The College Writing Program launched a new on-line companion to its tutoring services last week. The new program, called “Write-On,” is designed to let students get quick feedback on specific issues regarding their writing.

Director of the College Writing Program and Dean of Freshman, Deborah Rossen-Knill and Assistant Director Brian O’Sullivan implemented the new service as part of the writing program’s restructuring. “The writing program has a five-year implementation plan to make the program more effective,” Rossen-Knill said. “We are now in the third year and the program has become much stronger here.”

When submitting work via e-mail, the College Writing Program requests that no work exceed five pages. The author should also include the original assignment question, the due date, how long the piece is required to be and for what class or purpose the piece was written.

Both Rossen-Knill and O’Sullivan stressed that the tutors are not proofreading a student’s work. “We are providing a critical read to address a specific question,” O’Sullivan said. “The student should reflect on their work first in order to get the most out of the tutoring. Through the Write-On program we provide students with a response, critical feedback, and suggestions within 24 hours.”

The training for the Write-On program was intense. “In preparation for online tutoring, which is somewhat different in style and approach than in-person tutoring, we met once a week and practiced responding in writing to many papers,” writing tutor Erin McCrossan said. “Toward the end of the semester, as we worked out the final kinks in the system, we also worked with a couple of ‘pilot’ classesof CAS 105 students to help us both respond to ‘real’ student concerns and also to get valuable feedback from the students themselves,” McCrossan added.

Because the Writing Fellows and Writing Consultants have a diverse range of disciplines, any form of writing can be submitted, including papers, applications and labs.

Since Write-On is run through e-mail, students can follow-up with their original tutor simply by hitting the reply button in their e-mail program. If a student wants a different tutor, they can resubmit their writing. The program is just one part of the comprehensive support umbrella that the College Writing Program offers to students.

“This program is a good idea for people who can’t make it to the Writing Fellows’ hours or don’t need a lengthy tutoring session,” freshman Anna Blum said. “Also, when comments are written in an e-mail, people don’t have to worry about missing something that the tutor suggested.”

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