Our Writing Specialists (tutors) are graduate students who have met a rigorous GPA requirement and are highly trained at SJSU's Writing Center. Writing Specialists can help you organize your paper, cite sources, avoid plagiarism, and use correct grammar and punctuation. They understand the special needs of students learning English as a second language and returning students.
You can make tutoring appointments by writing to the iSchool Office or by phoning the office during business hours at (408) 924-2490. Include the course number and type of assignment you are planning to work on during the session. Contact the office and schedule your appointment well in advance of your assignment due date. It can take a few days to arrange scheduling.
Tutoring sessions are 45 minutes and are conducted using Collaborate. There is no charge for a tutoring session.
How should I prepare for my tutoring session?
Before your session, carefully review the assignment and begin your work on it.
You also need to test your Collaborate connectivity and audio. You can do this by completing the "Get started" steps on the Student Guide to Using Collaborate.
What will I need during the tutoring session?
You will need the file with the writing that you want to work on, along with the details of your assignment, any preliminary research or notes, and a general idea of what you would like the specialist to help you with.
You will share these files during the tutoring session so you will need to have access to the files on the computer you use for the session.
Example of a Standard Tutoring Session
You will login to the Collaborate session using the link that was sent to you in your appointment confirmation. You should see the Writing Specialist's name in the participants area. You will need a microphone and speakers so that you can fully participate during the session. You should run the audio set-up wizard to work out any sound issues before your tutoring session begins.
The Writing Specialist will begin your session by asking what type of writing you've brought to work on and what concerns you have — what exactly do you want to cover during this session? You will provide the Writing Specialist your assignment, prompts, or any other relevant material. You will use tools within Collaborate to share these documents. The Writing Specialist will instruct you on how to do this and will do his or her best to address as many of your concerns as possible.
During the session, your Writing Specialist may ask you to read your paper aloud. By hearing the paper read aloud, you will catch errors in the paper and correct them. You will also identify sentences that sound awkward or incoherent.
After you have read the paper aloud, your Writing Specialist will note one or two things you will focus on during the session. The session is forty-five minutes long.
You, the student, will retain ownership of your work. The Writing Specialist will ask you to make edits on your document. You will be actively involved in figuring out ways to improve your work.
At the end of the session, your Writing Specialist will take a few minutes to review and reinforce what you worked on during the session. If you weren't able to get through the entire paper, the Writing Specialist may recommend that you make another appointment to continue working on your assignment.
With your permission, the Writing Specialist will follow up the session with an e-mail to your instructor. The e-mail will give your name and course, and it will briefly state what you worked on. Instructors find it very helpful to receive this information.