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Writing Tutoring

What does the writing program do?

The SLC writing tutoring program assists students with writing assignments from across the disciplines at all levels. Tutors help students develop a better understanding of the conventions of college-level prose by analyzing assignments, listening and responding to students' drafts, and introducing students to various writing strategies. Tutoring improves students' understanding of the reader/writer relationship, the role of punctuation in the construction of meaning, the function of thesis, the rules of citation formats, prewriting and brainstorming strategies, organizational strategies, and more.

What happens in a writing tutorial?

Writing tutors will first ask to read over your assignment sheet and ask you to articulate your goals for the session. You may simply need to examine the assignment sheet carefully with the tutor to determine what it is you need to do. Or you may wish to brainstorm topics or develop a plan of action for olivia tutoringcompleting the assignment. Tutors are more than willing to help at the prewriting stage which may include a discussion of time management. Tutors may also function as a test audience for you, asking you to read your draft aloud while they supply feedback. Reading aloud helps you discover strengths and weaknesses in your written communication, which is a revision strategy you may take away and use independently. Tutors will remark on the quality of your thesis, the relationship of your thesis to each paragraph, the organization of your points, the grammar and punctuation, and/or the citation of sources. They will pay particular attention to the issues with which you are most concerned, but, if time permits, they will also point out other aspects of your writing that may need additional work. We want you to leave the tutoring session not only with a better understanding of how to improve the current assignment, but also with an understanding of writing strategies that will assist you with other assignments. During the tutoring session, you are responsible for making marks on or changes to your own paper. Your tutor will not write on your paper and make corrections for you. Finally, your tutor will encourage you to visit with your professors for assignment clarification and to discuss grades as needed.


Who are the 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, who were selected because of academic achievement, facutly recommendation, and interpersonal communication skills. Upon being hired, writing tutors participate in a training seminar and are closely supervised throughout the semester. Meet the writing tutors here.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Students wishing to work with a writing tutor may either visit or call the SLC at (585) 395-2293 to make an appointment. 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.) It is always best to call well in advance of deadlines and due dates to schedule an appointment at a time that will be most convenient for you.  It is also best to call ahead if a student wishes to work with a particular tutor. Walk-ins are accepted, but there is no guarantee of tutor availability.  Each appointment is scheduled for 55 minutes.

Working with Writing Tutors at both the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels

Principles of Tutoring in Writing:

  1. The writing assistance available for students in the SLC is an educational process. Tutors use instruction on writing fundamentals oriented toward helping the student identify patterns of errors in his/her writing and learn how to correct them in the revision process.
  2. In a tutorial session, a tutor would typically assist the student with revising several pages of a paper or thesis with the student and then ask the student to revise the remaining pages independently, correcting the errors similar to those discussed in the tutorial session.
  3. The student is required to be actively engaged in improving his/her ability to recognize and correct errors in written work.
  4. The writing assistance available for graduate students working on theses or synthesis papers is the same as the assistance for undergraduate students working on any other writing assignment.
  5. It is important for students to understand that the tutorial work on their papers and theses is not the same as “editing” or “proofreading” to comprehensively identify and correct all the errors in a manuscript.

 Tutorial Appointments:

  1. Appointments should be made well in advance of due dates for submission of written work to the course instructor.  The availability of tutorial appointments is on a first come/first served basis.
  2. Students receiving help with writing must be sensitive to the tutors’ need to work with many students and to follow the instructional pedagogy; therefore, number of sessions/day, number of sessions/week, and number of total sessions/assignment are limited.
  3. Students may make a maximum of one appointment per day, and may have a maximum of three appointments/week. The time limit for any one session is fifty-five minutes (the tutor needs 5 minutes to complete his/her notes).  
  4. Tutoring for a single assignment, including a thesis (with multiple chapters) or a synthesis paper, will usually not exceed three appointments.  In cases of extraordinary need, given that the student has demonstrated active engagement in the learning process, the Director can authorize additional sessions.   
It is important to note that tutoring does not guarantee a high grade on a written assignment. Grading student work is the responsibility of course instructors and thesis advisors.  The tutor’s responsibility is to identify patterns of errors in the written work and to suggest strategies for the student to use in identifying and correcting similar errors independently.

APA Format Support:
Student Learning Center APA Tutoring Policies

Student Learning Center Navigating the APA Manual

Drake Memorial Library's Citations and Styles Page

General Writing Skills Support
Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL).