The Hunter College Reading/Writing Center provides tutorial services that help students become better academic writers. It is the goal of tutoring to improve students' reading and writing processes, how they engage texts and write papers, and in the effort help students actively participate in their own education and to appreciate the educational value of all the courses offered in the college's curriculum.
The Center's mission is realized through tutorial practice based on the following principles:
A tutor at the Hunter College Reading/Writing Center should work as a peer with student writers, focusing on the writing process, questioning students about their writing and prioritizing the most critical issue in every session, while creating a nonjudgmental learning environment.
The Reading/Writing Center is a peer tutoring program. Successful student writers are the experts in how to write successful academic papers. They can explain the process and advise their peers with authority—and, in the process, add to their own learning and improve their own writing.
The Center's tutorial services are process oriented. Tutors aid students in improving and strengthening the academic writing process they practice, from reading (whether assigned texts or researched sources) to thinking (e.g., thesis development) to organizing (through outlines or drafting) to writing, revising, and proofreading. Through creating better products—richer readings, more persuasive arguments, more polished prose—student writers will enhance their processes, and vice versa.
Tutors use the Socratic Method in their tutorial practice. Questioning makes students investigate their own thinking and more effectively understand and express their ideas. Inquiry-based tutoring technique also assures that student writers will think, and write, for themselves, applying, adapting, and extending their expressive abilities.
There are often more issues in a piece of student writing than can be addressed successfully in a single tutorial; to try to fix or focus on every error, confusion, and faulty usage can overwhelm the student writer and undermine learning. Prioritizing the most important or prevalent reading, critical thinking, or writing issue, e.g., understanding the assignment, thesis development, or the grammar error that occurs most often or most obscures meaning, is most likely to make the biggest difference in the piece of writing under review and in the development of the writer.
While tutors must analyze student writing and recognize error, tutorial practice must be nonjudgmental. Other than to determine how best to help the student become a better critical reader and academic writer, the tutor makes no judgments about the quality of the writing, the kinds of error, or the level of the student. Tutors do not discuss grades; they focus only on progress.