Graduate students in our department play an important role as writing tutors for undergraduates in history courses. Tutors help navigate the particular challenges historical writing poses, such as organizing evidence from primary sources, constructing sophisticated arguments, and citing sources correctly. Writing tutors provide students an additional set of eyes and an advanced editor for their work. The move also frees up professors and teaching assistants for the large survey classes so they can concentrate on lesson preparation and grading.
We expanded the program in during the 2016-17 academic year when Josh Hodge, Brad Phillis (pictured above), and Josh Sander served as tutors. Available to students during extended office hours throughout the week, the tutors worked with more than 100 students, mainly from the survey courses, over the course of the academic year. Some students brought their work to the writing tutors several times in order to write the best paper possible. Other students come during the planning and outlining stage of their papers and work with the tutors throughout the entire process of writing a paper.
Regardless of when they come or how long they stay, tutoring services are paying off. Several professors have noticed a marked improvement in the writing by students who work with our graduate student writing tutors. We look forward to another successful academic year!