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There are many roles a tutor can fill; some are more effective and helpful than others. I will endeavor to explain a few of these roles and how they help the writer better understand their own writing.
It is important that the tutor not take on the role of expert. Learning is more collaborative and the session more successful when the writer is the expert, and the tutor is the learner. If a tutor can let the writer teach them about their writing, and why they wrote the way they did, then the writer is more in control and therefore feels less inferior and more comfortable.
A well-seasoned tutor will tell you that their most successful sessions have been when they, the tutor, acted as more if a facilitator of learning, and the writer was the expert of his or her own writing. Writers are more likely to be open to questions, suggestions, and ideas when they feel that collaborative atmosphere come into play; as opposed to the attitude of "I'm the tutor, you're the student, do what I say and you'll pass your class."
Another important role a tutor must fill is that of a peer. We are all writers, and we have all been in the position of needing guidance or feedback on our writing. When tutors are also peers, there is a sense of camaraderie and empathy involved that can take the session to a new level of learning. Trust is also built. Minds grow and prosper in this kind of atmosphere.