The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has established a writing unit to edit and format students’ academic works and provide them with professional expertise.
The unit, located at the Department of Communication Studies, is to assist students to edit, evaluate and proofread their write-ups such as theses, long essays, specialised reports, critical reviews and conference papers/proceedings.
In addition, the unit will also partner the School of Graduate Studies and Research of the UCC to proofread, edit and detect plagiarism in the theses of graduate students, and provide expert knowledge by organising seminars and workshops for departments, groups and individuals on request.
Speaking during the launch of the unit at the premises of the Faculty of Arts last Thursday, the Head of the Department of Communication Studies of the UCC, Rev. Dr Philip A. Gborsong, said effective communication was a necessary ingredient in all human endeavours.
He said effective communication was crucial to the success of any author’s attempt to produce such genres as long essays, research articles, reports and theses.
“In recent years, however, the School of Graduate Studies and Research, for instance, has returned the theses of many graduate students on grounds of poor formatting and editing,” he stated.
He added that the need for establishing a writing unit at the Department of Communication Studies “is in response to the numerous demands by faculty members, students and corporate organisations for an authentic source where difficulties concerning writing can be conveniently addressed.”
Rev. Dr Gborsong said such a task, over the years, had been done informally by individuals who were usually non-professionals, adding that “the establishment of the writing unit should, therefore, be seen as an attempt to formalise and provide quality service to would-be clients in order to raise the standards of their writing in a much more professional manner”.
He, however, cautioned that the unit would not accept to edit and proofread students’ assignments and term papers.
Examples of other countries
Citing examples from Singapore and South Africa, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English of the UCC, Dr Joseph B. Archibald Afful, said the establishment of writing centres or units in universities had become a global phenomenon; adding that such centres helped lecturers and members of academia produce their work in whatever format of writing they chose.
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Dora Edu-Buandoh, expressed optimism that the unit would help put the UCC in the limelight in the global academic community.
She said several factors were usually considered in the ranking of universities; adding that a facility such as the writing unit could help the university to improve its position in the ranking of universities in the world.