Department of English

Writing Center

What are Tutors and What are we supposed to do?

Our main goal is to help students become better writers. We can assist at any stage in the writing process from brainstorming to finishing the assignment.  Consultations are highly individualized and cover any concerns students may have. However, we do encourage students to begin with questions about focus, tone, organization, and development before moving into lower order concerns (sentence structure, punctuation, usage, and spelling).  We encourage students to retain ownership of their papers at all times during the consultation. We are here to facilitate students’ learning and writing, not to dictate it.  We also dedicate ourselves to recognizing strengths as well as weaknesses in the papers our clients bring to the Center. 

Tutors are professionals.  We have committed ourselves to maintaining the highest standards of conduct and professionalism toward students, other assistants, faculty, and everyone connected with SUU.

What we can do:

  • Work with students to generate ideas.  We are students who love to write and develop ideas, so we should be excited about helping our clients.
  • Let them be 100% responsible for their papers
  • Support the development of writing skills for the future.  Although students may be really concerned about their current assignments, let’s keep in mind that we’re trying to create better writers, not better papers.

What we can’t do:

  • Edit or proofread without our clients’ participation.  These tasks should not be a writer’s first priority in any assignment.  Therefore, we rank items such as content and structure above grammatical issues.  However, this does not mean that we completely refuse to proofread; when assignments are nearing completion, we are more than happy to teach students to edit—with their full participation, of course.
  • Write the paper for students.  Of course, we offer help and suggestions, but the responsibility for writing and revising needs to remain the students’.
  • Guarantee a grade of “A” on the paper under discussion.