|Students work with peer tutors in the Writing Center.
The Moravian College Writing Center is projected to host more than 500 tutoring sessions this semester. With 30-minute appointments, each covering about three pages of writing, that’s a daunting 250 hours and 1,500 pages of student writing taken on by the tutoring staff.
The Writing Center’s 15 peer tutors are up to the challenge, though, and have been busy working with student writers since the Writing Center opened for the semester on September 10.
Many of the semester’s visits will be from the 380 first-year students who were welcomed to Moravian’s campus this fall. The First Year Seminar program provides a steady stream of clients to the Writing Center as students seek input and advice on assignments for their writing-intensive FYS classes.
The Writing Center’s visitors aren’t just first-year students, however. A typical semester features visits from students in every undergraduate department on campus and from continuing education students at the Moravian Theological Seminary and the Comenius Center.
Writing Center tutors appreciate the challenge of working with students from different disciplines and at various stages of their educational careers. The tutors themselves represent a range of majors and minors, from Neuroscience to English, and are trained to work with different forms of writing. Cross-discipline tutoring can provide writers with a fresh perspective on their work, and it is also rewarding for tutors. “When a student comes in with a topic that I don’t know much about I like being able to learn from them, especially when it’s a subject that the writer is really interested in or passionate about,” says Caiti Campbell ’13, a tutor majoring in environmental studies.
Though students are often nervous about visiting the Writing Center for the first time, they soon discover that a tutoring session is nothing to worry about. The Writing Center isn’t a remedial resource or a place for “bad” writers, but rather a place where anyone can get feedback on their writing. Tutors can work with students at any stage of the writing process, from selecting an essay topic to editing a final draft. A typical tutoring session is collaborative, with tutor and writer working together to identify strengths and weaknesses and then discussing the most effective way for the writer to proceed on the assignment.
Two of this year’s Writing Center tutors, Steve Delturk ’13 and Cody Florindi ’14 are also taking their skills on the road as Roving Tutors. Steve and Cody visit First Year Seminar classes to share information about the Writing Center, discuss peer revision and writing strategies, or assist with in-class writing workshops. Students benefit from working with more experienced peers in a classroom setting, and instructors often appreciate having extra help when students are working individually or in small groups on writing projects.
Writing Center tutors put a friendly face on the often daunting task of writing, revising, and editing academic work. Whether stopping in once for help on a specific formatting issue or meeting with a tutor regularly throughout the progression of a large research project, student writers enjoy the personable and comfortable atmosphere in the Writing Center. The Writing Center tutors all possess excellent writing skills, but they’re also students themselves, which can help writers feel a sense of camaraderie.
Students wishing to make a Writing Center appointment can visit in person to sign up or call 610-861-1592 during our open hours. The Writing Center is located on the second floor of Zinzendorf Hall, and is open from Sunday to Thursday each week.
Any instructor interested in setting up a tutor visit to his or her classroom can contact Meg Mikovits at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 610-652-7820.