University of Georgia Athletics Association A Tutor’s Guide to the Writing Center (August 2009)
Statement of Service: through individual tutorial sessions, tutors discuss with student-athletes the principles of critical thinking and writing and their application to any course that requires written assignments, most commonly in the First-Year Composition Program. Tutorial sessions are interactive learning events, conversations generated by the tutors and student-athletes and grounded in the principles of academic civility, academic responsibility, and academic honesty. Tutors listen, evaluate, and respond to the needs of students at all stages of their progress on specific writing assignments, as well as on their progress over the course of the semester. Rather than use their expertise to lecture or to otherwise appropriate the readings and writings of their students, tutors, through listening and questioning, guide and encourage students to take initiative in their studies. Rather than write papers for students, tutors advise them on ways to improve their writing. Rather than tell students where to place commas, tutors help students understand the rules of punctuation. And, instead of telling students what the main idea of a paper should be, tutors guide students toward an understanding of their writing assignments, and they help students to clarify the ideas that they want to express. Tutorial sessions include: course planning discussion of assigned readings interpretation of writing assignments strategies of thesis development organization of arguments revision of drafts of essays guidance in the use and citation of sources and in the principles of understanding the principles of academic honesty study of the mechanics of standard English
Table of Contents I. Employment A. Hiring procedure B. Application procedure C. Compensation D. Scheduled hours E Payroll, login ID and password F. Professional standards 1. Training 2. Evaluation 3. Substitutions, cancellations, absences II. Facility Use: Tutorial Sites A. Location B. Dispersion C. Ambience D. Traffic III. Records A. AAWC schedule B. Files C. Portal session reports, syllabi D. Grades & grade requests E. FYC Rubric F. EMMA G. Portfolio IV. The Tutorial Session A. Student expectations B. Tutoring C. Student-tutor rapport D. Technology E. Student absences F. Preparation G. Return objectives H. Academic integrity & honesty I. Appointments, walk-ins, absences, tardies V. The Semester VI. Liaison VII. Appendix 1. Tutorial Session Review 2. Student-Athlete Academic Progress Report 3. FYC Rubric 3. FYC Portfolio 4. Statement of Understanding 5. What to Do When There‟s Nothing to Do 6. Tutorial Progress Report Form
I. Employment A. Hiring. Tutors employed by the Athletics Association Writing Center come primarily from the ranks of the graduate English program, usually first-year masters degree students, since TAs are not allowed to work additional hours for the university. The AAWC hires additional tutors, as needed, including part-time instructors, graduate degree students in cognate fields, and senior English majors. B. Application Procedure. Applicants interview with the AAWC director and submit with their AAWC application form a resume, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. C. Compensation. Tutors earn hourly wages, both for tutoring and for training time, and are paid bi-weekly. Graduate students and instructors earn $12. per hour, and undergraduates earn $8. per hour. D. Scheduled Hours. Weekly work schedules range from three to twenty hours and vary according to tutors‟ own class schedules and the needs of the Writing Center. E. Payroll, Login ID and Password. New tutors attend orientation and training sessions at which they learn protocols and policies, and complete payroll paperwork. F. Login ID and Password. At the beginning of the first week of classes, tutors must go to the Rankin Smith computer lab to establish their access to the portal. They use their UGA Login ID and a first-access password (provided) to log in, and then change to a personal password for continued use. G. Professional Standards. For many tutors, appointment to the Writing Center is their first formal entry into the teaching environment. Although student-athletes do not earn college credit for tutorial sessions, and tutors do not assign grades, the tutorial session is in all other respects a teaching-learning environment. Tutors are guides to learning, and evaluation of the tutorial environment, both of the student and of the tutor, is to some degree implicit in the session reports, in the director‟s reviews, and in the students‟ grades in the courses for which they are being tutored. As graduate students, tutors have no official dress code (“academic casual” has no clear boundaries), but their demeanor should reflect the educational goals of the tutorial program—polite informality, forbearance, and tutorial authority. 1. Training. All tutors receive initial and follow-up training, both in procedures used at Rankin Smith and the Writing Center, and in the principles and practices of the tutoring of writing. 2. Evaluation. The director of the Writing Center reviews portal session reports, session files, periodically visits tutorial sessions, and, when necessary, meets with tutors to discuss concerns and find ways to improve. (See Tutorial Session Reviews—Appendix, 8.) 3. Substitutions, Cancellations, and Absences. Whenever tutors are unable to meet their session obligations, as soon as possible, they must notify the director and contact other tutors to try to find a substitute. Both chronic lateness and chronic absence will lead to termination.
