Feeling stuck? Or just want to have a conversation with someone about your writing? Sweetland’s Peer Tutoring services are available on a walk-in basis to undergraduate students, regardless of background or discipline. Sweetland-trained peer tutors meet one-to-one with writers to help at any stage of the writing process. This free service is available at several convenient locations on Central Campus, the Hill, and North Campus.
Here is what to expect when you meet one-to-one with a peer tutor to discuss your writing:
- When you arrive, check in with staff and complete the online intake form.
- Most sessions begin with a brief discussion of the assignment you're working on and the kind of help you're looking for.
- Come prepared to participate in an active collaboration with your tutor -- for example, by asking and answering questions, reading through the paper aloud, generating ideas, making notes on your own draft, etc.
- An effective session will often focus on "higher order" concerns (e.g., thesis, ideas, evidence, organization) before addressing sentence-level concerns such as grammar and punctuation. Prioritizing higher order concerns assures that you won’t spend time fixing sentences that might not even support your argument.
- While tutors are happy to work with writers on their sentence-level concerns, we avoid proofreading or "correcting" papers directly. Rather, we can help writers identify patterns of error, proofread more effectively, and improve clarity and style. If you’re ready to address sentence-level concerns, expect to address one or two error types per consultation.
To get the most out of your consultation with a peer tutor, come prepared to actively participate in a conversation about your writing. You’ll need:
- Reasonable expectations: What one or two issues would you like to discuss with the peer tutor? If you have a really long paper, on what part or parts would you like to focus?
- Your assignment sheet, writing prompt, and any guidelines you’ve been given for composition.
- Ideas about or a draft of your writing project in electronic or hard copy. You can bring whatever you’d like: a paper for a course, a personal statement, a cover letter, a blog post, a PowerPoint, a website, a poem, etc.
Some policies to keep things running smoothly:
- Tutorials run on a first-come-first-serve basis. They last 30-60 minutes, depending on whether other writers are waiting.
- You can’t be required to come. Writers cannot be required to visit the Peer Tutoring Centers and Peer Tutors cannot sign anything or provide evidence of your visit. This policy exists because peer tutoring works best when writers genuinely want to talk to tutors.
- You’ll be responsible for making all changes to your text. Peer Tutors won’t edit your writing or do the work for you.
- Make sure you’re allowed to submit a take-home exam. Peer Tutors cannot assist writers with take-home exams unless the instructor has given Sweetland written permission to provide assistance. Permission can be emailed to email@example.com.
- Make sure collaborators are present. Peer Tutors can help writers with collaboratively written pieces if 50% or more of the collaborators are present for the consultation.