Wellesley students can meet with trained peer tutors to discuss any aspect of their writing or the writing process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I schedule an appointment with a tutor?
To make an appointment, use the online scheduler. Appointments are not required, but they are strongly recommended. You may sign up to meet with a tutor for either 30 or 60 minutes. If you want to work regularly with a particular tutor throughout the semester, that can usually be arranged. To make a special tutor arrangement, contact Jeannine Johnson in the Writing Program.
What do the writing tutors do?
Tutors work with you one-on-one, helping you with your writing assignments, including summaries, response papers, essays, research papers, lab reports, and senior theses. Tutors can help you with any writing assignment for any course. In addition, tutors are available to advise you on cover letters and application essays for fellowships or graduate or professional school.
The tutors' goal is to help students generate, organize, revise, and improve their writing. Tutors will look at work at any stage of the writing process. In fact, you can meet with a tutor before you've even written a draft just to brainstorm ideas for a paper. While tutors will work with you to address problems of grammar or usage, they will not proofread your paper or correct mistakes for you.
What should I expect from a session with a writing tutor?
You can expect the tutor to ask you lots of questions about your paper's subject matter, its organization, and your goals for the assignment. The tutor will read over your draft and offer advice, but she will always expect you to be actively engaged in the tutorial process. Tutors typically will not write on your paper. It is up to you to write down the ideas you discuss, to jot down a possible new outline for the paper, and to try out new sentence structures as the two of you talk.
What should I bring to my tutoring session?
Bring your assignment sheet to the tutor session, along with any writing you have done. Also bring specific questions: the more specific you are in directing tutors to the main sources of your concern, the more productive the tutoring session will be. Don't expect to simply ask the tutor to read your paper and tell you if it is "good" or not.
When should I see a writing tutor?
In general, the earlier in the writing process you see a tutor, the better. Consider seeing a tutor as soon as you get an assignment. You can always schedule another appointment later in the process, once you have done some writing. At least aim to see a tutor a couple of days before an assignment is due. Meeting with a tutor a few hours before something is due is not advised.
Where do the tutors work?
Most of the tutors work in the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center (PLTC) on the third level of Clapp Library. Tutors also work some evenings in Sage Lounge in the Science Center and in Harambee House. A tutor specially trained to work with Davis Scholars works several hours per week in the Continuing Education House. See the online scheduler for the location of the tutor you are scheduled to see.
My primary language is not English. Is there a special writing tutor for me?
Any of the tutors can help you with most writing issues. However, if you would like to see someone who specializes in working with multilingual (ESL) students, you may sign up to see Josh Lederman, a faculty member in the Writing Program who holds tutoring hours in the PLTC. His schedule is available on the online scheduler.
I am a Davis Scholar. Is there a special writing tutor for me?
Any of the tutors can help you with most writing issues. However, you may wish to see Sharon Lecuyer, a former Davis Scholar who works as a writing tutor several hours per week in the Continuing Education House. Her schedule is available on the online scheduler .
I have to write a lab report. Should I see a science writing tutor?
Any of the tutors can help you with lab reports or any other assignment you receive for your science classes. However, if you would like to see someone who specializes in science writing, such a tutor is available at least one evening a week in Sage Lounge in the Science Center. Her schedule is available on the online scheduler.
I want to improve my understanding of grammar. Is there a special resource for me?
Josh Lederman, a faculty member in the Writing Program, holds a weekly workshop during which he helps students seeking to improve their understanding of correct grammar, punctuation, and documentation styles. The day and time is posted in the PLTC. You may also contact him directly for more information. For help with mechanics any time, you may also consult handouts available in the PLTC, such as those titled "Resources for Improving Your Grammar and Punctuation" and "Resources for Doing Research and Documenting Sources."
Do I have to pay to see a tutor?
No. Writing tutors are available to Wellesley students free of charge.
Is there a limit to the number of tutoring sessions I may have?
Students may meet with tutors for up to 120 minutes (2 hours) per week. This means that you could have two 1-hour sessions or four 30-minute sessions per week. If you have a particular need to see a tutor more than 120 minutes in a week, contact Jeannine Johnson.
I really just want someone to proofread my paper. Why can't a writing tutor do that for me?
At Wellesley, as at most colleges, we want students to be actively involved in the process of improving a piece of writing. We think this is the best way to help students develop their confidence and their skills in writing. Proofreading a student's writing puts her in a passive position, and in that position she isn't likely to develop any skills that she can build on for the future. We understand that correctness is important, and tutors can help you address problems of grammar, spelling, or punctuation. However, they will do so in a way that ensures the work is collaborative and that you are learning what kinds of mistakes you make and how to correct them yourself.