What is the purpose of the SLC Writing Tutoring Program?
The purpose of the writing tutoring program is to help students develop a more comprehensive understanding of the conventions of college-level prose. To facilitate this, tutors discuss writing assignments, listen and respond to students' drafts, introduce students to various writing strategies, and help students understand the reader/writer relationship.
Who are the writing tutors?
The SLC writing tutors are graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of academic majors, including three Graduate Assistants from the department of English and one from the department of History, who are selected because of academic achievement, faculty recommendations, and interpersonal communication skills. Upon being hired, writing tutors participate in a training seminar where they are taught to use current writing center instructional pedagogy, and they are closely supervised throughout the semester. Meet the writing tutors here.
What happens in a writing tutorial?
While every tutoring session is unique, tutors follow general protocols at each stage of the writing process. At the start of most tutorials, writing tutors read over students’ assignment sheets and ask them to articulate goals for the session. Some students may want to discuss the assignment guidelines in detail, develop a plan of action, and talk about time management. Others may find it helpful to brainstorm paper topics with their tutors. Conversations like these are often helpful in the prewriting stage.
Other students bring in a complete first draft. Tutors typically ask these students to read their drafts aloud which helps the students discover strengths and weaknesses in their writing while staying active in the tutorial. Tutors may comment on the quality of the thesis, the relationship of the thesis to each paragraph, organization, paragraph development, grammar and punctuation, and/or the citation of sources. They focus on the issues of greatest concern to the students, but, if time permits, they will point out other aspects of the students’ writing that need additional work. Tutors will usually discuss approximately 3-6 pages of a draft with the student and then ask the student to work on the remaining pages independently, applying the concepts discussed in the tutorial session.
During the tutorial, students are encouraged to take notes and make corrections to their papers. (Tutors do not make written corrections on students’ papers.) Tutors will typically focus on a few specific writing issues or patterns of errors in a single tutorial and introduce students to strategies to improve these. Tutors may ask students to put new writing strategies into their own words or jot them down in a writing log for future reference. Thus, students should leave the tutorial not only with a better understanding of how to improve the current assignment, but also with a supply of writing strategies that will assist them with other assignments.
Principles of Writing Tutoring:
How do students schedule an appointment?
To schedule an appointment with a writing tutor, students may either visit or call the SLC at (585) 395-2293. Students taking classes through the MetroCenter or the SUNY Learning Network who are not able to get to the Brockport campus may make an appointment for a Remote Writing Tutoring session. (Click here for more details.) Walk-in appointments, while occasionally available, are not guaranteed. Each appointment is scheduled for 55 minutes.
APA Format Support:
Student Learning Center APA Tutoring Policies
General Writing Skills Support
Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL).