How to Become a Tutor: The Writing Associates Program
In Fall 2015, Dr. Denise Matthews’ Communication class made a short video about what past tutors have done with their tutoring experience! Click here.
What can I get out of becoming a Writing Tutor?
- Internship credit or pay. If eligible, tutors working in the Writing Center or assigned to sections of English 100PLUS will get paid at a rate of $10.00/hour or more. 100P tutors get 6 hours per week per section (and may tutor for one or
two sections). Writing Center tutors may tutor up to 12 hours per week depending on their availability and the needs of the center. If you are not eligible for pay, you may be able to tutor for internship credit (English 491: Internship in the Writing Center or ENG 492: Internship in College Writing Plus).
- Valuable experience. Writing Tutors get valuable experience in teaching, mentoring, and leadership that looks good on a resume for a number of careers (not just teaching—but writing, editing, training, and managerial positions). For a video about what past tutors have done with their tutoring experience, click here.
- Improvement in your own writing. The more you look at the writing of other students and help them to recognize what works and what needs work, the more confidently and accurately you will be able to assess your own writing. Also, as you help students problem solve and develop writing strategies you will discover new ways to approach your own writing challenges.
What can I contribute as a Writing Tutor?
The biggest contribution you can make is by being a “real” reader for students. All writers (especially inexperienced writers) struggle with making themselves clear to a reader or addressing readers in appropriate ways. As a real reader, you can give them feedback about your own reactions to their writing—where you understood perfectly what they were saying, where they were unclear, where you felt they weren’t addressing you with enough respect, and so on.
You will provide another resource to students in a classroom where the instructor cannot be everywhere at once. Most instructors would love to look at multiple drafts of every student’s paper, but time constraints and other responsibilities keep them from doing so. Writing Tutors provide a degree of personalized instruction that instructors could never achieve on their own.
You will act as a mentor and role model to incoming freshman and other students. They will look to you for guidance not only in writing but in other related areas such as time management, study skills, choosing a major or LAC courses, and so on. Your connection to incoming students will help ease their transition to college in many ways.
I’m an OK writer, but…
I know my writing still needs work. I’m not good enough to be a Writing Tutor, am I?
It’s not always true that the best writers make the best tutors or teachers of writing.
If you’ve struggled with writing, are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and have developed strategies to overcome or work on these weaknesses, you might be an excellent writing tutor. You will be able to relate to the struggles of the students you work with and share your strategies with them.
You might be a good Writing Tutor if you can say the following:
- I find writing interesting—even if I don’t always enjoy actually doing it.
- I am comfortable suggesting revisions when my friends and classmates ask me to read their papers.
- I know I am not a perfect writer, but I know where my weaknesses lie.
- I usually get A’s (or at least B’s) on papers I’ve put my best efforts into.
- I enjoy working with other students.
OK, so how do I go about becoming a Writing Tutor?
To become a Writing Tutor you must apply, complete an interview, and be accepted into the program.
You will then enroll in English 275: Tutoring Writing, an intensive five-week course which will help to prepare you to act as a tutor in both the Writing Center and 100P classrooms.
The course includes a basic grounding in writing center theory and practice and will provide you with ample opportunities to experience common tutoring situations and problems through role-play, observations, and mock tutorials.
- Complete the application form. (Also available in the Writing Center, Library 134).
- Write a 250-500 word essay explaining why you want to be a Writing Tutor.
- Get a recommendation from a faculty member who knows your writing ability.
- Submit the above along with a writing sample by Friday, April 15, 2016 to:
Dr. Rita Malenczyk
University Writing Program
Writing Center, Library 134 or English Department, Webb Hall 225