Tutoring Session #1: Name of Writer: Elan Lurie Class/Level of Writer: Freshman Time/Day of Session: !2:00 on July 17, 2013 What was the assignment the writer was working on? Elan was working on a draft of a research paper for ENC 1101.
What specifically did writer need assistance with? The student came to revise his draft.
What are the major topics that were covered in the session? Upon being asked, the studentâ€™s major concern was making the paper 8 pages. He also made it clear a couple times that he was not there by choice but because his teacher required everyone to go. Paul Vinhage showed him where the details were a little thin in his paper so that he could elaborate more on these points. Paul also showed Elan how he could conduct better research.
What course readings or concepts connected to this session? Paul gave the student ideas to help provide depth to his paper. He gave Elan strategies that he could use later when revising. These strategies require metacognition, the ability to understand when to use these different techniques. Paul did a good job of making these ideas clear. The student also seemed to have a sense of external locus of control.
What I saw 1) Paul reads over the paper in silence 2) Paul asks, “What is your major concern?” Elan answers, “To try to make it 8 pages.” Paul then goes over points that could be elaborated on. 3) Paul tells Elan to read over the paper later and ask their paper “why?” as a way to find places to expand.
What I thought 1) I was not a fan of this strategy. When I went to tutoring I liked that Geoff read my paper aloud, as it helped me hear how the paper sounded when a reader reads it. It was also just a bit awkward sitting in silence as Paul read. 2) This student did not come by choice and he seemed skeptical that he needed any help. It’s likely he felt he couldn’t make his paper 8 pages because the teacher assigned a paper length that was too long; he probably didn’t come in thinking his paper was sparse in some points. 3) I liked that Paul gave the student some advice on what to do now that the session was over. Only so much can be covered in one session, so it is good to give the student strategies so they’re not clueless when they get home. It also puts responsibility on the student to use what they learned in the session.
Tutoring Session #2: Name of Writer: Paige Evans Class/Level of Writer: Undergraduate Time/Day of Session: !2:30 on July 18, 2013. What was the assignment the writer was working on? The assignment was a “Character Interaction Paper” for her Introduction to Short Stories class.
What specifically did writer need assistance with? Paige came for brainstorming.
What are the major topics that were covered in the session? The student seemed to already have some ideas for the story, so Liz Liebman just tried to help her elaborate on those ideas by asking a lot of questions. Paige wanted to have the characters interact with knowledge that they are characters in a story. It was a really strong session, partially because the student was clearly motivated. It concluded with her having a better idea of where she wants the story to go and with the plan to do an outline. Liz of course told Paige she could come back at a later phase of writing if she wished.
What course readings or concepts connected to this session? Liz led the session with mostly questions, as seems especially appropriate for brainstorming. This approach has been one we’ve learned a lot about in class. Liz also encouraged the student to use an outline for the story because the student mentioned that she is used to doing outlines for other papers. This is an example of transfer, as the student wasn’t sure at first whether she should use this technique for fiction. In the end she was convinced it would help her generate ideas for her story.
What I saw 1) As soon as Paige finished describing the assignment’s instructions, Liz started asking questions of where Paige wanted to go. 2) Paige mentioned certain ideas, and Liz would typically try to relate to them, giving examples that might clarify the ideas. 3) Paige said that she usually does outlines for her papers and that she wasn’t sure if she should do one for this story. Liz encouraged her to do so. 4) Paige was clearly motivated, and this clearly wasn’t her first time at a writing center. What I thought 1) I really liked how Liz demonstrated the question-leading approach to tutoring. It proved very effective, as Paige started thinking through her ideas to the assignment. I prefer this method to the more instructional approach. 2) By expressing interest and trying to relate to a writer’s ideas, it helps keep communication friendly and open. The writer gets to see how their audience might respond to certain ideas. 3) I thought this was a simple but effective use of encouraging transfer. If an outline works in other contexts of writing, why wouldn’t it work for a story? Knowing that knowledge from other contexts can be helpful for a current situation can help make the task more manageable and less daunting. 4) It was nice to see a student that chose to come to the writing center, since the first student I observed said a couple times that he was forced to come for class. Paige knew what to expect from the writing center and worked with Liz to get the help she sought.
Tutoring Session #3 Name of Writer: Young Do Kim Class/Level of Writer: Graduate Student Time/Day of Session: 4:00 on July 25, 2013 What was the assignment the writer was working on? The writer was working on a prospectus for his dissertation.
What specifically did writer need assistance with? Young Do needed help making things clear. An international student, he needed to make sure his English was good, but he also wanted to make sure any reader, even if theyâ€™re outside his field, could understand his prospectus.
What are the major topics that were covered in the session? Young Do and I went through a good portion of his writing (not the whole thing) and mainly worked on sentence clarity and elaboration of ideas.
What course readings or concepts connected to this session? The readings on international graduate students clearly relate. The student wasnâ€™t really interested in maintaining any of his culture or language within his prospectus. Already a pretty good writer in English, he clearly is interested in assimilating his writing to the conventions of professional English.
What I saw 1) The writer was about twenty minutes late because of the rain. He was very apologetic. 2) Young Do’s field was Sports Management, a field I am completely unfamiliar with. 3) We did a lot of line-editing. What I thought 1) In a way, it was good to have an experience of a student being late. Certain circumstances will inevitably come up that lead a student to be late or not show up at all. Young Do was completely aware that we wouldn’t be able to get to as much of his paper as originally planned and took complete responsibility. 2) It was also good to come into contact with a field I did not have much experience with. Young Do wanted to use this unfamiliarity to make sure everything was clear. I was his “naïve reader”. 3) This is what Young Do wanted, and it seemed important for his paper. I always explained why something sounded awkward or confusing, and most of the time he could anticipate when I would have trouble with something.
Tutoring Session #4 Name of Writer: Christian Palaez-Espinoza Class/Level of Writer: Freshman Time/Day of Session: 1:00 on July 29, 2013 What was the assignment the writer was working on? The student was working on an essay for ENC 1102. It was on his goals for success at FSU.
What specifically did writer need assistance with? Christian needed assistance with clarity and organization.
What are the major topics that were covered in the session? We talked about ways he could make the ideas flow from one to the other, as well as different rhetorical strategies he could employ.
What course readings or concepts connected to this session? The student had a very impressive internal locus of control. He was there by choice and truly wanted to succeed. He knew he needed to work hard and was very eager to improve his paper.
What I saw 1) Christian was a first-generation college student. He began his essay by talking about how his mother died of cancer when he was in high school and that her wish was for him to graduate with a college degree. 2) He wrote a lot on his draftâ€”both the changes we made together as well as ones for him to consider later on. 3) I read the paper aloud, bit by bit, and he would often stop me by laughing at something I just read. What I thought 1) Christianâ€™s introduction was very powerful, and it kind of made me pause for a moment to take in the gravity of his situation. However, I knew that I was there to talk about his writing and how each piece functioned in his writing. I told him it was a very powerful way to begin his essay and talked to him about how it structured the essay. 2) It was nice that Christian never looked to me to write anything down. It showed how serious he was that he wrote so much down. He clearly wanted this essay to be good. 3) At first I thought his laughter was a sign of low confidence, but I think it really just helped him to hear someone else read his paper. When he heard something he knew it was unclearly phrased or explained. His laughter also helped it be an affable session.