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Amanda Godrick-Jones

SLC is helping students thrive

November 1, 2007

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By Alyssa Polinsky

Amanda Goldrick-Jones loves grammar.

And she puts that love to use everyday as the writing services coordinator for the SFU Library’s Student Learning Commons (SLC). The academic learning centre supports thousands of undergraduate and graduate students through in-person and online workshops, drop-in tutorials and individual appointments.

Goldrick-Jones offers workshops and creates resource materials to cover a wide range of academic writing issues. She also trains writing peers and advises students who come to her with their writing woes.

The SLC’s writing and learning specialists work with subject-expert librarians and computer technicians to help students deepen their learning experience, sharpen their classroom and workplace communication skills and enhance their research capabilities.

The SLC has programs at all three campus libraries offering programs for graduate students, international students, mature/returning students, English-language learners and others, and Goldrick-Jones and her colleagues are always working on new workshops. One example is the Tame that Wild Research Paper Beast workshop for undergraduate students. They learn how to narrow topics, hone library research skills, create an effective thesis statement, organize information, write effective introductions and conclusions, and review drafts for flow, language, and correct citation style.

"The writing and research components of writing a paper are so interconnected that it is impossible to talk about one without talking about the other," explains Goldrick-Jones.

SLC coordinators also partnered with faculty and instructors to deliver more than 40 presentations in-class or through programs, reaching over 1400 students. Recently, the History Student Union requested specialized lower- and upper-division writing workshops.

The library and SLC have joint workshops planned for the Fall 2007 semester and will continue to look for new opportunities to collaborate in other areas to help students succeed. They’ll be redesigning their web site and will expand their English-language programming in January. More: learningcommons.sfu.ca

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