Our Approach to Tutoring Writing
UT Tyler Writing Center
Our goal is to guide members of the university community in the writing process. We consult with writers in developing the skills and tools necessary for them to effectively communicate their ideas.
We believe that students know more about their own writing processes and projects than the consultants do. We let their questions and concerns drive the sessions. Our consultants work as readers and writers: people who can look at a piece of writing, no matter the subject matter, and see the strengths and weaknesses of that text.
With this view of students in mind, we do aim to address concerns with the work as a whole first. Our consultants look at how the writing meets the assignment (as much as possible), how the writing works logically, how the writing is organized or structured, and how the writing is researched (to name a few) before dealing with lower order concerns. We save editing and sentence structure issues until the end of a session if we can. We believe that helping students express their ideas and arguments strongly creates more learning that can be applied in more writing situations than working with editing errors.
While we choose to work with editing issues after the higher order concerns listed above, we do work with editing concerns. Our approach is to teach students editing strategies; we do not edit papers for students. Our hope is that students will learn enough about writing and editing to make our assistance unnecessary in the future.
We guarantee that visits to the Writing Center will be a span of time spent discussing student-specific writing assignments, concerns, and questions with an expert reader and writer whose advice is aimed at improving the piece of writing and the writer's skills in creating it. We do not promise perfect papers or high grades.