As a resource for tutoring at the LIU/Brooklyn
Campus Writing Center, we have listed readings that we typically
use for staff development meetings during the school year.
titlehough this bibliography is partial, it includes passages
that will apply to a variety of tutoring sessions and types
of students. Copies of these readings are available in the
Writing Center from Patricia or Allia. If you want to suggest
additions to our list, please email
or contact us.
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner.
The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn
& Bacon, 2000.
"The Tutoring Process"
Gillespie and Lerner discuss the differences between editing
and tutoring and explains that tutors do not have to consider
themselves experts; suggests several strategies available
for tutors to use, such as asking questions, and reading aloud;
and gives a detailed sample of how to organize a tutoring
session, including its opening, deciding on an agenda, and
closing the session.
Gillespie and Lerner explain the use of taking notes when
working with students; gives various examples of student essays
and accompanying tutor notes to draw on.
"Working with ESL Students"
Gillespie and Lerner analyze some of the misguided "myths"
surrounding the abilities of non-native speakers of English
in regards to their writing abilities and dispels the idea
that tutors necessarily have to approach every non-native
student in an exact fashion. Gives examples of dialogue between
tutors and non-native students.
"Reading in the Writing Center"
Gillespie and Lerner propose that talking with students about
their reading habits will allow a tutor to suggest other strategies
that can improve their reading concentration and help them
develop a better understanding of what they have read, in
turn creating more knowledgeable sounding papers.
Harris, Muriel. Teaching One-to-One:
The Writing Conference. Urbana: NCTE, 1986.
"Shapes and Purposes of the Conference"
Harris examines the different roles a tutor can take during
a tutoring session, such as "coach," "commentator,"
"listener," etc; suggests how to, along with the
student, create and maintain a workable agenda; and talks
about the "stages" of a tutoring conference.
Harris covers the ways in which tutors can communicate with
students during the session, such as engaging in conversation
to "observe" and diagnose" students' writing
concerns; and using the "showing" and "telling"
types of methods and the effects of and when to best use each.
It also explores some of the numerous problems that may pop
up during a session and the limits of using a lot of questions
when working with students.
Meyer, Emily, and Louise Z. Smith.
The Practical Tutor. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
In this chapter, The Practical Tutor addresses the different
ways students can use when approaching the writing process.
Tutors need not enforce a structured linear process (i.e;
writing the introduction, body, and conclusion in that order
without straying from it) on every student because some, if
not most, do not benefit from writing that way. It shows that
tutors can make students aware that there are many different
ways and strategies available to help them compose essays.
"Helping Writers Form Concepts"
In this chapter, The Practical Tutor covers a few methods
a tutor can use while assisting students in making their papers
more cohesive and thought-provoking. It suggests and explains
how to employ free-writing exercises, "glossing,"
and asking questions such as "how does who do what and
why?" The overall goal is to help students fully develop
"Tutoring Revision Through Paper
In this chapter, The Practical Tutor focuses on deciphering
and working with students' papers that are covered with professor's
comments. It also stresses the importance of revising, and
suggests that tutors emphasize "re-envisioning"
their papers rather than just making quick fixes per their
professor's remarks. It includes a sample paper that is all
marked up for reference and for use in a practice exercise.
"Sentence Level Errors: Making
In this chapter, The Practical Tutor deals with surface errors
in syntax, grammar, and sentence structure. It includes scenarios
of interactions between students and tutors, and suggests
ways of phrasing questions and comments so that students are
not overwhelmed by technical, sometimes confusing and intimidating
"Meeting the Writer"
In this chapter, The Practical Tutor provides suggestions
for tutors to use during the initial stage of meeting and
working with students. It discusses: establishing a good rapport;
identifying students' strengths and weaknesses as writers;
dealing with uncomfortable situations; and maintaining effective
communication. The scenarios that are included help tutors
get an idea of the types of situations they may find themselves