Department of Writing and Rhetoric

Write Here, Write Now.

WRIT 301: Writing Center Peer Tutoring

Course Description

This course is a prerequisite for employment at the Oxford Campus Writing Center (WC), and it is an advantage for all who apply to work in any of the University’s Writing Centers, but it may be taken by anyone who meets course prerequisites and wishes to have a Writing elective. Additionally, the course is valuable for students in other fields that will require one-on-one collaboration and tutoring. Students who complete the course successfully will be eligible to apply for work in the Writing Center.

This course covers the history and theoretical foundations of and best practices for writing centers and individualized writing instruction. You will complete three short papers, an annotated bibliography and a research paper. Areas we will focus on include writing center history and theory; tutoring non-native speakers of English; ethics in tutoring; tutoring proofreading and grammar; online writing consultations; educational research methods; writing assessment; and other topics. As part of this course, you will complete observations of simulated sessions in addition to real online Writing Center sessions. The course is an elective (3 hrs. upper-division credit) and also fulfills one of the requirements for the minor in Professional Writing.

Course Offering

Spring 2017
Instructor: Brad Campbell
Prerequisites: Credit for WRIT 102 or equivalent.

Course Goals

  • Explore the history of writing centers and peer tutoring in writing
  • Learn about theories of peer tutoring
  • Examine how gender, race, culture, second-language acquisition, and disability shape students’ writing and individualized writing instruction
  • Practice using technologies in individualized writing instruction
  • Regularly reflect and report on interactions with student writers
  • Explore the ethics of individualized writing instruction
  • Learn how to complete research about writing center work (Non-English majors may propose a project in their field of study)
  • Improve writing/editing abilities through multiple drafting, peer review, and instructor feedback

Course Projects

Weekly Journals: You will complete electronic journal entries of at least 250 words throughout the semester. Journal entries will range from responses to individual readings to the application of theoretical concepts in writing center scenarios and sessions. All journal entries will be submitted as part of your final ePortfolio project on the course Wiki page. The due dates and directions for journal entries will be posted on Blackboard. You will complete a total of 12 journal entries during the semester. The completion of these readings and journal entries, along with the observations listed below, will qualify you for CRLA level 1 certification, a necessary credential for working as a consultant in our center.

Observations: Three, 1 – 1 ½  page summaries/analyses of online or face-to-face writing conferences of other consultants

Analysis of a Video Paper: We will spend time in class reviewing videos from other writing centers, including the Ole Miss Writing Centers. Then, as part of our investigation of multimodality, you will write a 3-4 page analysis of a multimodal project. Assignment details will be available on Blackboard. This is a daily assignment and will be counted as part of your class participation grade.

Simulated Response Paper: You will read a detailed description of a Writing Center scenario, take notes, analyze the scenario, and formulate a 4 – 5 page argumentative analysis essay. We will complete peer tutoring on this essay draft before you submit a second draft to me for feedback. The final draft of this simulated response essay will be submitted in your final portfolio. Detailed instructions are available on Blackboard.

Multimodal Concept in 60: This 60 second multimodal production will utilize a specific technology, such as iMovie, PowerPoint, PowToon, Windows Movie Maker, Prezi, or some other digital platform to develop a creative interpretation of your Tutoring Philosophy Statement. The goal for this assignment is to create a concise video that adequately and creatively introduces your tutoring philosophy to a public audience. More details are available in Blackboard.

Philosophy of Tutoring Statement: At the end of the semester, you will submit a philosophy of tutoring writing (students from non-English majors may choose to write a philosophy statement regarding their profession). You will write a 2 – 3 page statement of that philosophy, which will serve as the introduction to your final ePortfolio. You will complete peer tutoring on this draft before submitting a second draft to me for feedback.

Research Project or Paper: In order to support and advance undergraduates’ understanding of sound research methods at the University, each student this semester will participate in an original, small-scale educational research project or write a theoretically grounded research paper. We will spend time discussing what educational research accomplishes, what working with “human subjects” and obtaining IRB (institutional review board) approval entails, planning and implementing an educational research project (especially formulating a strong research question and choosing research methods), and writing your research results or paper (8 – 10 pages). We will be brainstorming ideas for research from the beginning of the class in order for us to come up with interesting options for you to research, and we will begin discussing them during Week 4.

Required Texts

Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference, 7th ed., Custom Edition, University of Mississippi, ISBN-13 978-1457604133.

Rafoth, Ben, and Shanti Bruce, eds. ESL Writers: A Guide for Writing Center Tutors. 2nd ed. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0-86709-594-4.

Young, Vershawn A., et al. Other People’s English: Code-Switching, Code-Meshing, and African American Literacy

Various articles and book chapters on Library Reserves/Blackboard/CWR website

Other Required Materials: you must maintain access to a laptop or desktop computer and a reliable Internet connection for the duration of the semester.

Recommended Texts

Harris, Muriel. Teaching one-to-one. ISBN-13: 978-0814151884 (Note: This book is out of print so it is not in the campus book store; you can find used copies for sale at amazon.com starting at $.01 +  shipping.)

DeVoss, Danielle Nicole. Because Digital Writing Matters. Jossey-Bass; ISBN-13: 9780470407721. We will have some readings from this book, which I will share with you via pdf files, but this is an excellent resource for anyone who will be teaching.