The world has watched as education has become increasingly digitized in the past few years. With the pandemic forcing schools to go virtual, students have spent more time than ever before with their faces in front of screens.
Madeleine Broder, founder and CEO of Writer’s Desk, to promote analog reading and writing, marrying a love of reading and writing with the pull of a screen’s glow.
Teaching Writing Through Reading
Broder began her journey at Yale University, where she studied writing with esteemed American novelists, essayists, and playwrights. Inspired by her mother, an English teacher, and her grandfather, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Washington Post, Broder followed a path of teaching and tutoring.
Broder brought her penchant for the written word to Teach for America, Freudigman and Billings, and Elite Scholars of China, gathering extensive experience teaching overseas. If she learned one thing, it was that solid writing skills lead to success.
“I always feel at home expressing myself in words, and I have relished passing that gift on to my students,” says Broder.
Today, Broder runs Writer’s Desk, an online private tutoring and writing course company rooted in an appreciation for American literature’s “must reads.”
“Every strong writer is, at first, a reader,” says Broder.
Giving An Escape from the Digital World
Broder is emphatic that while she is not anti-technology, she hopes she can instill in her students the idea that books and putting pen to paper can be a welcomed and needed break from the digital world.
While it may seem that students today have little interest in reading books, statistics tell a different story. According to studies conducted by Global English Editing, printed books still beat eBooks hands down in terms of driving revenue. The global pandemic caused a 35% uptick in reading globally. Asian countries especially show an interest in literature, with India and China leading the way in terms of literacy rates.
Reading, Writing, & College Admissions, Too
Broder has crafted Writer’s Desk to be a one-stop shop for everything concerning reading and writing, including tutoring for sharpening English skills and even guidance for international students looking to gain admission to American colleges and universities. Through Broder’s direction and the teaching of her staff of experienced teachers, international students have studied and crafted college application essays that have garnered entry into Ivy-League schools.
“Our classes will be the building blocks for students’ applications and subsequent admissions acceptance,” explains Broder. She stresses that writing skills are some of the most essential skills to master to gain acceptance into top-tier schools. Writing skills are also critical for success in freshman-year college English courses. These courses often require students to push well beyond the bounds of what they mastered in high school.
Writer’s Desk’s courses offer deep dives into some of the most well-known pieces of American literature, including Of Mice and Men and The Outsiders. The literature courses include in-depth introductions to help students become accustomed to the online learning environment, historical background to assist students in understanding the historical context of a book, as well as quizzes and writing assignments. Each course is designed to bring students a better understanding of literature to make them better writers. Students can experience a course with an experienced instructor or take self-guided classes at their own pace.
In addition to courses that set out to bring a deep understanding of English literature greats to students, Writer’s Desk also offers ACT course prep powered by Benchprep, the same cloud-based learning platform trusted by the Princeton Review.
Madeleine Broder’s love of writing has connected her with students worldwide, and Writer’s Desk has allowed her to foster that love of writing and pass it on to students. As she shares on the Writer’s Desk website, she hopes to bring her love of the written word to every country someday.