Briana Scorey is a senior who works as a tutor and writing tutor in the Student Success Center. She answered five quick questions about her time at Misericordia University and working in the Writing Center for past two years. She can recite the alphabet forwards, backwards, and in French.
What’s your major?
I’m a double major – English and History. I love literature, but history is one of those cool things to look at it the light of English. I love books, I love reading, I love writing, and history is also so important to those aspects of my life, and I think it’s helpful to have that background. Also, I’m just nerdy, and love to do as much as I can. My hopes are to get my Masters in English at the University of Reading [UK], and I am considering getting my PhD (in English) and becoming a college professor.
Do you see a major difference in writing needs when, say, a Health Science major visits the Writing Center?
It is quite different. I feel like they are sometimes a bit more nervous because they have to be so objective, and fact-based, and straight-forward in their writing. What I like about being an English major helping Health Science people is that we can help them with creativity and variety in their writing that they aren’t always taught to use, but they worry about. They ask for help with structure because they worry that is isn’t quite interesting enough.
As an English major you primarily work with MLA citations, so how difficult was it to familiarize yourself with different citation styles for the sake of other students?
I have never had to write a paper in APA style. I remember having to work a few shifts with a writing tutor who was Health Science major and an expert in APA, and here I am with my knowledge of MLA, and I thought it was a great exchange, because whenever we got a paper from the other style, we would turn to the other say, “Hey, wanna check this APA for me?”. Eventually, personally, I have internalized much of it after awhile, and now it’s automatic.
Why did you want to work at the Writing Center?
Well, the obvious answer is that my friends always wanted me to read their papers anyway (so why not get paid for it?), but also I love the ability to communicate with and learn from my fellow students. I get to learn so many cool things, like health science terms that I have no idea how to pronounce. My editing style is to read each paper aloud. When there’s a word or concept I don’t know, I say “I want to make sure this makes sense in your paragraph, so tell me what it’s about”. It’s nice to get the opportunity to help students in a field that I have abilities in, because it’s grammatically and generally writing-oriented. It’s nice be able to use those skills to help other people, and then learn something in-turn.
What advice would you give to incoming students who feel like they are not ready for college writing?
I would say that as long as they put the full force of their passion into their writing, they’re going to be fine. That’s the thing – you can always go back and fix and learn the grammar, the citations, and so on. It’s all about putting your real thoughts into your writing, and creating a strong argument that you care about. If you don’t put in an argument that matters to you, you’re not going to write a paper that matters. Everything else is secondary to the argument you are making. The technical stuff can be learned, but you simply cannot fake your passion.
- Interview by Matthew Hinton
Assistant Director, Student Success Center
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