We offer individualized face-to-face tutoring on Mason's Fairfax and Arlington campuses. We'll work with you on all phases of writing from brainstorming to revising. We envision the tutoring session as a conversation about your paper, and we focus on strategies that lead to better writing. Sessions begin on the half hour and last up to 45 minutes.
In a typical face-to-face session you will
Review the assignment
The tutor will ask you about the purpose of the piece of writing you have brought in. If you are working on an assignment for a course, please remember to bring the assignment prompt.
Read through the piece of writing
It is our preference to have you read the assignment out loud. Reading aloud will help you to catch lapses in organization or areas where the ideas are less clear as well as discover smaller mistakes such as typos or grammatical errors. If you have signed up for a session to help you brainstorm your ideas, your tutor will have a conversation with you about the purpose of the assignment and help you develop and sort through your ideas.
Set your goals for the session
You and your tutor will set the agenda for the session together. It is helpful if you arrive with an idea of what you would like to work on—the paper's organization, your thesis and supporting evidence, or smaller sentence-level concerns. Once you’ve reviewed the assignment and read through the piece of writing, the tutor may suggest working on an additional issue or two.
Have a conversation about your work
The tutor will pose questions and make observations about the issues you have collectedly decided to work on in the session. From this conversation you and the tutor will determine a plan for revising and moving forward with this assignment.
Work on strategies for effective writing
Your tutor might recommend strategies or provide resources for you to take with you to help you both with the assignment at hand and with future work. We aim to improve you as a writer, rather than focus only on the current assignment. This way you walk away from the session with skills and strategies you can use in future writing tasks.
Leave with a plan for moving forward
You and your tutor will spend the last few minutes of the session summarizing what you've discussed and writing up a plan for moving forward, whether that be conducting more research, developing your ideas, or revising your draft.
Please remember that the Writing Center is not an editing or proofreading service. We work with you to improve your own proofreading and editing skills, but we don’t simply point out and correct mistakes for you. We want to help you learn to become your own best proofreader and editor.