ENL 359 Fall 2018

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ENL 359

Tutoring Writing

MWF: 10:00-10:50

Monday & Friday: LARTS 203
Wednesday: MCC (LARTS 219)

Prerequisite: ENL 102

What is this course?




Dr. Elisabeth Buck Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ElisabethHBuck Office Hours:  
& by appointment

Course Info

Instructor Info

Theories and dynamics of writing consultation and multimodal tutoring. Readings theorize the writing process, conflicting ideas about writing itself, as well as writing/multiliteracy center history, theory, and practice. The course is highly interactive, calling on students to use readings as the grounding for the critical examination of tutoring practices, as well as the co-construction of classroom discussions and activities. Field work (equivalent to one hour per week) as a tutor is required.

What do you need for ENL 359?

Laptop or other device with Internet connection

Course readings as assigned (click for link to folder)

WordPress account (click for link to course blog)




What can you expect to learn in ENL 359?

By the end of this course, you will be able to: • articulate the basic philosophical principles of contemporary writing center theory • conduct one-on-one tutoring consultations • help other students understand their own processes, problem-solving strengths, and ideas • design and implement classroom presentations and discussions • reflect on your own work/process as a writer & communicator
 • discuss different types of solutions to typical writing and communication problems with your peers • develop a praxis-based methodology for multiliteracy center research

This course will explore what it means to be a writing & communication tutor through empirical, practical, and theoretical experiences. Working one-on-one with another student—while ostensibly a straightforward process—can instead reveal the many complexities of language, education, and culture. As such, the Multiliteracy & Communication Center is the ideal forum to explore nuances of speech, conversational dynamics, gender/race, and, critically, how to communicate knowledge. ENL 359 necessarily requires that a significant amount of time be spent outside of class completing field work hours, equivalent to approximately one hour per week (12 total hours). It is my hope that this time will not only help you to assist others in expanding their composing skills, but that you will also learn a great deal about your own ways of writing, speaking, and knowing, as well as what dynamic spaces multiliteracy centers can be.  

Any individual interested in working at the Multiliteracy & Communication Center as a tutor must successfully complete this course. Enrollment in Tutoring Writing, however, is not a guarantee that you will be asked to continue to work as a tutor; rather, invitations to employment will be based on a comprehensive assessment of your work as a student, your professionalism, and your enthusiasm for working with others. 




What are the major assignments in ENL 359?

Blogging and Field Work

One of your major assignments in this class will be your field work in the Multiliteracy & Communication Center. You will make an appointment with a tutor to work on your own writing, take notes on the center, observe experienced tutors, co-tutor, and, eventually, tutor independently. To document your experiences, you will also keep a WordPress blog, where the goal will be to interact with classmates and connect your field work experiences to course readings/discussions.

12 Total Field Work Hours

Discussion Leaders

During one class day, you and a partner will be charged with facilitating discussion on a reading that you select. This reading should be peer-reviewed and have writing centers and/or peer tutoring at its core (we'll discuss where to locate this scholarship in class).  You should prepare a short activity AND a multimodal deliverable that can help guide discussion, but the objective is to sustain conversation on the topic for at least thirty minutes.

Final Multimodal Project: Tutoring Philosophies

This assignment will serve as your culminating project in the course. The main goal of this project is to articulate who you are and what you value as a tutor. There are four  requirements for this project:
1) Your philosophy must be clearly articulated: what does being a tutor mean to you? What sort of tutoring pedagogy do you value? How do you draw on your various identities to inform your practice? How do you think tutoring will supplement your future career goals? 
2) You project must be multimodal. This means that you can convey your philosophy in a song, video, infographic, diorama, etc. 
3) It must draw on writing/tutoring center scholarship in an explicit/clear way. You will thus need to include in some way your works cited/references. 
4) Your work must demonstrate effort appropriate for a final project (it is worth 35% of your grade in the course).

Here's what you will need to submit for this project:
1) Presentation of project for class final  (Monday, December 10th)
2) Final project deliverable (due on Monday, December 10th)

Click here to read the full assignment description for this project.




