Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Tutors Tutored: Part 2

by Nate Gill '14

I bring my papers into the Writing Center for the same reason any other student should – it always helps when someone else looks at your work.  No matter how well I can recognize them, I always miss a few little errors or awkward constructions when I proofread my papers.  It’s hard to miss those things when reading someone else’s work though, and tutors are always there to lend a helping read. 

Little things aren’t the only reason I go to the Writing Center, however; I consider myself a decent writer, but sometimes I still write up a flawed argument or make a few irrelevant points.  The tough thing is that the better you are at writing, the better those nonsensical arguments tend to sound when you write them.  At least that’s my experience, and I tend to worry about whether I’m making sense on paper and not just in my head.  Working on a paper with a tutor helps dispel those worries, since I know they’re not afraid to be honest with me and my arguments. 

Finally, I take my essays to the Center when I know my paper needs more work, but I just can’t put my finger on what that work is.  Having a tutor look over your paper brings in a fresh perspective, and sometimes just talking about your work can spark new thoughts on the topic.  That seems to happen to me every time I bring an essay in for a session. 

On top of all that, working on a paper with a tutor makes the entire process of writing more fun.  We tend to think of writing as a solitary process, something we have to do alone, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  As a tutor, I’ve worked with other students on the same paper three or even four times, from brainstorming to proofreading. It may sound silly, but for me, a visit to the Center is more than just a means to a better paper.  It’s an end in itself, making writing a more social, more enjoyable experience. 

  • Nathan Gill