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English Majors Present Workshops for Federal Investigators

By: Anna Webb   Published 7:00 am / March 6, 2018

(L to R) Adam Brimhall, Evan Fishburn, Natalie Tyler, and Emily Schureman prepare for an English senior capstone presentation.

(L to R) Adam Brimhall, Evan Fishburn, Natalie Tyler and Emily Schureman prepare for an English senior capstone presentation.

English majors in the class, Senior Capstone in Literary Studies, recently presented a series of writing and editing workshops to help federal investigators in Idaho write more effective reports.

Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Paul Baxley asked the students to study sample reports from Idaho law enforcement, then lead a workshop focusing on editing prose for clarity and precision. Well-written investigative reports support prosecutions and the legal process.

The students, Adam Brimhall, Evan Fishburn, Emily Schureman and Natalie Tyler, offered the workshop three times to in-person and remote classes in February. The students made site visits where they learned about the issues faced by local professionals — both as writers and in other aspects of their work — and they discovered the value of writing, editing and communication skills in a local workplace.

The project is one of two service activities selected by professor Tara Penry’s senior capstone class this semester. Brimhall, Fishburn, Schureman and Tyler will next create a program for the annual student-led Ethos symposium in April. They will end their semester reading Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and discussing controversial and banned books.