Three sessions that I observed this week dealt with students who came in with a finished draft. In each session the tutor started by asking the student what the assignment guidelines were and what the actual paper was about. From there each tutor took a different approach in going over the paper with the student. One tutor read over the whole paper in great detail, pen in hand making corrections as he went along. There was an awkward silence for about fifteen minutes as the student watched the tutor silently mark up his rough draft. Another tutor went through the paper paragraph by paragraph and started asking questions about the body paragraphs before even getting to through the introduction. While some questions did seem relevant to making the paper more effective, a few suggestions made were things that were already included in later portions of the paper. The tutor failed to realize some of the techniques the student was already using since the paper had not been read in its entirety. Finally the last tutor I observed quickly skimmed the paper, before going through each paragraph individually with the student. I found this to be the most effective method, but was curious if anyone else had any opinions on the matter. I feel that by skimming the paper you are able to get a basic idea of where the student is and determine if they are having any organizational issues. Still, this could be difficult if you are working with a student who comes in with a very long paper. In this scenario, what is the best way to approach the session since time is limited?
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I have posted a poll in the IWCA forums: IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll! It is a part of an earlier discussion that kind of petered out about the titles used for writing center workers. Please take a moment and vote! If you don't have an account on the forum, you can register for one by clicking on the "Register" link (next to the rocket icon in the top-right of the page.) Don't forget to state your institutional affiliation when you request and account. (That's how the IWCA Forum keeps out spam accounts.)
By Lori Brock
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