The role of academic background and the writing centre on students’ academic achievement in a writing-intensive criminological theory course


This study uses a quasi-experimental design to assess how the incorporation of an embedded writing centre tutor in the experimental class affects student achievement in comparison with the control class which had limited involvement with The Writing Centre. Data were collected from 43 students enrolled in two classes who completed a total of 158 papers in a writing-intensive criminological theory course. Using ordinary least squares regression, we find that paper grades and final grades in the course were affected by student GPA while enrolment in the experimental class did not affect grades. In addition, students’ perceptions of their writing ability improved from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester in the experimental class. These findings indicate that while grades may not improve in one semester due to working with tutors, perceptions of writing ability did improve which will likely impact achievement in future courses.

Publication Title

Educational Studies