Resources for Tutors
To the future generations of Eberly writing
tutors: these sources will help you with your class projects and with tutoring
questions and concerns. Under each link, there is an annotation from a tutor
explaining what he or she found illuminating about each site. We hope you find
College Tutor Handbook
Journals and Blogs
The Writing Lab Newsletter
The Writing Center Journal
Writing Center Journal
Tutoring Essays and Tips
to Tutors (Dartmouth College)
This really helpful site from Dartmouth
covers everything from how to open a session to uncooperative students to
controlling the pace of a session. C.H.
Visible: Tutors Discuss Reading and Listening to Student Papers. (The
Writing Lab Newsletter)
Reading or listening to the student's paper is an
important step in a conference. This article provides you with many useful
strategies like building a conversation with the writer to ensure your
understanding of the paper, taking notes while reading to keep track of your
comments and questions, and rereading when necessary. X.Z.
Cultural Gaps (Lynchburg College)
The fact that everyone writes
differently is especially true for students coming from different countries and
cultures with diverse languages and communication methods. Because of this
diversity, it is important to understand how to bridge cultural gaps in writing
when working with different kinds of writers. This site explains some
challenges and provided various solutions and techniques to work with writers
from different backgrounds. J.W.
Attitudes: Writing Center Workshops in the Classroom (Praxis Writing Center
While much of our work takes place in the Writing Center, the job
of a Writing Associate extends outside of the center and into the classroom.
Here is a great article discussing the ever-changing and even essential role
that a classroom Writing Associate -and the Writing Center in extension - can
have on the classroom writing process. The author, Holly Ryan, also offers some
great ideas for ways to facilitate a meaningful and mutually beneficial
relationship between the WA and the classroom professor. R.W.
as a Second Language (Dartmouth College)
Are you having troubles
tutoring second language writers (ESL writers)? Are you frustrated when there
are only a few minutes left, but every sentence in the paper needs to be fixed?
This website could help you deal with those problems. It explains important
conventions and rhetorical patterns, helps you to understand ESL writers'
problems, and shows you what to do. The site also includes a list of the most
frequently seen grammar problems in ESL writers' papers, from the problems of
articles and prepositions to the touchy one of "we just don't say it that way
Nonverbal Muscles: The Role of Body Language in the Writing Center
(Writing Lab Newsletter)
This "Tutor's Column" from the Writing Lab
Newspaper explores how our bodies can work against the tutor in peer-to-peer
Writing (University of North Carolina)
The purpose of the writing
center is to make good writers, not good writing. But does that necessarily
mean that tutors should be blind to what actually constitutes good writing?
Good writers should be able to produce good writing. Why not learn what that
First Session (PeerCentered)
Tutors-in-training anticipate and dread
their first solo session in the writing center. They wonder what to expect and
worry about how much they will actually help a student, both normal and typical
sentiments. This blog post gives trainees a realistic look into the "first day
at the office," relating a tutor's process during a session and her feelings
about its good and bad results. J.D.
Communication (University of Delaware)
"It's not what you say. It's
how you sit when you say it." The way you carry and handle yourself as a tutor
says a lot about how you feel about the paper, the student, and being a tutor.
Considering that 70% of intrapersonal communication is nonverbal, this article
is worth a look. G.M.
to Problems: A Facilitative Approach (Dartmouth College)
writing issue has been diagnosed, it can be difficult to articulate the
problem with the writer in a way that ensures that both paper and writer can
advance. This site outlines four types of responses: facilitative, directive,
corrective, and evaluative. The author explains when to use each of them in a
constructive manner. M.N.
How do you help a writer who is trying to cram her
ideas into a five-paragraph essay format? Or one who can't seem to organize
her great ideas at all? This site provides tutors with tips for diagnosing the
root of disorganization in an essay. It also demonstrates how to integrate
techniques like outlining, diagramming, and talking into a tutoring session in
order to help a writer structure her paper more effectively. M.K.N.
Others to Peer Edit (Agnes Scott College)
Peer editing is a skill that
requires careful examination. Here is an overview of peer editing with helpful
questions to use during a session. F.A.
Tips for ESL Tutorials (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Working with ESL writers can be a challenging, yet rewarding process that
requires a different sort of approach. This site offers tutors advice on how to
focus on higher-order concerns without getting bogged down in language errors.
These simple strategies an help create a more successful session for both tutor
and writer. M.K.N.