II. Facility Use A. Location. The Writing Center has five tutorial stations (with Macs) and one printer in a small space with little privacy. However, tutors and students need to work cooperatively to minimize noise level and other distractions. B. Ambience. The Writing Center is a place of cooperative learning. Extraneous conversations should not take place in rooms where tutoring is in session. When anyone else appears to be working, even if not in a tutorial session, tutors should limit small talk and maintain moderate conversational volume. Tutors should regulate activity in the Writing Center. Students should not use the Writing Center as a lounge area while they wait for their session to begin. They should not arrive until shortly before their session is scheduled to begin. Tutors maintain the Writing Center as an ordered, civil place of learning. Tutors dispose of debris (food, drinks, etc.), file papers and folders, and shelve books during or at the end of each series of tutorial sessions. Personal items left behind by students should be taken to the front office or to an academic counselor on duty. Cell phones, iPods, and all other technology unrelated to writing tutorials may not be used in the Writing Center when tutorial sessions are in progress, C. Traffic. At times, usually in the early mornings and the evenings, Writing Center activity can be dense and hectic, especially when there are unscheduled walk-ins. Tutors‟ first priority is to serve students with scheduled appointments. Tutors should be firm with students who insist on having help when tutors no longer have time for them. Students who have waited until the eleventh hour for tutorial help do not, thereby, create an obligation in tutors to rescue them. If any time remains for students without scheduled appointments, serve those students on a first-come basis. Inform waiting students of the closing time and advise them of their option to schedule an appointment at a later date. Tutors should post scheduled ad-hoc appointments on the wall by the door just inside the Writing Center. Tutors may also advise students to schedule future walk-in appointments through their counselors. Allow a few minutes at the end of each session to complete the session report in the portal. End all tutoring sessions at least ten minutes before the building closes at 10:00 p.m., in order to finish all reports. III. Records A. AAWC Schedule (posting and changes). The director maintains and posts updated schedules of all regular appointments. Tutors and counselors receive emailed schedules, and current schedules are posted on the door of the Writing Center. The director also creates and maintains all of the Writing Center‟s scheduled appointments in the Rankin Smith portal site. B. Files. The Writing Center maintains hard-copy files for all current students, which include copies of students‟ New Student Information form, a signed Statement of Understanding, a signed Statement of Academic Honesty, writing course syllabi, paper topics, drafts of papers worked on in tutorial sessions, and copies of papers graded by the students‟ instructors. C. Portal Session Reports and Course Syllabi. The Rankin Smith portal site serves as an information center for the academic work of student-athletes, accessible to counselors and coaches. Tutors file session reports after all tutorial sessions, with clear explanations of work accomplished, progress toward deadlines, and deficiencies in student performance. Syllabi are loaded at the beginning of each semester to enable counselors and tutors to track student progress. Some instructors of FYC classes post and update syllabi in EMMA (See EMMA below). The portal session reports lock after 24 hours, so tutors must report their sessions within that time or request that the director unlock a session for late posting. D. Student-Initiated Progress Reports. Each semester academic counselors require their students enrolled in writing courses to schedule a conference with their instructors for evaluations of their writing and course progress. (See Student Athlete Progress Report— Appendix, 9.) Feedback from these conferences guides the tutorial process by helping tutors focus on needs perceived by the instructor. When the first papers have been
evaluated (usually after the first five weeks), students schedule individual conferences with their instructors. They ask their instructors to complete the Course Progress Report (CPR) at the conference, and then return the form to their Academic Counselors or to their WC tutors. Follow-up conference requests go out after midterm, as well. E. FYC Rubric. First-Year Composition uses a standardized rubric to guide all teachers of writing in the implementation of the program‟s rhetorical standards. In order to effectively guide student writers, tutors must be familiar with the FYC rubric; at the same time, they must understand the degree of variation among instructors within the program. (See Rubric and Rubric Commentary—Appendix.) F. EMMA. The Electronic Management and Markup Application is required of all who teach in UGA‟s First-Year Composition Program. Students submit electronic drafts of their papers and peer edit each other‟s drafts electronically; instructors (most, but not all) evaluate student work electronically. Since only the instructor and student can access EMMA documents, tutors can view students‟ work in EMMA only when students log in on EMMA in the tutors‟ presence. Tutors should print copies of graded papers for the AAWC student file. G. Portfolio. Thirty percent of the FYC course grade is based on the portfolio presentation, a summation with commentary of the students‟ best and most representative work of the semester. Near the end of each semester, tutors report in the Portfolio portal window the completed submissions of student work for the required FYC portfolio. (See Portfolio— Appendix.) Students must show tutors the completed and uploaded documents IN their portfolios, before the tutors sign off. IV. The Tutorial Session: Everything that happens in the Writing Center, guided by policies and protocols, functions to make tutorial sessions useful and productive, which, in turn, enhance students‟ mastery of critical thinking, of the writing process, of a given writing assignment, and of the students‟ writing course. A. Student Expectations. Student-athletes appear at the Writing Center with a variety of expectations. Despite the image of tutoring as a form of remediation with a social stigma, some students genuinely and eagerly come for help, knowing that university standards are higher than they have ever known. While they do not know what to expect, some arrive hopefully and others arrive fatalistically. While some student-athletes come to tutoring sessions fully prepared, having read assignments and written drafts of papers, others come deliberately and chronically unprepared, or arrive late, or not at all. (See Statement of Understanding—Appendix.) Such students arrive only because their coaches and academic counselors require their attendance. Students may be embarrassed or refractory, and, if they resent the requirement or are fearful of academic failure or believe that they can use the same tactics of evasion and other forms of passive aggression that worked for them in high school, their behavior challenges the patience and resourcefulness of tutors. (See What to Do When There‟s Nothing to Do—Appendix, 16.) B. Tutoring. Tutors need knowledge of the principles and practices of academic writing, especially in the context of the First-Year Composition curriculum, and they need to develop the skills to communicate that knowledge in conversations with student-athletes who may have little understanding of the concepts and terminology of composition and even less interest. The infrastructure of grammar and usage that underlie the choice of a verb form or the placement of a comma may require a long conversation about very basic writing principles. The interpretation of a paper topic may consume an entire 45-minute tutorial session. Accepting the limits of opportunity may be the most difficult principle for tutors to practice. Tutors set reasonable writing goals, given the abilities of the student, the time available for a session, and the deadline for a writing assignment. Tutors can best serve students through identifying the most urgent and most serious writing needs. They may have to postpone addressing lesser priorities. Tutors make such decisions on a case basis. The best source for setting priorities over the course of a semester will be the commentary on specific papers returned by instructors.
Understanding a paper topic, developing a manageable thesis, gathering typical, adequate, and relevant evidence, and constructing a design for an argument should always precede attention to the mechanics of a draft. That is, tutors should give no time to the repair of a sentence‟s mechanics until the tutor and student agree that the content of a sentence serves the paper‟s argument. Tutors encourage students to play an interactive and assertive role in defining the goals and activities of the tutorial session. What do students need to accomplish? What is their understanding of an assignment? How have they prepared for the tutorial session? What problems do they find in a draft of their essay-in-progress? On one hand, tutors should not provide students with specific corrections to their errors and misunderstandings. On the other hand, tutors should not deliver long lectures on the appositive or the dangling modifier or the complex sentence or paragraph coherence or the principles of the introduction or the definition of satire or dramatic irony. Somewhere between these two extremes lies the field of tutorial methodology, in which students and tutors together explore students‟ ideas, their argumentative strategies, and their choices of written language. C. Student-Tutor Rapport. As in most social occasions, the tutoring session is an act of balance. Tutors strive to create a friendly, comfortable relationship with their students, while maintaining a clear role as students‟ guides. Student athletes know well the formal structures and hierarchies of sports teams; they are unlikely to be familiar with tutorial relationships with persons nearly their age who do not have a clearly defined power of authority. Further, the labor of writing is arduous, complex, and can cause frustration, anxiety, habitual avoidance, and procrastination. Writers often feel vulnerable, even threatened, by criticism of their work. While setting high writing standards for their students and watching for diversionary behavior, tutors also guide with empathy and patience to promote writers‟ self-confidence. Tutors should report chronic problems of behavior at the earliest opportunity to the director and to the academic counselors. The Athletics Association does not tolerate antisocial, uncooperative behavior. D. Technology. The writing environment is increasingly an immersion in the technologies of computers, cell phones, flash drives, email, and other internet communication and information sites. While the Writing Center has computers and printers, students upload papers in EMMA, and come to the Writing Center with laptops and flash drives, the primary artifact of the writing process in the Writing Center continues to be the hard copy. Students provide two hard copies of drafts-in-progress; during discussion, students record their own notes on one copy, and tutors record their own notes on the copy that becomes part of the Writing Center record. This double-entry practice reinforces students‟ active engagement in the writing process. Under the pressure of time, there is great temptation to sidestep this critical procedure. To use unrelated technology, students must leave the Writing Center. Students may not use the Writing Center printers for activities unrelated to Writing Center tutoring. E. Student Absences. Regularly scheduled tutorial appointments, like attendance at classes, are mandatory. Tutors report all absences in portal reports. Excused absences and cancellations originate only with academic counselors, who notify the Writing Center. Students may not declare their own cancellations. F. Preparation. Students prepare for tutorial sessions in advance; they do not arrive at a session with the intention of using the time as a study hall. They come prepared to discuss a reading or writing assignment. Tutors also prepare, becoming familiar with students‟ syllabi, deadlines, assignment history, and problems that need continued attention. (See What to Do When There‟s Nothing to Do—Appendix.) Tutors will employ a variety of activities to advance their students‟ writing skills, brainstorming at any stage of a paper‟s progress, from exploring the readings to exploring alternative approaches to a paper‟s developed draft. Tutors may employ diagnostic writing tasks to identify writing problems that need focused attention.
G. Return Objectives. When students fail to prepare for a tutorial session, especially when the lack of preparation has become chronic, the Writing Center employs the practice of the Return Objective. (A Return Objective window will be added to the portal session report window at a later date.) Example: a student often forgets the textbook and on this day has brought neither the textbook nor the paper topic, which the student claims has been assigned out of the textbook. Whether this behavior is mere laziness, or some degree of disdain for academia, or even hostility or self-sabotage, the tutor need to respond firmly. The tutor should consider assigning other activities, e.g., working on one or two basic writing skills deficiencies, identified, but not yet mastered. The tutor should also assign a Return Objective: 1. require the student to return to Rankin Smith within the next twenty-four hours (the deadline to be determined by the tutor) and to provide to the student‟s academic counselor or to the counselor on duty for the evening or morning of the deadline: a) the absent document or information, or b) another specified task or assignment, or c) evidence of progress on an assignment. 2. Report the Return Objective in the session report. 3. Email the academic counselor that a Return Objective has been assigned, referring the counselor for specifics to the session report in the portal. 4. The counselor follows up on the Return Objective, accepting, for example, any documents provided, as well as requiring additional study hall time and confirming receipt of the requirement in an email to the tutor. Academic Honesty (Section H. in progress). The Athletics Association‟s Writing Center conducts instruction in and surveillance of Academic Honesty (with a more systematic, proactive approach, beginning fall semester, 2009). Tutors will read and discuss with their assigned students (and report in the portal) the WC policy statement, to help students understand fully the principles of academic honesty, the writing techniques of full disclosure and citation of sources, and the penalties for any violation of academic honesty. Ideas and the language that expresses those ideas are the intellectual property of the author, and any use of it without full acknowledgment of the source constitutes the theft of that property. Students who are discovered in violation of the rules of intellectual property are subject to discipline by the University of Georgia, which may include failure of the violating paper, loss of credit for the course, and even expulsion from the university (see Academic Honesty Policy [citation]). Academic dishonesty may also damage the integrity of the Writing Center, the Rankin Smith Academic Center, as well as the reputation of the Athletics Association and the University of Georgia. All writing submitted for course credit must be the students‟ own work. 1. Students may not submit as their own any work written or rewritten by any other person, whether a published author or a roommate. 2. Students may not use ideas taken from published work (including internet sources), without providing citations in their papers (see instructor‟s approved style manual, e.g., MLA, APA, etc.). 3. Students may not paraphrase language taken from published sources without providing citations in their papers. 4. Students may not use exact language, whether a paragraph, a sentence, or a brief phrase taken from published sources, without providing citations in their papers. Sources on Academic Honesty: A Culture of Honesty (UGA) St. Martin‟s Handbook Other online sources Tutors will administer the Writing Center Academic Honesty Quiz during tutorial sessions, filing the signed, scored form in students‟ files and reporting the results in the portal. Students who do not score at least 90% will retake the quiz regularly until they pass. Copies of the quiz and a schedule for testing will be provided after the first week of classes. Turnitin.com. This online service has been purchased by the UGA Athletics Association as a tool for observing, investigating, and reporting cases of academic dishonesty. Tutors can enter phrases, sentences, H.
or longer passages online, asking Turnitin to locate a possible source and the degree to which a student has used that source. Turnitin is a valuable research tool, but is it only one tool. It supplements tutors‟ own informed sensitivity to characteristics in students‟ diction, syntax, and tone that suggest an unknown editor or an appropriation of published text without citation. Formal instruction and quizzing in the Writing Center will eliminates the students‟ claim of ignorance of the principles of academic honesty, but it will not eliminate attempts to plagiarize, born of an unwillingness to do the hard labor of writing, or of the lack of confidence in their own writing, or of desperation when they run out of time (typically between the last tutorial session on the paper and the deadline for the paper). Finally, how do tutors guide students‟ writing without doing the writing themselves, without appropriating students‟ intentions and practices? To tell a student, “You need a comma after „balloon,‟” or, “You should replace the word „ulterior‟ with „alternative,‟” or in any similar way to change the paper yourself is a violation of authorial integrity and academic ethics (UGA and NCAA). By those acts, the tutor becomes the writer. Under pressure of deadlines, and under the sometimes tedious burden of explicating the principles of writing, the temptation to merely fix a paper is seductive and insidious. Tutors must resist such temptation. The consequences for the student, the tutor, and for the academic and athletic programs are dire. To be a Bulldog fan is an admirable thing, but the enthusiasm of tutors for sports prowess at the University of Georgia must never compromise their role as guides and teachers. Without integrity and honesty at every level of the academic experience, athletics and the excellence of the university itself will suffer greatly. I. Chronic Student Lateness. In addition to reporting all sessions, as well as recording absences from sessions, tutors should record chronic tardiness that takes time from the opportunity to tutor. V. The Semester. While each tutoring session is the central, substantive event of the Writing Center experience, tutors will also plan, together with their students, a clear sense of semester planning, attentive to learning priorities and strategies for meeting deadlines. Tutors will also record their sense of students‟ writing history during the semester, their grades, their progress, as well as their continuing deficiencies. (See Tutorial Progress Report—Appendix.) VI. Liaison. The success of academic support at Rankin Smith depends heavily on full and sustained communication among all the staff and tutors. Timely and informative reporting, whether in the portal session reports or in informal exchanges, have, in the past, shown great success in anticipating and preventing crises and failures. Tutors do not communicate directly with their students‟ instructors. However well-intended, such communication can create a sense of inappropriate pressure. Tutors do report regularly to the AAWC director and to the academic counselors of the students they tutor. And the Writing Center maintains close communication with the First-Year Composition Program directors and staff to keep both offices informed and current on pedagogical and tutorial policies and practices. Strong liaison is essential to the academic integrity of the Writing Center‟s service.
