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Writing Their Hearts Out

Students organize their writing

Students wrote their hearts out this summer in a new class offered at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.

College Writing Workshop covered the fundamentals of expository writing. Taught by two-time Hopkins graduate Marina Ruben, the class exposed students to concepts such as thesis statements, topic sentences, using quotes and preparing outlines.

“The goal of the College Writing Workshop is to help students get comfortable with the type of analytical, argument-driven writing that’s expected in college,” Ruben said of the two-week class. “The idea here is to bolster students’ skills in an enjoyable, interactive summer class.”

The class was designed for high school students and college undergraduates. Students wrote their own pieces and examined works written by others. They also learned editing skills and how to extract, organize and present evidence from literature and historical documents.

Sean Jost thought the class was well worth his time. Sean, a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, will enter his freshman year at Johns Hopkins in the fall. He is interested in environmental policy and decided to take the writing class over the summer because writing, he said, is his “weak spot.”

“It’s something I was nervous about,” Sean said. “I wasn’t really college level.”

He said the course sharpened his writing skills and gave him a better grip on structuring essays and revising sentences. Sean also said he enjoyed the small class size and the individual attention.

Viiu Loub, 19, is a graduate of Quince Orchard High School and a rising sophomore at Elon University in North Carolina. The psychology major said the online description of the writing class “was exactly what I was looking for.”

“I’ve never really been great at writing,” Viiu said. “I like reading more than the writing part. I find it hard to organize my papers. If you don’t know how to lay things out and make things sound competent, that could hinder your success.”


CATEGORY: Academics, K-12 Outreach