Are You Ready for College Writing?

When a high school teacher, confidently declares to his class, “This is the kind of writing that you’ll be asked to do in college,” does he really know? Similarly, when a college professor says to her class, “I want you to forget everything that you learned about writing in high school,” what exactly does that “everything” include?

This site is the result of investigations into these questions about writing, comparing the work of high school students at University School of Nashville with the work of Vanderbilt University undergraduates to help clarify the distinctions between writing at each level. By making these distinctions, we hope to make the transition from high school to college easier for all students, and, ideally, to produce more skillful and confident writers.

This collaboration between USN teacher Robert McKay, who has taught writing both to college and high school students for twenty plus years, and leaders at the Vanderbilt Writing Studio, including Director Gary Jaeger and Assistant Directors Jeff Shenton and John Bradley, has been made possible by a grant from the EE Ford Foundation.