Emily Rowin

What is Writer's Help?

Blog Post created by Emily Rowin Employee on Oct 30, 2015

As a marketing manager, I engage in conversations with English faculty in writing centers and English departments across the country. In 2014, I was in a writing center in Arkansas where the first year writing coordinator was working with a distraught student. The student mumbled that she didn’t know how to “use her book.” One of the writing center tutors suggested the student begin with the index, and the student asked, “What is an index?”

 

Many people would respond to this story saying that shouldn’t the student know and learn what an index is. My answer and the Arkansas instructor’s answer is yes. But let’s say for a minute that the first goal is not for students to know how to use a book. Instead, what if we removed the initial learning barriers and empowered students to start writing and composing on the first, second, or third day of class by delivering content in a format that reflects the way they access information already? 10,000 students and counting at colleges and universities across the country are trying out the possibility. I think the search will yield tremendous results.

 

Writer’s Help is an updated way to deliver curated Hacker and Lunsford content valued by instructors. Writer’s Help gives instructors the ability to assign and integrate writing support, citation coverage, diagnostics, exercises, videos, writing prompts, and more. It is a cost-conscious solution that gives students access to searchable curated content they can access (rather than carry) throughout their college career. Powered by smart search, Writer’s Help understands student language. So when a student searches for [...], Writer’s Help recognizes the student is looking for content related to using ellipses. In fact, the research conducted by the editorial team at Bedford/St. Martin’s showed that students searched for terms like snake eyes, dot thingie, and coma (yes, that is comma misspelled).

 

But more than a list of features and functionality, and perhaps more than its curated content, Writer’s Help is an example of how as a publisher, we can contribute to the evolving conversation of what types of content do instructors want to assign, and how we can deliver that content in innovative, easy-to-use ways. Learn more here: http://www.macmillanhighered.com/Catalog/elearningbrowsebymediatype/WritersHelp

Outcomes