Appendix AAWC Tutorial Session Review Tutor Student Session Task: Date & Time
Planning for deadlines:
Records: Syllabus (Y or N) ___ in folder ___ in portal Paper deadline _______________ Drafts evaluated ______________ EMMA record ________________ Rating: ___ Unsatisfactory ___ Satisfactory ___ Good
Student-Athlete Academic Progress Report Student ___________________________ Course _________________________
The Athletics Association Writing Center asks its student-athletes to confer regularly with their writing instructors in order to maintain a full understanding of how much progress they are making in their writing, as well as in their classroom performance. Regular progress reports help our students, as well as their tutors, focus on those skills that need the most improvement. Please take a moment to respond to any of the following for which you have information. The student will share your comments with the tutor and the academic counselor.* 1. writing skills—strengths, deficiencies:
2. class discussion, peer editing participation:
3. attendance: 4. missing assignments: Additional Comments:
Current Status: ___ Not Passing
___ Above Average
____ Yes ____ No Please indicate whether you are willing to talk directly or have email correspondence with either the student’s counselor or with the Director of the Writing Center.
Instructor _________________________________ Date ____________________ * Be assured that each student-athlete signs an Academic Release Disclosure Form in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (aka Buckley Amendment or FERPA) that grants consent to and authorizes the release of academic information/records to specific individuals.
FYC Rubric: Teacher’s version—with explanations of the grading criteria and helpful references to specific sections SMH Student’s Name_____________________________________________ Teacher _____ ______________________ Paper #____ Special Assignment Requirements: ______________________________________________________________ Conference___________ “Enter a pertinent quote here.” (Teachers can self-select)
Competent/Credible/Complete If you meet these first three standards, you are writing competently and you will earn a grade of “C.” (70-79) 1. Unity Contains a center of gravity, a unifying and controlling purpose, a thesis or claim, which is maintained throughout the paper. First-year compositions can be organized in many different ways. These papers may have an implicit or explicit thesis—or they may simply have a unifying purpose or theme. In a unified paper, every sentence and every word will contribute in some way towards the exposition and development of a single ―main‖ idea. That is, every sentence and every word will relate to the ―topic‖ or the ―comment‖ of the thesis. For more information about thesis as topic and comment see page 63-4 in SMH. For more information regarding theses in general see SMH 267-9, 403-5. Notice, too, that basic ―unity‖ doesn‘t require a particularly great thesis, nor does it require strong coherence. For example, if my thesis were ―cats are annoying‖—unity would only require that every sentence be somehow relevant to the ―topic‖ (i.e., ―cats‖) and the ―comment‖ (i.e., ―are annoying‖). Teachers may need to read between the lines a bit in evaluating a paper for unity— this is a wonderful area for peer review. Sometimes an apparently unrelated sentence, say ―Cat‘s often have fluffy fur.‖ may just need a word or two (say a word or two about shedding and allergies) to firmly demonstrate unity. An example of unity in our FYC 2003-04 Handbook,: In his 1101 Barnett essay, author Alex DeNadai states that ―Behind complex rhetoric, a policy [regarding academic honesty] that is supposed to cover ‗academic honesty‘ oversteps its bounds‖ (27). DeNadai devotes every sentence of his essay to explaining, defining and exemplifying UGA‘s academic honesty policy with regard to re-use of academic work—the topic of his thesis-- and/or to arguments explaining and exemplifying how and why this policy ―oversteps its bounds‖ –the comment of his thesis. Organizes writing around a thesis or according to the organizational requirements of the particular assignment (e.g., summary, narrative, argument, analysis, description, etc.) Simply put, to ―organize writing around a thesis‖ or other central point means that the essay reveals, under examination, some sort of overall organizational plan or strategy. Could this essay be outlined? Does it have a definite beginning, middle, and end? A clearly organized essay might use logical, spatial, chronological, or even associational order—but the strategy will suit the topic, the audience, and the purpose of the paper. For full discussions of organizational strategies refer to SMH 66-71,120-123,and 129-137. 2. Evidence/Development Develops appropriate, logical, and relevant supporting detail and/or evidence.
