What is this All About?

By: Rickie Ross

I am here in the Writing Lab today working to help students to become the best writers they can possibly be. Well today is my second day of work, and to be honest, I have already realized that I am, in fact, not the best tutor out there. This may come as a shock to some of you, although somehow it does not to me, but it’s the absolute truth, I must admit. So what does that mean? Give up? Not at all! My job is to make the students I tutor believe in themselves and help them to become the absolute best writers they can be. This takes time. It takes practice. It takes… relationship. The people that come to have their papers worked on are just that, people. They each come with their own successes and failures, their own hills and valleys.

That being said, I need to be the best tutor I can be so that I can help students to become the best they can become. I need to build relationships with the people that come to me for help so that they will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with me. I want to make people realize the potential in themselves and, therefore, have confidence in their writing, knowing that they too have a voice to be heard. Yes, some of my job will consist of editing and fixing small grammatical mistakes, but I think my overall purpose as a writing tutor is much more than that. I think it is to help students fulfill the potential they have as writers and to make themselves see just how much power they have in their own voices. Attitude makes all the difference.

So… as an extremely inexperienced writing tutor, I hope to reach other inexperienced tutors going through the same nervous, unprepared feelings I am. I guess I don’t really have advice because anything I say at this point would simply be my feeble opinion, but I do know that if our job is to help students see and live up to their full potential, we should be able to do the same. We should believe in ourselves and keep trying, even when we fail. They don’t know we’ve never done this before. So let’s try our best and learn from our mistakes and work our hardest to become the best tutors we can possibly be. No matter who you are reading this, believe in yourself, work your absolute hardest, and be a better tutor (or whatever else you do) than you were yesterday. We can do this!

Summary-Critique

1. To respond to the “Summary-Critique” exercises on the “Summary-Critique” handout,
2. To ask a question about summary-critique essays, OR
3. To practice additional exercises below on summary-critique essays.
–Click on Leave a Comment.
–Perform one of the 3 actions listed above in the Leave a Reply section.
–A writing tutor will respond to your Writing Space response within 24 hours!

Practice prompt:

Why is it important to critique? Think of five reasons why critiquing might be a useful skill that you could use throughout college and your lives.

Personal Narrative

1. To respond to the “Personal Narrative” exercises on the “Personal Narrative” handout,
2. To ask a question about personal narratives, OR
3. To practice additional exercises below on personal narratives.
–Click on Leave a Comment.
–Perform one of the 3 actions listed above in the Leave a Reply section.
–A writing tutor will respond to your Writing Space response within 24 hours!

Practice prompt:

Reflect on a central part of your identity. Who are you? Tell about one part of your identity with a story.

Literature Review

1. To respond to the “Literature Review” exercises on the “Literature Review” handout,
2. To ask a question about the literature review, OR
3. To practice categorizing topics, researching, and organizing research into themes below.
–Click on Leave a Comment.
–Perform one of the 3 actions listed above in the Leave a Reply section.
–A writing tutor will respond to your Writing Space response within 24 hours!

Practice prompt:

Choose one of the following topics: cognitive development of children, collaborative learning in middle school, or staff development in fitness centers.

-Determine what categories you would like for your topic.

-Research your topic according to the categories you selected.

Did you find any other themes that would be relevant to include in your categories? Did you not find some of the categories? How would you change your organizational schema now?

Literary Analysis

1. To respond to the “Literary Analysis” exercises on the “Literary Analysis” handout,
2. To ask a question about the literary analysis, OR
3. To practice additional exercises below on the literary analysis.
–Click on Leave a Comment.
–Perform one of the 3 actions listed above in the Leave a Reply section.
–A writing tutor will respond to your Writing Space response within 24 hours!

Practice prompt:

Think of your favorite book or TV show. What message does that book or TV show try to convey to its readers/watchers? Think in terms of an overall message. How does it convey that message? Use the “Literary Analysis” handout to guide your thinking. Write a sample thesis statement that includes the main theme and components you would analyze in a literary analysis essay.

Experimental Report

1. To respond to the “Experimental Report” exercises on the “Experimental Report” handout,
2. To ask a question about experimental reports, OR
3. To practice additional exercises below on experimental reports.
–Click on Leave a Comment.
–Perform one of the 3 actions listed above in the Leave a Reply section.
–A writing tutor will respond to your Writing Space response within 24 hours!

Practice prompt:

Choose a science experiment that is famous. Then, sketch an outline for what the experimental report would look like for that experiment.

Example/Illustration Essay

1. To respond to the “Example/Illustration Essay” exercises on the “Example/Illustration Essay” handout,
2. To ask a question about example/illustration essays, OR
3. To practice additional exercises below on example/illustration essays.
–Click on Leave a Comment.
–Perform one of the 3 actions listed above in the Leave a Reply section.
–A writing tutor will respond to your Writing Space response within 24 hours!

Practice prompt:

Find an example of an example-illustration essay online. Read through it. What is the thesis of that essay? Choose one example from the essay. How does that example match with the thesis? What could be changed to make that example more effective?