Working as a Writing Tutor

Writing Tutors do not work in a course; instead, they hold office hours in the evening for Common Core students in Harper Reading Room North. Tutors sign up to work for four-hour shifts (for example: Sundays from 7PM to 11:00 PM. Depending on their other commitments and on demand from students, tutors may work as little as one shift per week or as many as two or three.

All Core students are welcome to drop in and see the tutors; no appointment or advance sign-up is necessary. Although the tutors work with students on a drop-in basis, they can become very busy during certain weeks of the quarter, particularly mid-term and then again in weeks 10 and 11.

What exactly do Writing Tutors do? Writing Tutors teach writing on a one-on-one basis. They're not copyeditors or proofreaders; instead, they work with students on individual papers in order to help improve students' overall skills in academic argumentation and structure.

Some things Tutors can do:

  • Brainstorm on how to get started on a paper or how to best approach a paper assignment or prompt, particularly in terms of how to construct an argument.
  • Read a full or partial draft of a paper and comment on its overall argumentation. This kind of comment can include, but is not limited to, logical flow of argument, effective uses of quotes and other types of evidence, persuasive placement of points, etc.
  • Read a full or partial draft of a paper and comment on its organization, both globally and at the paragraph level.
  • Spot patterns of grammatical errors in a student's prose and teach the student how to identify and correct these patterns.
  • Make suggestions for how to revise a paper for greater coherence, clarity, and persuasiveness of argument.

Some things Tutors do not do:

  • Work on course readings or content. Tutors can discuss course texts or content insofar as this directly pertains to improving a paper, but more in-depth discussions on content should be perused with course instructors, TA's, or Writing Interns.
  • Copy-edit or 'correct' the paper. Tutors are there to teach students how to improve their writing, and not to 'fix' papers for students.
  • Correct grammar errors in a paper. Again, tutors can look for patterns and help teach students how to self-correct, but cannot go through and adjust the paper to be grammatically correct (i.e. switching tenses, subject-verb agreement, etc).
  • Read papers longer than 10 pages.
  • Work with individuals who are not enrolled in the College Core Courses (HUM, SOC, etc).

Training: Tutors take a full quarter of training in either Spring or Summer quarter (HUMA 50000).

Additional teaching opportunities for Tutors:Tutors who have successfully completed their training may be eligible to work as a Writing Intern in the Humanities Common Core (see above for description).