This criteria asks you to note whether the student used examples and other evidence to support his/her argument or position or idea and whether that evidence is fairly used, accurate, and relevant in supporting his/her points. You are evaluating the quality of evidence and sources here. (See SMH 5-6, 53, 128-9, 245-9, 366, 506-7, and 865-866.) Includes more specific, concrete evidence (or details) than opinion or abstract, general commentary. This criteria asks you to gauge quantity of evidence. Has the student wasted most of the essay making general statements and assertions about the topic? Or, instead, has he/she used most of his/her words and sentences to clarify and define the argument, giving examples and explaining connections to assertions? (See SMH 128-129) 3. Presentation and Design Follows SMH guidelines for standard English grammar, punctuation, usage, and documentation. The general rule: 2 or fewer major errors + 4 or fewer minor errors/250-word page OR 6 or fewer minor errors/250-word page. See the full list of errors on the attached sheet. If the student‘s paper has more errors than standard described above, the paper is not meeting competency guidelines. If only one or two pages exceed the limit, you may assign a D, if 3 or more pages exceed the limit you should assign an F. Meets your teacher’s (or the MLA’s) and the First-year Composition program’s requirements for length and/or format. You can add whatever formatting standards you like. The standard format and documentation requirements for FYC can be found in the Computer Orientation page of the FYE website. Skillful/Persuasive If you meet all of the competency standards above and, in addition, achieve coherence and exhibit audience awareness, you are writing skillfully and you will earn a grade of “B.” (80-89) 4. Coherence Uses words and sentences, rhythm and phrasing, variations and transitions, concreteness and specificity to reveal and emphasize the relationship between evidence and thesis. Coherence is discussed in SMH 5d,e, and f, pages 119-143. Several sections of SMH covering syntax and diction choices are particularly helpful when trying to improve coherence. See SMH Part 7 (Sentences: Making Conventional Choices), SMH Part 8 (Sentence: Making Stylistic Choices), and SMH Part 5, Chapters 25,26, and 27 (all address diction choices). To differentiate ―Coherence‖ from ―Unity‖ you should scale back your frame of reference: is some sort of organizational plan apparent within each paragraph? Has the writer used syntax and diction to create links between thoughts/sentences? Does the writer‘s use of repetition, parallelism, figures, and rhythm help to emphasize main points OR does the writer‘s choice of diction and syntax distract the reader from main ideas? Explains how, why, or in what way evidence/detail supports point/claim/thesis/topic/ideas. Incorporates evidence from outside sources smoothly, appropriately, and responsibly. Whether the writer adds his/her own details and examples as evidence or incorporates someone else‘s evidence with quotes and paraphrases, he or she will consistently incorporate and explain all these kinds of evidence. Few quotes will be left ―hanging‖; instead, they will be imbedded in the writer‘s own sentences, usually with some explanatory remarks linking the quote to the topic or thesis. Coherence is the difference between a poem, a list, or an outline and a prose
paragraph. The online SMH includes a series of tutorials on integrating quotes and other evidence: ―Mike Palmquist‘s Research Writing Tutorials‖-- ―How to Integrate Quotations into a Draft,‖ ―How to Integrate Paraphrases into a Draft,‖ and ―How to Integrate Summaries into a Draft.‖ 5. Audience Awareness Demonstrates a sense that the writer knows what s/he’s doing and is addressing real people. Reflects a respect for values that influence ethos (e.g., common ground, trustworthiness, careful research). Audience awareness is probably most apparent in a writer‘s word choice—does the writer show respect and understanding by consistently choosing an appropriate level of formality and technicality? You may also want to examine the writer‘s choice of supporting of examples and evidence—are they appropriate to the audience? Many sections of SMH are devoted to appealing to specific audiences. Some of the most helpful are on page 56 (―Thinking about your own attention to audience‖—especially questions 3 & 4), page 50-52 (―Addressing specific audiences‖) and ―Building Common Ground‖ (pages 511-521). Distinctive If you meet all of the competency standards, achieve coherence and exhibit audience awareness, and, in addition, demonstrate a mastery of one or more features of superior writing, you are writing distinctively and you will earn a grade of “A.” (90-100) 6. Distinction Your writing stands out because of one or more of the following characteristics: complexity, originality, seamless coherence, extraordinary control, sophistication in thought, recognizable voice, compelling purpose, imagination, insight, thoroughness, and/or depth. Essay Grade ______ +/- Points for special assignment requirements ______ =
Ineffective If your paper does not meet competency standards, either because you have minor problems in all three competence areas (1-3 above) or major problems in one or two competence areas, you will earn a grade of “D” (60-69) or “F” (<60), and you should schedule a conference with your teacher.
