From “Tutors” to “Consultants”

If you’ve been at Mason for a while, you may have noticed that we’ve recently changed our job title from “writing tutor” to “writing consultant.”

 

Why the change?

 

First, new term emphasizes that the student writer is the owner of their writing project. The writing center staff consults with the writer on that project, but the writer makes decisions about how to develop or revise the project. Second, the change from “tutor” to “consultant” recognizes that a lot of the feedback we provide in a session is not actually tutoring. Rather, our feedback tells the writer how a sample reader interprets the writer’s meaning. We tell you, “this is what I understood your draft to say. Is that what you intended readers to understand?” Finally, the term “consultant” can also encompass support that we might call typical tutoring—sharing tips and strategies for writing or providing explanations and instruction. 

 

So we have not changed what we do in writing center sessions. We’ve just found a more accurate term to describe it!