Working as a Writing Tutor

A Writing Tutor teaches writing on a one-on-one basis, using our writing principles to guide students using non-directive pedagogical methods. Tutors work with undergrads on individual papers in order to help improve students’ overall skills in academic argumentation and structure.

Who is eligible to tutor?

As with our other grad student positions, grad students from ALL divisions and schools are eligible to work as Writing Tutors. Applicants may either be hired and trained specifically as a tutor, or they may be hired primarily as a writing intern or lector, which additionally qualifies them to tutor if desired.

This year, we are also piloting an Undergraduate Peer Tutor program. If you are an undergraduate seeking to apply, please visit this page instead.

When and how often do tutors work? How much are they paid?

Writing tutors are appointed quarterly, and work weekly four-hour shifts in Autumn, Winter, and/or Spring quarters. We offer evening shifts Sunday-Thursday nights, as well as a few weekday shifts. Tutors may work one or more shifts per week, depending on their availability and on student demand, and typically see up to 6 students (in 35-minute appointments) per shift.

As a tutor, once you’ve been accepted and completed training, your position will be renewable indefinitely pending satisfactory job performance, as well as pending shift availability. We send out a work survey before each academic quarter asking if you are available to teach, until you tell us otherwise. Tutors may also become eligible to teach writing to first-years as a Writing Intern without further training.

Tutors start at $17/hour, and receive incremental raises with each quarter of experience.

What kinds of things do Writing Tutors 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.

What kinds of things do Tutors 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, TAs, or Writing Interns.
  • Copyedit, proofread, or ‘correct’ the paper. Tutors are there to teach students how to improve their writing, and not to ‘fix’ papers.
  • Read papers longer than 10 pages.

What kind of training is required?

One quarter of training in HUMA 50000: Pedagogies of Writing, offered Spring quarter (as a 10-week course that meets in one discussion and one lecture per week) and Summer quarter (as a 6-week course that meets in two discussions and two shorter lectures per week). The training course is unpaid, but trainees may choose to either take it for credit or to take it unofficially so as to avoid tuition charges, depending on their funding status. In addition, some PhD students in the Humanities may be eligible for a pedagogical training stipend; please see the Humanities Division website or Dean of Student’s office for details.