The SOU Writing Center is here to help students become better academic writers. To get the most out of the tutoring sessions, students must take an active role in the tutoring session. The following documents are very helpful for tutoring sessions:
- A copy of the assignment sheet
- A verbal summary of the reading material for the assignment
- A current draft of the assignment, along with outline, notes, and other development materials
- Questions and specific concerns
Tutors will concentrate on large-scale isues first. For example, they will try to help you make sure that you are responding to the assignment and that you are writing a focused, well-organized, and effectively developed paper before they help you with such concerns as style, grammer, word choice, and punctuation. They follow this order for a good reason: small changes in individual sentences will not improve a paper as much as changes in thesis, focus, and organization will.
- Listen to the student's ideas about the writing assignment and help him or her to focus his or her ideas into a single workable topic.
- Ask questions to help students clarify and develop ideas or logic.
- Help students organize or reorganize their ideas into a logical order.
- Brainstorm on how to get started on a paper or how to best approach an assignment or prompt, particularly in terms of how to construct an argument.
- Give honest feedback about papers. They may offer critiques on points such as how the tone of the paper affects the reader; whether the introduction arouses interest; whether the evidence presented is convincing and relevant; whether the paper leaves the reader with questions or reservations.
- Read a full or partial draft of a paper and comment on its organization, both globally and at the paragraph level.
- Spot patterns of grammatical errors in a student's prose and teach the student how to identify and correct these patterns.
- Make suggestions for how to revise a paper for greater coherence, clarity, and persuasiveness of argument.
- Limit each session to one or two skills rather than trying to produce a perfect paper.
Tutors will not...
- Copy-edit or fix the paper.
- Correct grammar errors in a paper. Tutors can look for patterns and help teach students how to self-correct but cannot go through and adjust the paper to be grammatically correct (i.e., switching tenses, subject-verb agreement, etc.)
- Rewrite any part of the paper, even just a sentence. This is academically dishonest.
- Do course readings for students.
- Predict grades or discuss the grade an instructor assigns to a paper.
- Do any part of the assignment for you, including generating the topic or specific points to cover, or outlining the paper.
Hannon Library, First Floor
Ashland, Oregon 97520