Southeast Missouri State University Wriiting Lab

The Writing Lab

Ways Tutors Help


Before you visit the Writing Lab

  • Don't wait until the last minute to visit the Writing Lab.  Give yourself at least a day between your visit to the Lab and the date the paper is due.  Otherwise, you won't have time to make significant revisions.

  • Think about what you want to accomplish before you confer with a tutor.  The tutor will ask, "How may I help you?"  Be ready with a specific answer.  What are your main concerns regarding your paper?

  • Bring the assignment sheet, the written-down directions for the assignment you're working on. 

  • Don't think you have to bring a completed draft before you can confer with a tutor in the Writing Lab.  A conference can be helpful at any stage in the writing process, even if you haven't written a word yet.  A tutor can help you decide on a topic, limit it, brainstorm ideas for developing it, and consider how you might organize your material before you begin.


Ways tutors help

  • Tutors can help you check that you've followed your instructor's directions and have addressed any explicit criteria of evaluation.

  • Tutors can help you develop your ideas by discussing them with you and asking questions.

  • Tutors can help you identify technical errors in a draft (for example, in sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation) and teach you to make corrections on your own.

  • Tutors can help you become a better reader of your own writing by helping you analyze your draft in terms of focus, organization, development, style, and correctness.

  • Tutors can help you with citing and documenting source material in MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association) styles, or another documentation style.

  • Your tutor will be an attentive, thoughtful reader of your writing who can let you know how your words are getting across.  If nothing else, allowing a tutor to read your paper and talk with you about it will help you learn to internalize an audience--that is, predict and respond to the needs of readers in general, whatever the assignment.

  • You can meet weekly (or more often) with the same tutor over the course of a semester.  Your tutor can monitor your progress and focus with you on the writing skills you would like to develop.


Tutor with student 

photo Allen Gathman

2008 Southeast MO St. U.
Updated October 15, 2008
by Allen Gathman