FYC Portfolio Documents: (See http://www.english.uga.edu/freshcomp/portfolio_grading/port_docs_home.htm) 1. Biography & Image a.) A brief narrative about the student, e.g., educational history or career aspirations. b.) A photo. Students don‟t need to post a formal, professional pose, but neither should they post their picture as a joke, e.g., as a drunk streaker on spring break or as a face-painted, fright-wigged trombonist in the pep band. (Is anyone thinking, "Hey, like that is so me!") 2. A Writer‟s Reflection (Paper 4 or 5). Introduce the portfolio as a record of development and achievement as a writer in the course. Tutors, see the students‟ specific guidelines from their FYC sections. Suggested approaches, and largely typical (also from my website): A. You might choose to describe your sense of yourself as a writer when you first entered the course. Narrate your growth through the topics and strategies in this course, with examples of techniques you use well (cite specific passages from your own texts). B. Comment on particular topics with which you are at home or uncomfortable. Comment on developing strengths as well as persistent difficulties. C. Discuss why some writing strategies proposed in the course have been useful to you and why others have been less useful. D. Describe and analyze the writing examples you have included in this portfolio as exhibits of your achievements both as a writer and as a member of a community of writers working together. E. Rather than wrap the appearance of an essay around a narrative shopping list of your writing, e.g., paragraphs in succession on thesis formulation, organization, transition, citation, and mechanical errors, subordinate that list as endnotes to the essay, similar to the lists you prepared for the midterm conference. 3. Exemplary Essay 1 (a revised essay, chosen from Papers 1-4). 4. Exemplary Essay 2 (a revised essay, chosen from Papers 1-4). 5. Exhibit of the composing or revision process with a one-page narrative explanation for the changes: a.) a sample paragraph in three stages of revision, or b.) a thesis revised through three stages. 6. Exhibit of the Peer Review process. An example of peer editing comments on another student‟s draft. Choose the example of the paper with peer editing comments, e.g., "Draft 3 Comments," and place it in the portfolio unchanged. (Students must have the student‟s permission to publish the draft in their portfolios.) 7. Wild Card (no more than two pages). Any additional piece of writing, e.g., from another course, or a personal journal entry or a creative writing sample. Photos or images can be loaded into the document in the same way that students load their photos into their biographical essay document. Portfolio in the Portal: When you open a student‟s appointment page, to the left of the word, “Work Information,” see a small, gray, open-book icon. Select that icon to open the portfolio progress page. You will regularly review with your AAWC students the documents they are choosing for their portfolios; urge them to upload documents as they are completed. You sign off in the window in the upper right of the portfolio page ONLY when the student has actually placed a document in the portfolio. Documents that are complete but do not yet appear in the portfolio do not count as COMPLETE. The Power of the Portfolio: A. 30% of the course grade. This sounds like a lot of weight rides on the portfolio, and, to a degree, it does; however, there is very little new work in the portfolio. Students have, with rare exceptions, already established their level of skill. They may revise their exemplary essays, and Essay 5 is all new, but, in a larger sense, the portfolio is The Best of Me—Already Revealed. Keep in mind, too, that at the end of the semester, instructors are working toward closure. Full re-
visitation of a student‟s achievement, because of the constraint of time (winged chariot and all that), is not even possible, which is to say, often, there is little difference between the grade average of the work prior to the portfolio and the score on the portfolio itself. Students need to know that they should do their best on the portfolio, but they should also know that the portfolio will not overcome a serious grade deficit. Mandatory completion of all components. Do not sign off on portfolio documents on the student‟s assurance that a piece is done, or nearly done, but just not placed in the portfolio. A portfolio that is missing documents usually fails. Revision performance. Students who make serious, significant revisions need to make sure their instructor knows about what has been revised (narratively introduced or with highlighting). Instructors grade portfolios holistically, and so improvements need to be very conspicuous. Writer‟s Reflection Essay. For some instructors, this is THE document, in which the student provides a sense of self-awareness as a writer, as well as a sense of what holds the works in a portfolio together. Again, students should check with their instructors. Second Reader Influence. All portfolios receive a second reading by an assigned colleague, and the portfolio‟s grade is the average of the two grades. This second “objective” evaluation can make a difference, but if the second reader‟s score varies more than nine points, the portfolio goes to a third reader, which will, in most cases, have a leveling effect.
