Not a department in the traditional sense, Writing Studies is a pedagogical movement that promotes writing as a means of learning across all content areas. Located in the MBS Center for Academic Writing, the program promotes writing-across-the-curriculum (WAC) efforts based on the knowledge that, when given frequent opportunities to write analytically in all of their courses, students think more critically and creatively, engage more deeply in their learning, and transfer what they have learned from course to course, context to context more efficiently. Writing Studies aims to develop awareness and skill in writing for both faculty and students.
Under the direction of Ms. Allison Williamson, Director of Academic Writing, Writing Studies includes a variety of student-centered tutorials and workshops as well as an upper-level course designed to train peer tutors to work in the Center. All MBS faculty attend at least one faculty-centered writing workshop session per year, and engage in close one-to-one follow up work with colleagues trained in composition theory and practice. Students who are engaged in complex writing assignments are supported through a variety of writing-centered activities and receive frequent, in depth feedback from both faculty and peers.
The Center for Academic Writing
Morristown-Beard School is a community of writers. We forge connections across disciplines and across divisions. In an effort to cultivate confident, competent writers, we are committed to providing support services embedded in composition theory and practice. The MBS Center for Academic Writing supports students, faculty, and staff from all Upper School levels and disciplines through all stages of the writing process. The Center’s primary goals are:
• Support students, faculty, and staff in all stages of the writing process through individualized instruction
• Supplement classroom instruction and support writing-across-the-curriculum initiatives
• Offer one-on-one tutoring by trained faculty and peer tutors
• Facilitate the growth of strong academic and creative writers
Instructor: Allison Williamson
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor
Open to students in the following grades: 11
Full Year Course
This year-long honors course combines classroom work and fieldwork to immerse students in writing center theory and practice. Students will discover that consulting in the Center for Academic Writing, or leading peer review in a class, involves much more than just "looking over" a paper. Writing center consulting has a rich theoretical base drawing on composition studies, education, and psychology. Tutors do not have to be experts, but in this course they will learn enough about the writing process and the dynamics of the tutoring relationship to enable them to become facilitators for their peers. The readings in this course cover writing center history, theory, and practice as well as composition theory and ideas about collaboration and the social nature of writing. The course is highly interactive, calling on students to help construct the direction of class discussions and activities. During the second semester of the course, students will not meet as a class, but will complete practicum work on an individual basis in the Center for Academic Writing. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be invited to continue to serve as volunteer peer tutors in the Center for Academic Writing during their senior year.
Please note that this course does not fulfill English core requirements.