Online Tutoring Experience & Online Tutoring vs. Face-to-Face Tutoring

My tutoring experience so far has been a great learning experience. Even though being a tutor is for me to help others learn to write or construct a better paper, I have learned how to make a better paper as well. Reading multiple students’ work I am able to see where mistakes are usually made; therefore, when I write papers now, I pay close attention to those things in my own papers. For example, some students are really good about having an opening and concluding sentence in every paragraph. These sentences are clearly visible. Other times, students will have an opening sentence and the concluding sentence is explaining an example mentioned and it is not restating the main idea.


This experience has also been good because I can apply things I have learned about English over the years to something. For example, I had a teacher once who said it’s important to restate textual evidence in your own words after it’s quoted. Therefore, I have been able to share this piece of advice with the students I’m tutoring. I’m also able to explain why it’s important. It’s important because the audience can understand the quote from another point of view. For the author to restate it in his or her own words also makes him or her understand the textual evidence better, so they can write his or her paper more clearly.


I noticed for one school, a teacher had students make a detailed outline before writing a research paper. Their drafts of the research paper were very good with the help of making an outline first. Other essays the students wrote were written well, but not as detailed or as organized as this research paper. It seemed that by having an outline, students were able to write more of what they already knew (because they had already done research with the outline) and plug in examples and textual evidence to their points from the outlines. By doing this, students also had an intriguing opening paragraph, more clear theses, opening and concluding sentences for paragraphs, and detailed concluding paragraphs. This seemed to be the case because students already knew what they were going to write about. Instead of going back and trying to edit these pieces, they knew how to make these pieces work from the beginning because they had a better understanding of what they were writing about.


The asynchronous setting of tutoring differs from face-to-face tutoring. Face-to-face tutoring is beneficial because tutors can ask the students right away what they mean by something they wrote, ask what goal they want out of the tutoring session, and explain things easier by having the student respond back to advise. Doing asynchronous tutoring this semester made it hard to ask a student what he or she meant by something. Because of that, I would reread certain parts of the paper and try to give detailed feedback with different approaches in order to help since I could not back and fourth communicate. Also, not all students mentioned what they hoped to get out of my feedback; therefore, sometimes my feedback was more general than specific to something, if I did not know what the student needed the most help with.


Tutoring Writing: 10 Top Tips – This article gives tips for tutoring in writing. The first one even explains what I talked about in this post: students should explain issues they feel are in their essay so the tutor can pay more attention to those in order to help the student more beneficially. A few of these points also point out what we learned in class, which is not to edit students papers for grammar mistakes. A tutor is there to help with the overall concepts of the paper. If there are multiple grammar mistakes, a tutor should either point out ones that reoccur or suggest a grammar resource for the student.


The Pros and Cons of Online Tutoring – This article explains the pros and cons of online tutoring. Some of these apply to what we have done in class, while other points are more general pros and cons about online tutoring. First, the article explains convenience. By having students email their essays to us when they are ready provides convince to them to have the time they need to write the paper. Then, it gives us the convenience to review the paper on our own time instead of working to review the paper at a certain time with the student.


One thought on “Online Tutoring Experience & Online Tutoring vs. Face-to-Face Tutoring

  1. Megan,
    I also agree that it was nice to apply my English background to something. It’s rare that people want to listen to my corrections, so it was nice to be asked to do so. Also, two of the papers I was able to read I already had prior knowledge on the topic. For example, one of my students did a research paper on Zora Neal Hurston — which I also did my research paper on my Junior year of High School. Therefore not only was I able to help with her syntax and whatnot, I was able to take it a step further and help her with the timeline. She was excited that I knew so much on the matter.
    I also agree that the outline seemed to help the students organize their papers well, which helped me when reading and revising them. If I didn’t understand why something was organized the way it was, I was able to go back to their outlines to better understand it. Then, I didn’t waste their time with comments irrelevant to their revisions.

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