Sunday, September 08, 2013

First Session of the Fall Semester

Preston Carter

The first tutoring session I took was a student from an upper division course. Normally, I would have probably let another tutor take this session, but I decided to give it a shot. Being the first upper division session I have taken, I opened with asking some questions about the paper to get a better idea of the paper and the author's intent. I scanned the essay, which was the first ten pages of her thesis, and I asked about formatting and structure initially and then began reading the paper aloud.

I did feel sufficiently prepared for the session, and I was not feeling too nervous. I have gotten fairly comfortable asking master tutors questions in the middle of a session if I do not have an adequate answer for the tutee. This has allowed me to feel fairly confident when entering any session. Luckily, this paper had been revised multiple times; I believe I was reading a final draft. The ideas were well developed from the writer's perspective, and the structure was logical. I did not get to read the entire thesis, nor would I have been able to read it during our session, but I believe she was heading in the right direction to continue her paper from where we left off.

Her preparation for the session allowed me to focus on the more minor details of her paper. We looked at some issues of sentence structure, syntax, and grammar. This is something that I am comfortable with, more so than judging the idea development of a longer essay, so I am grateful that we were able to focus on these details. I used the session to develop my own recitation of the syntactical rules. I know these rules well and am learning them all the time, but I am trying to use the correct vocabulary to explain them.

The session went really well. I asked a master tutor about a particular rule in order to clarify it with the tutee. We read the paper all the way through; I marked instances of problems and identified patterns. I showed her the diagram of the clauses and gave her a printed copy for later reference. Other than comma and conjunction issues, her essay did a really good job discussing her topic of interest.


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