Saturday, Oct 21, 2017

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New writing certificate can help students polish their skills

Ohio University English Professor Jennie Nelson has created a new certificate program that will give students of all majors the opportunity to showcase and hone their writing abilities.

The Writing Certificate will enhance OHIO students’ ability to enhance their writing while providing documented proof of the immense effort they have put forth.

Writing is one of the many subjects that students, regardless of their course of study, must be able to do well. Writing is a universal skill that will enhance a student’s marketability upon graduation.

“I really wanted to give students from across campus the opportunity to put this certificate on their transcript because it will separate them from all of the other applicants when applying for jobs,” said Nelson.

The Writing Certificate requires that students take 28 credit hours worth of classes in which 20 percent of their final grade depends on written work that they have completed for the class. Students must take three core courses, totaling 12 credit hours, as well as 16 credit hours worth of elective courses. Students may choose from ENG 280, ENG 282, ENG 284 and ENG 382 to complete two of the three required core courses. For the third core course students must choose from a long list of “J” (Junior Composition) courses. The extensive list of electives that students may choose from ranges from art history, film and dance classes to courses in plant biology, chemistry and geology.

This program is not available to English majors, however those studying in fields not usually thought of as “writing heavy” are greatly encouraged to participate.

“One of the key skills you must have in any job is the ability to communicate clearly,” said Nelson. “Whether it is through a power point presentation, a lab report or an office memo, writing is constantly being used throughout every field.”

The Writing Certificate is the only certificate of its kind offered in the state of Ohio. Both Nelson and English Professor and Department Chair Marsha Dutton agree that this certificate proves that Ohio University as a whole is committed to increasing the quality of student writing.
“The way that people can argue, articulate, clarify and preserve their thoughts is through writing,” said Dutton. “We do not live in a post-literate world. We live in a world where writing is fundamental. It is the way we make our impact on the world, get across our points of view and win arguments. We live in a world in which writing is a way that people can affect other people.”