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.
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.
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.
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.
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.