How will you be evaluated?

Total Points: 950-1000 =A           900-949= A-           870-899= B+           840-869=B           800-839=B- 770-799=C+             740-769=C             700-739=C-     670-699=D+     640-669=D 600-639=D-         599 and below=F

Blogging & Field Work 455 points Discussion Leader 150 Points Final Research Project 350 points Attendance, Classwork, & Participation 45 points 1,000 points total

What else do you need to know to be successful in this course?

All UMass Dartmouth students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity and scholarly practice. The University does not tolerate academic dishonesty of any variety, whether as result of a failure to understand proper academic and scholarly procedure, or as an act of intentional dishonesty.  For the complete statement on Academic Regulations and Procedures, see the UMass Dartmouth Student Handbook:

Academic Integrity

Accommodations for Learning Differences and Disabilities

If you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please meet with me at the beginning of the semester and provide the appropriate paperwork from the Center for Access and Success (CAS). To contact CAS or learn more about the university's procedures for accommodating students with disabilities at their website:

Additional Support and Title IX Information

The purpose of a university is to disseminate information, as well as to explore a universe of ideas, to encourage diverse perspectives and robust expression, and to foster the development of critical and analytical thinking skills. In many classes, including this one, students and faculty examine and analyze challenging and controversial topics. If a topic covered in this class triggers post-traumatic stress or other emotional distress, please discuss the matter with the professor or seek out confidential resources available at: the Counseling Center 508-999-8648 or - 8650, the Victim Advocate in the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality, 508-910-4584. In an emergency contact the Department of Public Safety at 508-999-9191 24 hrs./day. UMass Dartmouth, following national guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, requires that faculty follow UMass Dartmouth policy as a “mandated reporter” of any disclosure of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or violence shared with the faculty member in person and/or via email. These disclosures include but are not limited to reports of sexual assault, relational abuse, relational/domestic violence, and stalking. While faculty are often able to help students locate appropriate channels of assistance on campus, disclosure by the student to the faculty member requires that the faculty member inform the University’s Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at 508-999-8008 to help ensure that the student’s safety and welfare is being addressed, even if the student requests that the disclosure not be shared. For confidential counseling support and assistance see

Attendance Policy

Your attendance at every class meeting (including and especially field work hours) is very important due to the community-oriented nature of this course; however, I understand that emergencies arise, people get sick, and, sometimes, things just happen. For this reason, you are given three  “free” absences in which your grade will be unaffected. If you miss four or more classes, your overall grade may be lowered one half letter at the end of the semester. This means that an A will be lowered to an A-, a B to a B-, etc.   Please note that it will be helpful to exchange numbers with a classmate  (or friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, etc.) so that, in the event of an absence, they can let you know what was missed.  I am also always happy to meet to meet with you during my office hours to discuss absences and missed work.

Late/Missed/Incomplete Work

All work is due on the date indicated on the syllabus. Since assignments in this course will be collected electronically, they must be sent to me or posted by the beginning of class, unless otherwise noted on the course schedule. If an emergency prevents you from submitting this work on time, please let me know as soon as possible the nature of this emergency, and I will do my best to work with you. I do accept late/incomplete work, but your grade will be impacted based on the severity of the tardiness and/or omissions.

Classroom Etiquette and Decorum:

This classroom will be a place where all ideas, opinions, and voices are welcome. Therefore, any threatening, disrespectful, or discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated. I advocate for a respectful use of technology: this means that I do not ban any technologies—in fact, I encourage you to bring an iPad, laptop, etc. to class—but I also hope that you will consider how you feel when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone, and they keep checking their phone. Technology is (often) awesome and helpful, but so is interacting with people in a face-to-face capacity. It is also okay if you need to bring food/drink to class. I just ask that you abide by the airplane rule, and try not to bring anything too messy, smelly, or loud.

