What does a Writing Tutor do?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Writing tutors can help students complete worksheets and other homework.
Writing tutors can help students complete worksheets and other homework.

A writing tutor is a person with expertise in the field of writing who helps a student or other interested person to learn how to write better. The writing tutor is not necessarily a teacher or a person with a teaching credential, though many tutors do have such qualifications. Many students seek out a writing tutor if they need additional help with writing outside of the classroom; the tutor will be responsible for helping the student understand and use writing rules and conventions more effectively, and in some cases, the tutor may be responsible for helping the student learn to write in general.

Writing tutors can work with students individually to develop skills.
Writing tutors can work with students individually to develop skills.

While anyone with a solid grasp of the language they wish to teach can become a writing tutor, it helps to have some qualifications. This may mean a college degree or exemplary grades in high school or college courses, or it may mean having teaching credentials. Many professional teachers choose to offer tutoring lessons before or after school, essentially offering extra help to students who do not grasp the subject matter as well as they need to. A writing tutor will often focus on one specific language, though some tutors can teach more than one language.

A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.
A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.

Sometimes a writing tutor works with people studying a second language. In the United States, for example, English as a Second Language tutors can help students who do not speak English as their primary language begin to learn the rules and conventions of writing in English. The tutor does not necessarily need to speak, read, or write more than one language, but basic comprehension of other languages is certainly a plus.

Writing tutors may proofread assignments for students.
Writing tutors may proofread assignments for students.

Some tutors specialize in certain types of writing. A creative writing tutor, for example, will focus on how to write stories, poems, or other types of creative writing; such a tutor will focus on different conventions and styles than a tutor who focuses on analytical writing or technical writing. Some tutors can focus on more than one specific area of writing, since many of the rules and conventions are similar for each type of writing, but the best tutors often focus on one specific area in which they have particular expertise or experience.

Writing tutors offer additional help to students to hone their skills outside of the classroom.
Writing tutors offer additional help to students to hone their skills outside of the classroom.

Colleges and universities often hire tutors to work in a writing center at certain hours of the day. Students are welcome to come and go as they please, tapping into this resource for specific assignments or academic pursuits. Writing centers may hire students to work as tutors, though adjunct faculty, professors, and other professionals may also work as tutors in the writing centers.

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Discussion Comments

andee

@golf07 - I took advantage of a tutoring service like this when I was in college. I was struggling with the correct way to write papers and needed help with the technical aspects of writing.

The information and help I gained at this center was well worth the time. I think some people are embarrassed to get extra help like this. That might be one reason more students don't take advantage of something like this.

For me, it made all the difference when it came to my writing skills. I felt much more confident and I didn't dread sitting down and writing them as much as I did before.

golf07

@bagley79 - It is great knowing there are people who are volunteering their time to help students improve their English writing skills before they graduate from high school.

I work as a tutor at a writing center on a college campus. It is interesting to see the variety of students I have who come to the center for some extra help.

Many of them have spoken English their whole life, but just need some extra help when it comes to writing their college papers and essays.

This is a great service that I don't know if a lot of students are even aware of. It can be pretty expensive to hire a private tutor, but if you take advantage of something like this, it can really make a difference without costing you any extra money.

bagley79

I volunteer as a writing tutor at an after school program for kids. Many of the kids I work with are from another country, so it is imperative for them to learn good writing skills.

Even after living in the United States for some time, many of them still struggle with learning English. Most of their parents still speak their native language at home, so this can be quite a challenge for them.

There have been many rewards volunteering as an English writing tutor. It is very satisfying when I see them learn these skills, and many of them learn very quickly.

As their writing skills improve, their grades usually improve as well.

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    • Writing tutors can help students complete worksheets and other homework.
      Writing tutors can help students complete worksheets and other homework.
    • Writing tutors can work with students individually to develop skills.
      Writing tutors can work with students individually to develop skills.
    • A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.
      A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.
    • Writing tutors may proofread assignments for students.
      Writing tutors may proofread assignments for students.
    • Writing tutors offer additional help to students to hone their skills outside of the classroom.
      Writing tutors offer additional help to students to hone their skills outside of the classroom.
    • Writing tutors may critique a child's work.
      Writing tutors may critique a child's work.