CWAA Information for Peer Tutors and TAs

Our peer tutors and peer writing consultants all undergo a rigorous application and interviewing process. Writing consultants must complete a three-credit writing practicum the semester before they start working in the CWAA. Peer subject tutors must have completed the course(s) in which they provide tutoring with a strong grade and provide at least one faculty endorsement. Our tutors all sign confidentiality agreements, participate in regular training, and foster positive, professional relationships with their clients.

Role of a CWAA Writing Consultant

Peer Writing Consultants work with undergraduate students individually to address "higher-order concerns," such as argumentation, organization, and voice, before moving on to "later-order concerns," such as grammar, syntax, mechanics, and citation formats. They help students with assignments from any discipline and at any stage of the writing process.

During an appointment, Writing Consultants will read a student's paper, ask clarifying questions, and suggest revisions. Although consultants do not edit or proofread papers, they will help with editing and proofreading techniques. Writing Consultants are typically not content experts, and students are responsible for the quality and integrity of their revised papers. Writing Consultants must successfully complete a three-credit tutor training course (WRI 369) or a Writing Fellow internship before they are eligible to work for the CWAA.

Applications to become a Writing Consultant will be accepted in the fall semester.

Role of a CWAA Peer Tutor

Peer tutors should have proficiency and demonstrated knowledge in the subjects they tutor. Undergraduate students who come for tutoring are struggling with a problem they cannot solve. The role of the tutor is not to do the homework problems, but to assist students to understand concepts and processes in order that he or she can then leave the Center and complete homework on their own.

Tutors should guide the students through the process of learning to find their own answers. Tutors as “model students” help tutees become “master students.” Tutors also help provide an open environment in which learning can take place. Tutors determine the level at which a student is struggling: Does this student understand the basic concepts? Does this student understand the vocabulary of the subject? Tutors recognize that they have to work on a student’s level of understanding in order to help the student reach the tutor’s level of understanding. If the student needs to understand basic concepts before going further, the tutor will spend time on the basics.

Role of a Teaching Assistant

In your TA role, you may find yourself supporting faculty and students in a variety of ways: in-class support, office hours, correcting assignments without assigning grades, review sessions or PLTL, etc. Below you will find a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for this position.

Please do this…

But please don’t do this…

Communicate regularly with your faculty member, and be sure to discuss problematic students.

  Do not discipline students.

Conduct course-related research to strengthen your understanding of your position and course.

  Do not act as a research assistant or conduct departmental clerical support.

Help lead class discussions and provide lab support for students, as needed.

  Do not teach class without faculty present.

Review and comment on subjective assignments. Correct but not grade objective assignments.

  Do not evaluate or grade subjective assignments.  

Lead Review Sessions and/or PLTL sessions. Be sure to reserve your room through Conference and Events.

  Do not tutor individual students unless they visit you during your office hours. Any tutoring must go directly through the CWAA.

Assist with class and/or exam preparation.

  Do not proctor examinations.