FERPA Statement

FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects your privacy as a student; university personnel and faculty are not permitted to share information about your academic progress with anyone outside the university (e.g., your parents) without your permission. Blogs, websites, wikis, and other Internet-based compositions are PUBLIC. Thus, if you wish to protect your privacy, or simply prefer to remain anonymous, you may choose to publish using only your first name, initials, or a pseudonym; however, you must also be willing to share your information with everyone else in this course (instructor and students). Please note that I will not grade or evaluate your any of your work publicly.

Formatting and Submitting Assignments

All work in this course will be submitted electronically, not just in an effort to “go green,” but also because my handwriting is atrocious, and I want to make sure you’re able to read my feedback via typed comments.  We will go over in class the process of submitting assignments. In your written projects, I am happy to have you utilize whatever citation style that you use most frequently. As tutors, however, you should expect to familiarize yourself with at least MLA, APA, and Chicago styles (and know how to locate resources on these styles!)

Your continued enrollment in this course is confirmation that you agree to the policies outlined in this syllabus.

What will be actually be doing/reading in ENL 359?

Note: One of the main reasons why I create a digital syllabus is that I adapt my courses to the specific students and the trajectory of class discussion; also, sometimes situations arise over the semester that require assignments or materials to shift. Putting the syllabus in this form means that I can make these alterations easily, so make sure that you check back with the document often. However, I will never make a major change (e.g., to a due date) without also announcing this in class and/or in an email.

Weeks One and Two: Peer Tutoring Foundations 

Week 1 
W 9/5 LARTS 219
Course Introductions/WordPress set-up For Next Class: read Harris, "Talking in the Middle: Why Writers Need Writing Tutors"  

F 9/7 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills
For Monday's class: read Bruffee, "Peer Tutoring and the Conversation of Mankind,"  

Week 2
M 9/10 LARTS 203
Dissecting "Peer" Tutoring  (Discussion Leader Example)
For Next Class:  read North, "The Idea of a Writing Center" and Harris, "Theory and Reality: The Ideal Writing Center (s)"

W 9/12 LARTS 219
Discussion: How did writing centers come to be? 
*Last day to Add, Drop, or Audit a course*

F 9/14 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills 
For Monday's class: read Horning "Reading: Securing Its Place in the Writing Center" (begins on page 2). 

Field work check point: Observation at the MCC. Blog post on observation due by class time on Friday, 9/21

Week 3 
M 9/17 LARTS 203
Strategies for working with readers in the MCC
For Next Class: read Newkirk, "The First Five Minutes: Setting the Agenda in the Writing Conference"

W 9/19 LARTS 219
Setting an agenda for a session

F 9/21 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills
For Monday's Class: read Fishbaine, "Listening" (starts on page 10) and Ratcliffe, "Rhetorical Listening"

Week 4 
M 9/24 LARTS 203
Listening skills + Determining Higher Order/Lower Order Concerns 
For Next Class: read Dixon, "Strategy Centered or Student Centered" (starts on page 7).

W 9/26 LARTS 219
Discussion Leader Group 1 
Diagnosing an essay 

F 9/28 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills
For Monday's class: read Kervin and Barrett, "Emotional Management Versus Time Management"(starts on page 10). 

Weeks Three and Four: Practicing Tutoring Fundamentals

Field work check point: Schedule and attend tutoring appointment at the MCC. Blog post on appointment due by class time on Friday, 10/5

Weeks Five and Six: Addressing Students' Needs

Week 5
M 10/1 LARTS 203
Discussion Leader Group 2
Introduction to dealing with difficult situations
For Next Class: read Walker, "Difficult Clients and Tutor Dependency" (starts on page 10 of PDF) and "Difficult Tutoring Situations" (Duke University)

W 10/3 LARTS 219
Dealing with difficult situations workshop
For Wednesday's Class: bring in questions for experienced tutors

F 10/5 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills

Week 6 
M 10/8 LARTS 203
Columbus Day Holiday--No Class

W 10/10 LARTS 219
Q&A with experienced MCC tutors
For Monday's Class: read Faison and Treviño, "Race, Retention, Language, and Literacy"

