour for the writing center, and we’ll help you out,” Elgohry said.