Tutoring Observation Paper

ENGL 377
Fall 2011
Tutoring Observation Essay
“The less we do to the paper, the better. Our primary objective in the writing center session is not the paper, but the
student.” --Jeff Brooks, “Minimalist Tutoring”
“The writing center could better help to facilitate…developments by serving as a site where directive tutoring
provides a sheltered and protected time and space for practice that leads to the accumulation of important
repertories, the expression of new social identities, and the articulation of domain-appropriate rhetoric.”
--Linda K. Shamoon and Deborah H. Burns, “A Critique of Pure Tutoring”
So far this semester, you’ve written about your initial observations of the writing center, an
individual writer, and a composition class. Your next paper assignment asks you to take a look at
another key player in composition studies and the challenges you will face as tutors. Once
you’ve completed some of your shadowing in the ASC, you’ll write a paper based on one
session, one tutor, or one client you’ve observed. Just as with your first three papers, you’ll need
to take lots of notes and reflect on what stands out in those notes.
After you gather your data, begin drafting your essay with an eye towards an eventual thesis
about why what you have observed is significant. Your eventual thesis will be much more
specific, of course, and it’s up to you to determine why/how. Similarly, the specific
sections/topics you concern yourself with are entirely up to you. See where you observation
takes you and run with it.
Your paper should include/demonstrate:
 A clear thesis statement early in the paper laying out your argument;
 Good topic sentences and transitions for each paragraph;
 An introduction and a conclusion;
 Evidence from your notes to support your points. Quote from dialogue you overhear,
point out specific important details, etc.;
 References (direct quotations and/or paraphrases) cited correctly in the text according to
MLA conventions from at least three texts we’ve read so far. (Try to use some sources
you haven’t used before.) You’ll also need a works cited page;
 Appropriate length and formatting: At least 4 full pages, typed; double-spaced; typed in a
reasonable font (Times New Roman 12 pt. or Arial 11 pt.); one-inch margins all around;
stapled; no extra spaces between paragraphs; your name, the course title, the instructor’s
name, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page; after page one, page
numbers should appear on the upper right-hand corner of each page.
Important dates for this assignment:
Monday, October 24: Workshop papers in class; bring two copies of a draft to class
Wednesday, October 26: Papers due in class; copies due on turnitin.com before class begins