PeerCentered is a space for peer writing tutors/consultants or anyone interested in collaborative learning in writing centers to blog with their colleagues from around the world. Bloggers here will share their ideas, experiences, or insight. To contribute to the blog, please contact Clint.Gardner@slcc.edu.
After having multiple sessions throughout this semester, I
have noticed that each of the students I see have different levels of
confidence. I thought to myself, “What could possibly be the reasoning for it?
Could outside factors be the cause?” The class I am assigned to is very
diverse. With some students from other countries or backgrounds, they tend to have
a tougher time than those who are familiar with English.
International students may have difficulty learning the
rules of academic English. Having to struggle with academic English and keeping
up with class assignments, especially at the college level, is not easy.
Assignments themselves can be difficult or new to the student and that may
lower their confidence. For example, I had a student who had never completed a
research paper before. I asked her what she found was most difficult for her to
accomplish the paper. Her response was the pressure of making sure the format
and APA style was correct, as well as using only third person. When knowing
that there is a grade to come from a paper, making sure the paper is perfect can
cause writers anxiety and more mistakes. Without having pressure on the student
to exceed expectations, it affects the student’s confidence to have a strong
paper and their own skills.
On the flip side, there was another student who had no
problem writing the same assignment. Instead the opposite happened. Few
questions were asked when we were both going over her paper. I then asked her a
question about the paper to see if she saw the need to improve any specific area
of her paper. I did not imply that there was, but she was confident that her
paper was just fine, leaving nothing left for me to do, but compliment her on
As a writing fellow, it may be help to alleviate any tension
the student has in order write their paper to their best capability and build
their confidence. I was thinking about my own level of confidence in my work and
wondered to myself. Do you believe that a tutor’s confidence brushes off onto
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.)
A Nearly Septuagenarian’s Ad ventures with Purdue Owl January 9, 2023 As a student, the Purdue Owl website was a source of great comfort for me. It seemed almost a tangible, billowy, yet safe and confining space; kind of like those bounce-houses filled with balls for kids. I would flit among MLA and APA and general writing tips: pulling up a sample reference page here, making sure I knew the difference between effect and affect there, and ended up by checking an in-text citation for a quote within a quote. I haven’t perused Purdue Owl’s website in some time, so, it is disconcerting to find it is completely tied into Purdue University’s writing lab. Now, you can also more readily access various sections of the style guide directly from the browser. If, for example, you want to check to cite a poster in APA format, Purdue Owl’s information is listed among the many sites you can choose in your browser. I can see how advantageous this fine-tuning is, and, in fact, I have already ma
As a frightened freshman, I wandered deep in the bowels of the library basement. My eyes darted from room number to room number, looking for the aid my professor promised I could find. At the end of the hall, a golden light shone from an open doorway. My approach was slow and I lingered on the threshold. All uncertainty vanished when I was greeted with a smile and welcomed into the new world of the Tutoring Center. At the time, I did not know I would spend most of my weekdays in that room as a senior or how mundane this new world would become. How could I? I didn’t even know how much insight I would receive from my tutor that day! Being a learner in the writing center is a wholly different experience than being a tutor, yet I know many of my colleagues have not had the same learning experiences that I have. I think this is unfortunate because there is much that a tutor can gain from being a learner. It was my freshman year of college and everything was new. For me, that meant that fear