The Challenge of Tutoring Students in Writing

Greetings, reader!
I am new to Wyzant but have been a part time tutor in a variety of subjects for 6 years. One of the most common subjects I help students in is English/Writing, and it is by far the most difficult. The challenge is not knowing how to write a great essay given the prompt, but how to get the student to write the essay using his/her own voice, style and structure. I have gotten used to walking the razor's edge over the years, but the temptation to write parts of the essay for new writing tutors can be tremendous. Particularly when spending minutes on word choice and sentence order, the prospect of doing some ghost-writing is undoubtedly alluring.
So how does one persevere through those silent, deep-thinking sessions? What I find motivating is the knowledge that my role as a tutor is not to tell the student what to do, but to give him/her an alternative set of tools that he/she does not get in a classroom that will help them express themselves more clearly. Working closely with the student and spending those painstaking minutes consulting one's internal Chicago Manual of Style and Webster's Thesaurus are the building blocks of a great writer! It is important to know that those minutes you spend are a rare commodity in schools, and they are going to propel your student into success in writing.

Writing tutors! What motivates you through those long pauses of thought?


Re-reading a piece and then explaining what you've written can lead to new ideas and additional questions.  This can sometimes encourage a new stream of ideas.  Cristina, Gaithersburg, MD


Zachary C.

Experienced SAT/ACT, Reading, Writing and Literature Tutor

5+ hours
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