F 10/12 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills

Weeks Seven and Eight: Tutor and Client Identities

Weeks Nine and Ten: Tutoring English, English(s), and ELL students

Weeks Eleven and Twelve: Tutoring In/With New Media

Field work check point: Schedule observations with experienced tutors in MCC. Blog post on observations due by class time on Friday, 10/26

Field work check point: Complete observation and interview with MCC mentor. Blog post on observation/interview due by class time on Friday, 11/9

Field work check point: Remaining blog posts on co- or independent tutoring sessions due by Friday, 12/14

Week 7 
M 10/15 LARTS 203
Discussion Leader Group 3 
Assessing Tutor/Writer Identities For next class: read Varma, "Politics of Difference in the Writing Center," Hitt  "Access for All: The Role of Dis/Ability in Multiliteracy Centers"      

W 10/17 LARTS 219
Fostering inclusivity in the MCC For Monday's Class: read Tipper, "Real Men Don't Do Writing Centers" and Rafoth, et al. "Sex in the Center: Gender Differences in Tutorial Interactions"

F 10/19 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills

Week 8 
M 10/22 LARTS 203
Gender's impact(s) on the tutoring session
For next class: read Dixon, "Uncomfortably Queer" and Doucette, "Composing Queers: The Subversive Potential of the Writing Center"  

W 10/24 LARTS 219
Discussion Leader Group 4 
Queering the center For Monday's class: read Young, "Should Writer's Use They Own English?" and Suhr-Systma & Brown, "Theory Into Practice: Addressing the Everyday Language of Oppression in the Writing Center" 

F 10/26 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills

Weeks Thirteen and Fourteen: Public Speaking & Presentations

Week 9 
M 10/29 LARTS 203
Language and privilege 
For next class: read Severino and Deifell, "Empowering L2 Tutoring: A Case Study of a Second Language Writer's Vocabulary Learning"

W 10/31 LARTS 219
Working with L2 and ELL students 
For Monday's class: read Min, "When Editing Becomes Education" 

F 11/1 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills (Online Tutoring Practice 1) 

Week 10 
M 11/5 LARTS 203
Documentary screening: Writing Across Borders
For Next Class: Research a tool/technology that would be helpful for use in the MCC 

W 11/7 LARTS 219
Brainstorming Accessibility Resources
For Wednesday's class: read Grutsch McKinney, "New Media Matters: Tutoring in the Late Age of Print"

F 11/9 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills (Online Tutoring Practice 2) 

Week 11 
M  11/12
Veteran's Day Holiday--No Class
For next class: look over the first-year English website, including curriculum & objectives ( 

W 11/14 LARTS 219
Final Project Overview and FYE Overview
For next Monday's class: read Archer, "Dealing with Multimodal Assignments in Writing Centers" (begins on page 10 of PDF) and read Adobe's "8 Basic Principles of Design" ( 

F 11/16 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills

Week 12 
M 11/19 LARTS 203 
Principles of Multimodal Tutoring  

W 11/21 LARTS 219
In-Class Work Day (Final Project/Field Work) 
For Monday's class: read "How to Create the Best PowerPoint Presentations, with Examples" (

F 11/23
Thanksgiving Break--No Class

Week 13 
M 11/26 LARTS 203
Providing feedback on presentations/multimodal tutoring
For Next Class: come prepared with an example of ineffective design

W 11/28 LARTS 219
Multimodal tutoring (continued) 
For Monday's class: watch on YouTube "Ted's Guide to Great Public Speaking" (

F 11/30 LARTS 203
Applying Tutoring Skills

Weeks 14 
M 12/3 LARTS 203
Providing feedback on public speaking 
For Wednesday's class: read Hughes, Gillespie, and Kail "What They Take With Them"

W 12/5 LARTS 219
Discussion: final questions/concerns

F 12/7 LARTS 203
Class wrap-up: what will you take with you?

Week 15
M 12/10 LARTS 203
Final day of class--presentations