Monday, October 03, 2011


What I have found most useful during sessions is to just think out loud. This is very hard to do, but if you can master it, you will be so much more efficient and helpful. From my won experience, I have found that when you immediately stop reading and sit in silence, it becomes extremely uncomfortable for both sides. By simply saying what you are thinking about, you take the silence away. I believe that silence breeds insecurity in tutees. When you stop reading, the tutee knows that you are thinking about something, and if they do not know, they will probably jump to a worst case scenario, such as you judging them. If the tutor just starts rambling on about something, at least the tutee will know what you are saying. Known unknowns are scary. This does not mean that you should just ramble on about any random subject. I think that anything you say about the paper is perfectly acceptable, so long as it is positive or constructive.

Another thing that I have found useful is to ask questions, even if you understand the material. This tip is extremely helpful when looking at analytical or argumentative papers. Even though a certain statement might be widely known and understood, it is always good to make sure and explain how or why it is the way it is. Do not feel afraid to ask the tutee "why or how does this relate?" Asking questions such as this is the best thing you can do for a tutee that is writing an analysis or otherwise. By asking questions, you call on their own knowledge to improve the paper. You give them no answers. This means that they improve their paper by their own means. That is the tutor's job.


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