Statement of Understanding Policies and Procedures for Scheduled Student Appointments in the Athletics Association Writing Center (effective January, 2007)
Your tutor in the Writing Center is a teacher with expertise in writing and the teaching of writing. Appointments with your tutor will sometimes focus on specific assignments for your composition class. At other times, tutorial sessions will focus on writing skills which you and your tutor have identified as skills that need improvement, both for success in your course and for success at the university and in your career. During scheduled appointments with your tutor, you will work on a variety of activities: 1. Discussion of your syllabus, readings, and paper topics. 2. Development and revision of drafts of your course papers. 3. Evaluation of your writing through diagnostic writing tasks. To better help you and your tutors, the center will also require: 1. Maintenance of AAWC records of your skills and deficiencies. 2. Periodic email requests to your instructor to determine your grade progress. 3. Maintenance of AAWC records of your grades and of evaluated copies of your papers, which are shared with academic counselors and coaches. Know these few important rules: 1. Tutorial sessions are events in which you work with your tutor. They are not times to read or to do other assignments, either for your writing class or for any other class. 2. Arrive on time for your appointments. Tardiness becomes part of your record, and, when you arrive late, you may lose your appointment time to a walk-in student.
I understand the purposes and activities of Athletics Association Writing Center tutorial sessions, as well as my responsibilities for the success of those sessions. Student Signature _____________________________ Tutor _________________________________ Date _____________
What to Do When There’s Nothing to Do Tutoring in Context What a student walks into the Writing Center, there is never “nothing to do.” One of the best services you can provide in your sessions and in your session reports—for the student, for the academic counselor, for the coaches, and for the Writing Center Director—is the handling of the current session in a timeline of problem-solving activities with full knowledge of the syllabus and imminent deadlines. Here are some examples of common situations in tutoring, drawn from session reports in the portal. To what degree are these situations disabling? To what degree is salvage action possible? Given that our role is to guide each student’s writing experience, what options look possible and useful in these cases? The last, desperate resort: “Oh, not ready to discuss the readings? No writing assignment to work on? Okay. Study hall!” F. had three short stories assigned, and he had not read any of them. Since “Araby” was by far the shortest, I had him read this one while he was in here. He finished the story in about thirty minutes; a journal entry is due tomorrow so we talked about the story and then he composed a paragraph regarding it. G. has turned in one paper and was supposed to get it back last class and get a new paper topic. The professor did not get the paper back to them and they don't have a new topic. For his DTT class, he is going to the library with the class today to check out the book they have to read and write an essay on, so he really didn't have anything to work on today. H. still hasn't brought in a syllabus, but he told me that he doesn't have anything to do. He said that they would be working on the first draft of the first paper next week. When looking at the abridged syllabus on the portal, I see that his first draft is due on Friday, September 7th. This means that the next time I see Nick, he will only have one day before he turns in his draft. I. was just starting on this assignment this morning, and it's due for class today. He read about half of the first story, and we talked about ideas, and he wrote some notes down in his notebook. He was not happy about having to actually read both stories before he could write the journal. He said he's just not going to finish the journal and catch up this weekend. I told him that wasn't a good idea...that he doesn't want to fall behind, especially here at the beginning of the semester. J. still doesn't have a lot to do. He gets his topics on Friday, and he says that when we meet next week, he will bring both those and an extended schedule seeing as the one that he has now only goes up through this week. Maybe I'm an optimist, but it really looks like K. is going to be ready to work. K. only got through about half of the draft, and dealt mainly with content and organization. His first draft is due tomorrow, so I told him to make some changes and go ahead and turn it in. We will have time on Thursday to work on it before he has to turn in a second draft on Friday.
L. is fairly articulate and makes good points, but tends to misuse words - especially words that sound alike. He's quick to correct himself, but this will be something we'll need to work on more once he's written an essay draft.
Tutorial Progress Report Student ___________________________________ Date _________ Tutor ___________________________________________________________________ (print) (signature) Periodically during each semester, in parallel with the Writing Center‟s requests of instructors for progress reports on students in their writing classes, the tutors will write their own evaluations of tutorial work in progress, rating each of their assigned students both on the quality of their efforts and on the quality of their achievements. Effort: 1. The student has attended tutorial sessions regularly and on time. Strongly disagree / Somewhat disagree / Agree / Strongly agree Comments _____________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. The student has worked cooperatively and diligently with the tutor. Strongly disagree / Somewhat disagree / Agree / Strongly agree Comments ____________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. The student has been prepared for the tutorial sessions with written work and knowledge of current class assignments, and has been both aware of and prepared for coming deadlines. Strongly disagree / Somewhat disagree / Agree / Strongly agree Comments ____________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Achievement: 1. The student is performing well in written assignments. Strongly disagree / Somewhat disagree / Agree / Strongly agree Comments _____________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ 2. The student continues to have serious writing deficiencies. Strongly disagree / Somewhat disagree / Agree / Strongly agree List and rank the deficiencies which your sessions treat as most immediate and important. _____________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ 3. The current rate of progress indicates that the student will succeed in the writing course. Strongly disagree / Somewhat disagree / Agree / Strongly agree Comments _____________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Based on your evaluation of the student‟s current work in the Writing Center, the student‟s probable current grade in the writing course would be A B C D F Additional Comments ____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________