Cornell Writing Centers

Make an Appointment

For fall 2022, starting Tuesday, September 6,  the Cornell Writing Centers (CWC) will be offering both in-person and online, synchronous tutoring sessions by appointment or walk in. 

Writers will need to register for accounts and make appointments for all online appointments.

Make an appointment

The CWC provides support for individuals at any stage of the writing process. It is a free resource available to all of Cornell—undergraduate students, pre-freshman and high schoolers in summer programs, graduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni—for nearly any kind of writing project: applications, presentations, lab reports, essays, papers, and more. Tutors (highly trained undergraduate students) serve as responsive listeners and readers who can address questions about the writing process or about particular pieces of writing. They will ask questions that foster critical thinking about your writing, and they will also consider questions of confidence, reading, analytic thought, imagination, and research. All tutors have training in supporting multilingual writers, working with writers remotely online, and in supporting writers working on application materials.

 

Tutoring Schedule

Weekly Tutoring Schedule 

Sundays—Thursdays, 7:00-10:00pm

  • 108 Uris Library (in-person & online)
  • 403 Olin Library (in-person & online)
  • Online Shifts, via WC Online

Sundays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays, 7:00-10:00pm

  • 105 Robert Purcell Community Center (in-person only)

Mondays—Thursdays, 3:00-5:00pm

  • Mann Library Consultation Area (in-person & online)
  • 178 Rockefeller Hall (in-person & online)

Fall 2022 Semester Schedule 

Tutoring Starts

Tuesday, September 6
No Tutoring: Fall Break

October 7-11

Tutoring resumes Wednesday, October 12

No Tutoring: Thanksgiving Break

November 18-27

Tutoring resumes Monday, November 28

Last Day of Regular Tutoring Schedule

December 5

Exams Tutoring 

*Only Online & In 178 Rockefeller Hall

3:00-5:00pm: 

  • December 6-9
  • December 12-15

Commitment to Combatting Linguistic Injustice

The CWC recognizes and values the rich diversity of writers at Cornell, who come from different educational, national, racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds with varying ways of thinking and being in the world. The CWC further acknowledges the racialized ways languages (and their users) are hierarchized based on white linguistic norms. To combat linguistic injustice, our tutors receive ongoing pedagogical training on how to ask questions and provide feedback that encourages writers to value and use their own languages and voices in ways that honor linguistic differences, seek growth in writing and thinking, and advocate for their right to their language. We are committed to respecting each writer as a whole person who has agency over their writing and language choices. 

Writing Center Policies

The Cornell Writing Centers are generally flexible in our work with writers, but the following guidelines may help you to better understand how we function as well as some of our limitations.

Tutoring Times

Writers can currently only make  a 60-minute appointment using our online scheduler, WC Online. We recognize that 60-minutes may seem like too much time and/or may be overwhelming. However, this requirement is to protect both your scheduled appointment time (for example, in cases where figuring out technology or wifi issues may take up 10-minutes in the beginning of the session) and to protect our tutors from zoom-fatigue. Further, even though all clients are required to sign up for an hour, the length of the actual session will be determined by what you bring to work on with the tutor (that is, you do not need to use the entire allotted hour appointment).  

Writers are encouraged to only bring 4-6 pages of writing at a time. If you bring a longer piece of writing, we would strongly encourage you to have a smaller section that you'd like to work on. We believe that tutoring is best when the writer and tutor are working together to think through smaller sections. 

Appointment Limitations

Generally, writers can only make two appointments per week through our online scheduling system, WC Online. Our goal is to help you understand how your piece of writing works and how you can revise it and grow as a writer. Growing as a writer involves reading and revising your writing on your own as well as working with a tutor; thus, we hope that the maximum of two appointments per week will encourage further time reading and thinking about your writing on your own. Further, we are a limited resource and want to ensure as many people as possible can make appointments. 

We encourage writers to work with multiple tutors, rather than only making appointments with the same tutor for every session. We believe that getting multiple perspectives on your writing will prove more useful.

We encourage writers to cancel WC Online appointments no less than 8 hours before the scheduled appointment. Canceling your appointment, when necessary, is a courtesy both to the tutor and to other writers who may wish to make an appointment at that time. If you miss three appointments (without canceling them), your WC Online account will be automatically disabled.  

Tutoring Pedagogy 

Our tutors are trained to create a collaborative tutoring experience that is interactive and conversational. They will ask you questions about your larger argument and purpose in writing, how you're using evidence and analyzing, and how you're understanding particular vocabulary or language choices. We believe that writers learn about writing through both doing the work (writing, revising) and through talking about their writing and noticing the effect of certain choices. Thus, to get the most out of a tutoring session, we hope that you will come prepared to have a rich and engaging conversation about your writing!

Tutor Agency 

The CWC also honors each tutor's agency to make decisions that represent a negotiation of what is best for both the tutor and the writer. This policy acknowledges that both tutors and writers are complex humans with varying needs when it comes to reading, writing, and communicating. That means, your tutor may ask you to print out your essay because that's how they read best, or a tutor may be willing to work with you for an extra half hour or they may need to be done immediately when their tutoring shift is done. Tutors, like writers, have individual reading and tutoring preferences as well as varying comfort levels with different types of situations--we encourage them, like you, to make purposeful decisions that all parties are comfortable with. While this policy does result in a variety of different practices and approaches to different situations, we hope that you'll respect each tutor's requests and sense of what they need, as they will also respect your choices about what you need. 

