by Cameron Wiggins
One of the many resources available in the Writing Center (Mudd 201) is the file of past writing associate report forms. These forms were filled out by past writing associates, dating back to Fall 2000, and they provide specific information about individual tutoring sessions. The forms are filed by department (i.e. English, Politics, Economics) in the yellow box on the bookcase.
Writing Associates: Not sure how to someone on an Honors project? Look through the file of writing associate report forms on this particular type of tutoring to get a general sense of how past writing associates have done it successfully. You can also look through reports on tutoring sessions in all of the disciplines to glean information and techniques from past writing associates that will help you to be a more effective writing associate.
Personally speaking, these report forms have been a huge help to me as a writing associate. I read through a lot of them during my first few shifts at the Writing Center just to get a general idea of what a tutoring session is like, and I also learned a lot of specific things that were helpful to me.
Reading one writing associate’s comment, “I guess my job was easy because all she really needed was reassurance that her ideas were valid,” showed me that I should be positive and give praise where praise is due, especially to students who are nervous or lack confidence in their writing.
Another writing associate wrote about his technique in dealing with papers that are not very well organized: “Her paper wasn’t as focused as it could be. I recommended that she make an outline as a way of organizing her paper at both the macro and micro levels.” This is a great idea, and it is a technique that I have often used in my tutoring since I read about it in this writing associate’s report form.
Unfamiliar with tutoring students on applications and cover letters, I looked through old report forms and found a lot of useful tips; for instance, one writing associate wrote, “I showed her how to place the important parts in the main sections of a sentence…worked on adding a personal quality to an impressive list of achievements.”
These writing associate report forms are a great resource for you as writing associates because they can provide you with both general information about tutoring and specific techniques and methods of tutoring.