Peer Writing Consultants
Apply now for 2021-22!
Applications must be submitted by Saturday, May 8.
What is a peer tutor?
Peer tutors are students who perform a tremendously important service for their fellow students at Lewis & Clark College. Their primary responsibility is to make themselves available for regularly scheduled drop-in hours at the Writing Center, where they help other students with all aspects of writing, from brainstorming initial ideas to final edits. (Peer editors do not edit students’ work for them, but they do help students develop their own proofreading skills.) They also help students understand what makes a good thesis statement, how to organize their writing according to the task at hand, and how to restructure problematic sentences to read more fluidly, among other tasks.
Why would I want to do that?
Well for starters, you get paid for it. But that’s just the beginning.
As a peer tutor, you help your fellow students develop the skills they need to succeed, which is a highly rewarding experience. In doing so, you also help make the campus a fairer learning environment. Since students come from so many different educational backgrounds, they arrive here with very different levels of preparation for college writing. Your work as a peer tutor helps to level the playing field and ensure that students succeed according to their effort and ability, not according to whether they were lucky enough to attend a good high school.
More simply, in helping students develop skills, you also help them develop (and deserve) confidence as writers, and thus reduce the anxiety that so often goes with paper writing.
Finally, the work gives the tutors a great opportunity to think about their own writing. In the training workshop, peer tutors learn to help others by identifying strengths and weaknesses in their own written work and crafting a plan to improve it. The workshop is designed to help tutors think through issues in writing that they often understand intuitively, but not very concretely. Attaining a more thorough understanding of the logic and aesthetics that make writing successful helps them work with students, but also expands and refines their own natural talents.
What kind of time commitment does this involve?
Peer tutors begin by attending a workshop at the start of the fall semester. After the workshop, they’re ready to take shifts. During the semester peer tutors typically work one or two shifts (two hours long) per week, though extra hours are sometimes available during busy parts of the semester. Tutors who want additional work opportunities sometimes work with Student Support Services, Academic English Studies, or students from local high schools.
What kinds of qualifications are you looking for?
A successful candidate will likely meet the following criteria:
- A strong academic record (3.5 GPA preferred). Tutors should be among Lewis & Clark’s best students.
- High proficiency in academic writing, from any field. We are looking for students with interdisciplinary experience, from across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
- Excellent interpersonal skills. Students should be friendly and approachable, yet able to articulate criticism in a constructive and helpful way. They must be good listeners.
- Maturity, reliability, and professionalism. Applicants must be able to take initiative and work independently.
- Thoughtfulness about the writing process. Peer tutors are not drones who pass standard templates for writing on to others. They must be creative problem solvers who have learned from reflecting on their own work and their own writing processes.
Students from all class years are welcome, so long as they will have (at least) sophomore standing by fall, 2020.
How do I apply? When are applications due?
A completed application includes the electronic form (link above) and two writing samples (preferably, but not necessarily, from Lewis & Clark coursework). Further instructions can be found on the electronic form. All applicant materials should be completed and submitted by Saturday, May 8. If you have further questions about the position, please contact John Holzwarth, Director of the Writing Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.