A TUTOR’S GUIDE TO

THE WRITING PROCESS

by
Dorothy Williams
Antelope Valley College

Lancaster, California 

I.   INVENTION: INVESTIGATING POSSIBILITIES
Possible topics to be discussed by tutor and tutee at this stage.

pencilASSIGNMENT

  • What is the purpose?
  • What are the instructor’s requirements?
pencilAUDIENCE and PURPOSE
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the purpose of the writing?
pencilHEURISTICS
  • Did the writer try one of the following approaches:
§Burke’s pentad
§clustering
§brainstorming
§free writing
pencilFORMATION OF THESIS 

  • Is the thesis too narrow or too broad
  • Is it clean?
pencil IDEA
  • Is the idea interesting?
  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it unique or original?
II. DRAFTING: CREATING ORDER OUT OF CHAOS
Possible topics to be discussed by the tutor and tutee at this  stage:

pencilTOPIC DEVELOPMENT

  • What had the writer discovered about the topic?
pencilFOCUS
  • What focus should the paper take?
pencilAUDIENCE and PURPOSE
  • Has the writer kept the audience and purpose in mind?
pencilSTRUCTURE
  • What structure would be most effective?
pencilWHAT TO WRITE FIRST
  • Where should the writer start?
pencilWRITING ENVIRONMENT
  • What writing environment is most effective for the writer?
III. REVISION: SEEING WITH NEW EYES
Possible topics to be discussed by tutor and tutee at this stage.
pencilMEANING
  • Is the idea clear?
  • Is the focus maintained?
pencilAUDIENCE
  • Is the tone right for the audience?
  • Are the vocabulary and examples appropriate?
pencilDETAILS
  • Is the paper concrete and well developed?
pencilORDER
  • Is the structure the most effective?
  • Does the paper cohere?
pencilOTHER
  • Is anything missing?
  • Is anything superfluous?

IV. EDITING AND PROOFREADING: PREPARING THE  FINAL PRODUCT

Possible topics to be discussed by tutor and tutee at this stage.

pencilPROOFREADING

Did the tutee do ONE reading of the paper for EACH of the following concerns:

  • word choice

  • spelling

  • grammar

  • punctuation

  • sentence structure

  • appearance

  • style

  • tone

NOTE: The tutor’s primary job is to promote tutee independence. The tutor DOES NOT REWRITE OR EDIT A TUTEE’S PAPER. The tutor may serve as an audience and probe the tutee for additional ideas, vocabulary, and approaches.

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