Writing tutor

Writing center

Many educational institutions maintain a writing center that provides students with free assistance on their papers, projects, and reports from trained professionals, consultants, or peer tutors. A key goal of any writing center is helping writers to learn. Typical services include help with the purpose, structure, and organization of writing, and are geared toward writers of all levels and fields of study. In general, writing centers also offer assistance with grammar and syntax and citation of sources for research papers using one of various recognized formats, such as MLA, APA, or Turabian. Writing centers coach students rather than doing their work for them, even in dealing with apparently mechanical aspects of writing.

A writing center usually offers individualized conferencing whereby the writing tutor offers his or her feedback on the piece of writing at hand; a writing tutor's main function is to discuss how the piece of writing might be revised. However, the tutor usually does not proofread nor edit the student's work. Instead, the tutor facilitates the student's attempts to revise his or her own work by conversing with the student about the topic at hand, discussing principles and processes of writing, modeling rhetorical and syntactical moves for the student to apply, and assisting the student in identifying patterns of grammatical error in his or her writing.

Some institutions also offer an Online Writing Lab (OWL), which generally attempts to follow the model of writing center tutoring in an online environment.

A recent movement in writing centers has been to provide services for the non-academic community. Such services include one-to-one response for out-of-school writers, and workshops on a wide variety of topics. Such writing centers are often identified as community writing centers.

Writing Centers are not exclusively a post-secondary phenomenon. Some high schools have successfully created writing centers similar to the model in higher education.

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