WC Online Scheduling System

We use WC Online (https://cornell.mywconline.net/) for scheduling appointments and keeping track of the number of appointments we have each semester. If you came to the Writing Centers without an appointment, it is likely a tutor created a WC Online account for you in order to track the appointment. If you are trying to login to WC Online and can’t, simply use your Cornell email address and click on “Reset your password.” The “Reset your password” link is right below the login button.

Proof of Appointments

Generally, we do not support tutors (who are peers) providing teachers with proof of an appointment. Since we believe that peers are equals and tutors do not have power over their peers, tutors should not be asked to sign or authorize any documents that prove writers attended a session. However, writers can request that tutors email the writers their client report from, which the writer can use as they please. Client report forms are, generally, an internal document that summarizes and reflects on the tutoring session.

Online Tutoring

How Online Tutoring Works 

Online tutoring is by appointment only, so to get started, writers need to register for an account and make an appointment. 

Our online appointments offer the option for video-conferencing or text-box chatting, and in order to “show up” for an appointment, you simply need to login to the schedule, click on your appointment, and then click the yellow link that says “START OR JOIN CONVERSATION.” Our tutors will be prepared to help you navigate technology issues—they will email you to check-in and offer help should you have any trouble “showing up.”

Check-out this video demo for how to make and "show up" for an appointment: 

Though we work hard to ensure smooth online appointments, due to the regularity of technical and other unforeseen issues, we ask all writers to make hour-long appointments. If technology/internet issues do arise or you're struggling to "show up," don't worry--our tutors are trained to reach out and help and they all have a back-up plan! 

Become a Tutor

Interested in becoming a tutor? Here are some 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!"

- Sichun Liu

"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."

- Qijia Yu

"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."

- Emad Masroor

Why Tutor? 

As the above quotes indicate, tutors find this work to be rewarding for a number a reasons: working with writers from across the disciplines, the intellectual engagement of tutoring, the collaboration, professional development around pedagogy 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;
  • offer specific strategies for diverse writers navigating different parts of the writing process, including brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing; 
  • support both native and non-native speakers of English to identify patterns among errors in grammar or usage;
  • and, help writers understand and address specific feedback from peers and teachers.

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. 

Job Descriptions

Writing Centers Tutor

  • Tutors typically work 1-3 tutoring shifts a week. We currently have two tutoring shifts: 3:00-5:00pm or 7:00-10:00pm ET. Tutors usually work between 2-9 hours a week.
  • New tutors must complete a 7-week, 1-credit training course (WRIT 2101, see below for details). Tutor training is only held in the spring, and begins when the 7-week courses start, midway through the spring semester. 
  • After completing the tutor training course (once hired), tutors are required to attend 3 (paid) staff meetings a semester (plus the required first and final semester meetings). Staff meetings are usually at 5:30-6:30pm ET, 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. Staff meetings deepen and extend the introduction to basic tutoring pedagogy and practice covered in WRIT 2101 (tutor training). 
  • Tutors get paid an hourly rate, and there is often the bonus of good free food at most events. 

Positions for Advanced Tutors

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 typically 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, ken43@cornell.edu, 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 7-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.

Learn more and apply here

Writing Centers Assistant Director 

The Writing Centers regularly hire 1-2 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, ken43@cornell.edu. Letters should explain relevant experiences as well as the potential professional value of this administrative work. 

How to Apply

All tutor applicants must be matriculated Cornell students. 

If you're interested in applying to become a Writing Centers tutor, please follow the directions below.

Undergraduate Students

  • Undergraduate tutoring applications are only reviewed 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 2023 deadline: Friday, February 10th.

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 7-week tutor training course (WRIT 2101) 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. 

WRIT 2101: Responding to Writing: Theory & Pedagogy (1 credit)

Course Description: This course introduces students to scholarship on writing pedagogy, requiring them to think critically about collaborative learning strategies, multilingual writing challenges, ethical considerations in peer tutoring, and the ways in which race and other facets of identity inform teaching and learning. The learning objectives include: develop an understanding of different theories of writing and the history of writing centers; practice reading and responding to a variety of different writing genres and student situations in ways that connect theory to practice; learn to question assumptions in specific pieces of writing, frameworks for writing, and in pedagogical interactions; self-reflect on individual writing processes, writing, and previous educational experiences; analyze the ways in which writer and tutor identities affect pedagogical interactions and learn strategies for equitable and ethical tutoring; develop confidence in suggesting interventions for other writers at various stages of their writing processes; and, gain flexibility in utilizing a variety of strategies for fostering writer agency and growth.    

Spring 2022 Tutor Training Course Details:

  • Starts Wednesday, March 19 
  • Held weekly, on Wednesdays 4:30-6:00pm 
  • Knight Institute staff will enroll hired tutors
  • Non-tutors interested in taking the course can email requests of interest to Dr. Navickas, ken43@cornell.edu 

Graduate Students

  • 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, ken43@cornell.edu 
  • DEADLINE: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
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