The McCourt School Writing Center aims to help students succeed as writers in the McCourt curriculum and as policy professionals. This mission embodies two core ideas: first, that clear writing demands and enables clear thinking; and second, that for participants in the public decision process, effective writing is a foundation of professional growth and personal influence. Simply put, good writing is a source of power.
Writing Center co-directors, Susan Hill and Jeff Mayer, help McCourt students chiefly in one-on-one editorial sessions. These sessions usually focus on class assignments and cover the entire range of policy-related genres (e.g., memoranda, essays, op-ed articles, and research papers).
Discussions deal not only with conventional editorial concerns (e.g., word choice, sentence and paragraph construction, and the structural and functional requirements of different forms of policy writing), but also with issues of context and substance (e.g., students’ objectives, professors’ expectations, the character of policy problems and solutions, and the politics of the policy process).
At professors’ invitations, Susan and Jeff also visit McCourt classes, and thesis and capstone groups, to discuss particular writing challenges in the McCourt curriculum (e.g., writing thesis and capstone introductions and literature reviews).