Tips for Starting a Tutoring Session (SUNY Brockport)
provides advice on how to begin a new session in a way that will create a
positive first impression and welcoming atmosphere for an unfamiliar student.
While some of the tips are central to the writing center that provided this
handout, others can be universally applied and will set the ground for a
positive and productive session. L.H.
Tutoring Situations (University of Richmond)
Every tutor dreads having
a session with a student who is uncooperative or unresponsive. The University
of Richmond provides numerous videos dealing with a wide variety of potentially
difficult scenarios, ranging from working with ESL (English as a Second
Language) students to tutoring an angry writer. C.B.
a Medical School Personal Statement (Indiana University-Purdue University
Do you need to tutor a personal statement but have no clue
where to begin? Get the basics on writing a statement for medical school here!
With tips on helping the writer form a theme and cutting out the boring stuff,
your writer will be enrolled in no time! M.C.K.
Creative Writing Students
Providing feedback for someone's creative
work can be tricky. This site describes the common pitfalls of beginning
creative writers (such as relying on cliches or being sentimental about subject
matter) and provides advice for offering critiques gently and pointing writers
in new directions with their work. L.H.
a Resume (Purdue University)
What do you do when a senior who is on
the job market wants you to make sure that he has an effective resume? Do you
know what a good resume looks like? Purdue University is here to help. Check
out this informative PowerPoint to figure out what you should look for in a
resume and how to make sure a potential employer looks twice at a candidate.
This website won't just help your tutees; you can glean a lot of information
from this site as well. Happy job hunting! C.H.
and Assisting Students with Learning Disabilities (UCLA)
common belief, students with learning disabilities have average to high
intelligence levels, but they struggle to reflect the information that they
possess. LD students have particular difficulty in writing because of the
trouble they face when it comes to organizing ideas and other technical tasks,
like spelling. This article from UCLA's tutor handbook is a must read to help
tutors understand learning disabilities and learn strategies to use during
tutoring sessions. F.A.
Peer Review to Help Students Improve Their Writing
introduces various strategies that tutors could use in order to present
themselves as a peer, not as an editor. In addition to providing tutors with
specific techniques to improve their method of teaching, the site also
explains possible student responses to the collaborative learning process.
to Read Student Papers - (Dartmouth University)
It is crucial for
writing tutors to have solid reading skills. This article provides various
tips and techniques to help tutors become thoughtful and observant readers who
can comprehend a paper's meaning and efficiently formulate critical responses
to any issues. Check out this article to improve your reading skills and to
create more productive tutoring sessions! E.S.
All Basic Writers: Tutors Talking about Writing Apprehension (University of
Apprehension apparently can be a good thing after all. This
article explains how a little writing apprehension in tutors can actually help
them relate to and gain trust from the writers coming to the writing center for
I'm Supposed to Be (PeerCentered)
How do new tutors handle those last
minute jitters? For all of us worrying about that one question whose answer
seems to be elusive, or questioning our right to tutor our peers, here is a
great article about another tutor's journey down the road of self-doubt finally
-- a journey that ends in newfound confidence and, ultimately, a career as an
elementary school teacher. R.W.
with Creative Writing Students: Tutoring Beginning Poets & Fiction
Creative writing differs from analytic writing and, therefore,
requires different tutoring tactics. Purdue has created a concise powerpoint
analyzing both budding creative writers and their poetry or fiction. The site
explains several common issues and then offers some tutoring tips. M.N.
with LD Students (Lynchburg College)
Tutors encounter many different
kinds of writers while working in the writing center, and it is important to
recognize that not all students think and learn in the same way. This brief
article offers a variety of tips on how to interact with and assist students
with learning disabilities of all kinds. While this page does not deal
extensively with any particular kind of learning disability, it does give
valuable suggestions (especially for newer tutors.) E.B
from the Tips of Our Tongues: Writers, Tutors, and Talk"
examines different methods for effective discussion. She also considers the
importance of voices: yours, the writer's, and how they both play into a good
writing center session. G.M.
Lab Tutors: Hidden Messages That Matter (University of Delaware)
the writing center, nonverbal communication can be just as important, if not
more so, than verbal. This column details the influence of nonverbal
communication and its importance in the writing center. It covers all
categories, from personal space to the clothing color, and offers new
strategies for approaching writers in order to make them more comfortable and
receptive to constructive criticism. J.C