Skip to main content

Becoming Comfortable as a Tutor

Every appointment I have had in the writing center, I become less nervous. This week the writer showed up a few minutes early, so we just got started. She was a freshman in English 1001 and basically just wanted someone else to look over her paper. When I asked her what exactly she wanted to work on, she commented that she knew she was a bad writer and she wanted some help with the flow and the global concerns. I told her not to say she was a bad writer because that wasn’t a good way to think about herself and some people just don’t like to write, but that isn’t always a bad thing. When I read through her paper, I noticed right away that she had most of the technical writing skills down, but her paper jumped all over the place. She had one paragraph almost a page long where she introduced different arguments supporting her thesis, but provided no supporting evidence and jumped ahead to the next topic. We spent some time working to connect some of those with other areas in the paper where she mentioned the same topic. We also worked on ordering the paragraph arguments in order to make her thesis stronger, and organizing the sentences within the paragraph so that it flowed better. I also noticed that she only had two or three sources for her paper and the assignment required seven. We discussed several places she could look for more sources and ways that, now that she had some more specific arguments to support her thesis, she could search for articles on narrower topics. Over all I think it was a very productive session.


Popular posts from this blog

Enough with the Prosti----- already

While I admit I was once intrigued by the prostitute-consultant analogy, not by what Scott Russell had to say about it but by some of the ideas we threw around in class the other day, I can honestly say, now, that I am beginning to move away from the metaphor. While I once connected prostitution and the writing center through their brief meetings and levels of intimacy, I now question the nature of those meetings and the levels of intimacy available, and like David said in class, I agree that the comparison is a stretch. Here’s where I struggle with a connection between meeting a stranger, a prostitute, for sex, and meeting a consultant at the writing center. Although the ‘client,’ ‘student,’ or whatever, meets with a stranger for a limited period time to meet a specific desire, the level of intimacy between sex with a prostitute and a writing consultation differs. It is my experience that consultations between peers can be genuinely intimate as one discusses personal thoughts—there i…

IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll!

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.)