Become a WC Tutor
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Interested in becoming a tutor? Here are some of things our past tutors have valued in the work:
As a writing tutor, I enjoy the one-on-one conversations and brainstorming sessions I have with writers from various disciplines. This experience has challenged me to not only quickly learn and dive into a topic that I am not too familiar with, but also tailor my advice to the writers' specific needs and goals. I have become a better writer and critical thinker thanks to this job!
Being a writing tutor at WC makes me realize writing is not a solitary activity. It gives you access to the workings of so many brilliant minds.
It is incredibly satisfying to have a job as intellectually stimulating as being a Writing Tutor for the Knight Institute. As an international student studying mechanical engineering, I have worked with students of feminist studies, urban planning, music theory, English, and anthropology - to name a few. These interactions - where I get to learn as much as the students who come to the writing center - have allowed me to experience fully the breadth of a liberal arts university despite having a 'technical' major, and have greatly enriched my Cornell experience.
As the above quotes indicate, tutors find this work to be rewarding for a number a reasons: working across the disciplines, the intellectual engagement of tutoring, the collaboration, professional development around tutoring and writing, and the community! We have a vibrant and diverse tutoring community that participates in on-going professional development activities. This work is generative, creative, and an excellent opportunity for students interested in communication, writing, education, and collaborative learning.
Our undergraduate and graduate writing tutors provide support for a diverse pool of writers at various stages of the drafting process for nearly any kind of writing project. We operate out of five campus locations to offer thirty- to sixty-minute individual meetings. During tutorials, writing tutors typically: help writers get started with essays by reading and discussing a writing assignment, evaluating research material, or brainstorming an outline; discuss ways to shape coherent arguments, make strong use of evidence, and work with appropriate citation conventions; consider questions about depth of analysis, organization, thesis definition, audience expectations, paragraph development, stylistics, or sentence structure; support both native and non-native speakers of English to identify patterns among errors in grammar or usage and to develop effective strategies for their own line-editing. In short, writing tutors serve as responsive listeners and readers who can address questions about the writing process or about particular pieces of writing. They might also address issues of confidence, critical reading, analytic thought, and imagination.
Writing Centers Tutor
- Tutors typically work 1-3 tutoring shifts a week, either a 3:30-5:30 or 7:00-10:00pm shift. Thus, tutors usually work between 2-9 hours a week.
- New tutors must complete a 6-week (paid) training program prior to tutoring. Tutor training is only held in the spring, and begins the week before spring break. Typically, tutor training is either Mondays or Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00pm.
- Tutors are required to attend 3 staff meetings a semester (plus the required first and final semester meetings). Staff meetings are usually at 5:30-6:30pm, on varying week nights. During these meetings, as a group, we discuss tutoring pedagogy and practice, workshop a variety of sample student writing, and reflect on tutoring experiences.
- Tutors get paid an hourly rate, and there is often the bonus of good free food at most events.
Social Media Intern
The Cornell Writing Centers have an instagram, facebook, and twitter account, as a method for promoting and connecting with writers across campus. We hire 1-2 trained Writing Center Tutors to run our social media for one academic year. Social media interns must regularly meet with Dr. Kate Navickas to plan and develop content and discuss different promotion strategies. This position offers the opportunity to gain some communication and promotion skills as well as to develop creative and engaging content. Typically, interns work .5-1 hours per week.
- Requirements: Applicants must be trained Cornell Writing Center tutors to apply.
- To apply: email Kate Navickas, firstname.lastname@example.org, with an explanation of your interest in the work and a resume.
Knight Writing Mentor
Writing mentors meet with assigned students for one or two hours each week for the duration of a semester or year to develop effective and sustainable writing habits and strategies. Undergraduate and graduate students can work up to 6 hours per week to support writers enrolled in First-Year Writing Seminars or other writing-intensive courses, and students working on substantial writing projects, like honors theses. Writing Mentors meet weekly for reflection on pedagogy and practice with Dr. Tracy Carrick. Though mentors may start tutoring right away, they still are required to attend the same 6-week paid tutor training that new undergraduate writing center tutors do (this starts the week before spring break).
Graduate students, seniors, and current Writing Center tutors are encouraged to apply. Applications from juniors with relevant experience may also be considered.
Writing Centers Assistant Director
The Writing Centers regularly hire 1-3 graduate students for the role of assistant director. The work involves 5 hours of administrative work per week. The position includes tasks like reviewing tutor applications, participating in tutor interviews, conducting peer observations, analyzing Writing Center data, leading tutor staff meetings, teaching or co-facilitating tutor training, and other necessary administrative work. Assistant directors meet regularly with the director, Kate, to select administrative experiences that align with the program’s needs and the TA’s interests as well as to reflect on the professional value of the experiences.
To be considered for this advanced position, TAs should have one year of experience tutoring in the Cornell Writing Centers. To apply, send a CV and letter to Dr. Kate Navickas, email@example.com. Letters should explain relevant experiences as well as the potential professional value of this administrative work.
How to Apply
All applicants must be matriculated Cornell students.
If you're interested in applying to become a Writing Centers tutor, please follow the directions below.
- Undergraduate tutoring applications are only accepted in the spring.
- Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least one First-Year Writing Seminar
- Complete this application form
- DEADLINE: Second Friday of February by noon. Spring 2020 deadline: Friday, February 14th.
Application Process: Applications will be reviewed after the spring deadline. A select number of applicants will be invited to sign-up for small-group interviews. The applicants who will be offered positions tutoring, will begin the 6-week (paid) training program after group interviews, roughly midway through the semester. Thus, the application and training process approximately takes a full semester. Newly hired tutors will begin tutoring during the exams period of the semester they get hired and trained. We hope to encourage tutors to apply early in their academic career and to continue tutoring throughout their time at Cornell.
Spring 2020: Tutor training starts the week before spring break and goes through the last week of classes. Training sessions are likely to be held 4:30-6 on Mondays or Tuesdays, depending on everyone's schedules.
- Prerequisite: successful completion of Writing 7100 or previous tutoring or teaching experiences.
- Submit a CV and letter of interest detailing relevant employment or coursework to Dr. Kate Navickas, firstname.lastname@example.org
- DEADLINE: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.