Rhodes College engineers a new writing lab at White Station


Brandon Lomax (11) (left) helps Talha Khan (11) with his essay at the writing lab in the library.

For many students, the writing process is difficult especially since different teachers and subjects require different styles of writing. With the help of Rhodes College students, White Station has introduced a writing lab to improve students’ skills through a peer tutoring program. However, White Station is not the first school that Rhodes has partnered with.

“Last year, Rhodes partnered with [Soulsville Charter School, Wooddale High and Central High] and got their writing centers up and running, but those schools are now in charge of them,” English teacher Christopher Robbins said.

Students who volunteered for the program were trained by Rhodes students to tutor their peers effectively while respecting writer’s voice. The center focuses on the argument and organization of the writing rather than making grammatical corrections. Tutors are there to help students understand the assignment and talk them through the writing process; they are not there to proofread the paper.

“They were very nice, very respectful, and wanted to listen to what I had to say,” Matthew Atkinson (11) said. “They really cared about my writing from big things to little things. They helped me have a better understanding of sentence structures. They reassured me on things…and helped me have a better idea of writing.”

Students can visit the library on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 2:30-3:30 to get writing help. For the session, students can bring prompts, brainstorm lists, outlines, drafts, and/or source materials. When Atkinson attended the writing center, he brought a paragraph that was assigned by his history teacher. However, students can also bring writing that doesn’t pertain to school. The writing center can serve as a valuable resource that is accessible for all students.

“I hope that it will help students with their writing skills in general and also spark an interest in writing,” Sarah Shen (10) said. “I think this will really open up the writing community to more people.”