Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lessons learned over time

I entered higher education with little to no concept of the types of writing that would be expected of me. I remember vividly when my English 1010 instructor posted my first essay on the over-head as an example of what not to do. My writing skills were decent, but I hadn’t fulfilled the assignment as I was supposed to. I attribute this early failure to two factors: my long absence from formal schooling and my deplorable high school education.

I guess you could say that my knowledge of different forms of writing was anything but intuitive. I understood that there were different types. I had heard the terms “research paper” and “persuasive essay,” but I really didn’t know what these entailed. It wasn’t until I was assigned these types of papers that I realized how little I knew, and how much I would need to educate myself in regards to these various formats.

I think this really helps me tutor unfamiliar papers. In my own experience, I have had to read between the rubric’s lines. From what an instructor has written in a syllabus, a student can begin to fathom what type of essay a teacher is looking for. But, sometimes this isn’t the case. Sometimes the details are (purposely) left out. My experience in searching for those answers has helped me to tutor because I am comfortable looking for answers. I am familiar with not knowing something, and educating myself about that subject. I feel as if this skill, if transferred into my tutoring experiences, can be a benefit to the students who are as lost as I was at the beginning of my university experience.


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