How to Get the Most out of a Tutoring Session

When you take time out of your busy life to work with someone on your writing, you want to make every moment count.  Here are some tips we recommend for getting the most out of your work with us.

Be Prepared.  Whether you have a full draft of the paper or not, you can prepare for your meeting by sending documents to your peer writing consultant when you make the appointment.  Anything helps, whether it’s just a scrappy introduction, a tentative outline, or a partial draft three paragraphs long.  It also helps to send along anything your instructor gives you about the writing assignment:  assignment information; a rubric; a handout; the syllabus.  But if you do not have any of these, come anyway, and . . .

Be Curious!  Have a few questions or talking points that you would like to share with your peer writing consultant.  It can be something like “I don’t really know what I want to do with this paper, so I’d just like to talk through some ideas with you,” or “The professor is asking us to cite sources in APA style, and I haven’t done that before.  What do I do?”  Here is a list of writing tasks we can help with:

  • Interpreting the assignment
  • Brainstorming topics
  • Selecting topics that fulfill the assignment
  • Crafting your thesis
  • Organizing your ideas
  • Developing details
  • Researching sources
  • Tracking and citing sources
  • Formatting (page design)
  • Editing
  • Proofreading

Be Open.  Sometimes growth in writing comes from unlearning things you have been taught in the past.  Be willing to set those ideas aside during the meeting to consider new thinking and new approaches to learning how to write. 

Be Playful.  You will have a better meeting if you have a spirit of play about your writing, a willingness to try things out, even if they sound crazy at first. 

Be Patient.  Your peer writing consultant is a talented writer who is interested in your education, but he or she is also a student like yourself.  They have training that will help you improve your writing, but if they do not know how to help with something, they will let you know that too.  They know how to find answers and get back to you!