What a difference a writing centre makes: A small scale study

Rowena Yeats, Peter Reddy, Anne Wheeler, Carl Senior, John Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Academic writing is often considered to be a weakness in contemporary students, while good reporting and writing skills are highly valued by graduate employers. A number of universities have introduced writing centres aimed at addressing this problem; however, the evaluation of such centres is usually qualitative. The paper seeks to consider the efficacy of a writing centre by looking at the impact of attendance on two "real world" quantitative outcomes - achievement and progression.

    Design/methodology/approach: Data mining was used to obtain records of 806 first-year students, of whom 45 had attended the writing centre and 761 had not. Findings: A highly significant association between writing centre attendance and achievement was found. Progression to year two was also significantly associated with writing centre attendance.

    Originality/value: Further, quantitative evaluation of writing centres is advocated using random allocation to a comparison condition to control for potential confounds such as motivation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-507
    Number of pages9
    JournalEducation and Training
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2010


    • Skills
    • Students
    • Written communications


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