Peer Writing Consultants

The Reading and Writing Center's Peer Writing Consultant Program Wants You!

Interested in helping others become more effective writers? Thinking about graduate school? Want to build your resume? Care about social justice issues?

Contact Professor Catherine Savini to learn more about English 301. . Students who complete the course with a grade of B+ or better may be invited to serve as Reading and Writing Center peer tutors.

Some Facts about RWC Peer Writing Consultants

  • Peer writing consultants (PWC) need not be experts on grammar or style! Consultants devote most of their time helping their peers break assignments down into manageable tasks and showing them how to find the resources they need. English 301 will prepare you to serve as a peer writing consultant.
  • Peer writing consultants earn $12.75/hour and work anywhere from 3-10 hours/week.
  • The peer writing consultants have presented their course projects at conferences in New York City, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Florida. Conference particpiation is not a requirement but those students who have presented at conferences have loved it, and conference presentations look great on grad school applications and resumes.

Peer Writing Consultant Qualifications

Successful writing consultants need not be grammar experts nor the best writers around. We are looking for students with:

  • strong interpersonal skills: these include kindness, empathy, curiosity, and flexibility; peer writing consultants need to be able to put the students they are working with at ease.
  • a growth mindset: students who succeed as tutors are invested in improving their writing and their tutoring; this means that they welcome and apply feedback.
  • an investment in our community/social justice issues: this course requires that students think about structural inequities on campus and work with campus partners to develop initiatives to tackle these inequities.
  • active listening skills: know-it-alls don’t make effective tutors but good listeners do; we are looking for students who will meet their peers where they are and build on their peers’ strengths. 

We want the staff to reflect the diversity of our campus so we are actively seeking:

  • students of color
  • students with disablities and learning disabilities/differences
  • students who are multilingual
  • students enrolled in TRiO and Urban Ed
  • students who identify as LGBTQIA
  • veterans/military
  • The RWC is looking for PWCs from all majors and backgrounds. We are actively seeking out students who are BIPOC, students who are multilingual or who have disabilities.

What Peer Writing Consultants Say about their Tutoring Experiences

  • Working as a peer writing consultant helped build my confidence.
  • Working as a peer writing consultant helped me become a better writer. 
  • Tutoring other people has helped me to develop an understanding for how other people write and develop strategies to help them.
  • Working as a peer writing consultant improved my communication skills. 
  • When my peers text me weeks after we’ve worked together to tell me how thankful they are that I helped them get a good grade, my heart feels like it’s going to explode.
  • Working as a peer writing consultant helps me become more involved in the campus community.
  • I had never had the confidence in my own opinions and my own ability to express them until becoming a peer writing consultant. 
  • Becoming a peer writing consultant made me realize how much I took my own literacy for granted and that there are people out there that struggle to get their ideas and their struggle destroys their self esteem I have realized I have a gift that allows me to help people rebuild their self esteem and help them realize that they do have great ideas

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should enroll in English 301: Tutoring Writing?
• Students who currently tutor or would like to tutor.
• Students who intend to pursue a career in education.
• Students who plan to go to graduate school in any discipline.
• Students pursuing a writing minor or a writing concentration.
• Students who want to improve their writing.

What will I learn in English 301: Tutoring Writing?

This course takes an unexpected approach to teaching students to serve as writing consultants; instead of focusing directly on the skills of working in the RWC, the course examines the WSU community through the lens of social inequities. From there, students develop writing projects aimed at leveling the playing field. The course is especially valuable for students who see injustices in the world around them and want to do something about it. Past students wrote proposals for a veterans’ lounge, an LGBTQ Living Learning Community, and a Center of Equity and Identity; led a workshop aimed at raising awareness of microaggressions; launched the Tell Me About Your Day Club; and revised the Counseling Center website. All of these projects were successful and have led to lasting change on our campus. The readings in this course focus on social justice issues, tutoring writing, and writing as a process.

How does this course prepare students to serve in the RWC? 

Students in this course get to know students from different backgrounds and have a better understanding of the complex lives of the students you will work with in the RWC, develop a deeper knowledge of how our campus works, learn about ways in which the education system is not equitable, write in unfamiliar genres for real world audiences, revise and revise, practice self-reflection, and regularly give each other feedback on their projects.

Is the course Tutoring Writing only for English majors?

No. Tutoring Writing is for students from all disciplines. Students who took the course in past semesters majored in business, history, psychology, communications, education, biology, theatre arts, and English.

If I take this course am I guaranteed a position as a peer writing consultant? 

Not all students who complete this course will be invited to serve as peer writing consultants. Various factors influence the selection of peer writing consultants from the course, including the Reading and Writing Center’s budget and your performance in the course.

Can I serve as a peer writing consultant if I do not complete this course?

No, peer writing consultants must complete Tutoring Writing with a B+ or better.

Why be a peer writing consultant when I can earn more bagging groceries?

The work you do in the course and serving as a peer writing consultant looks great on your resume as it provides you valuable experience working with people and is a cue to future employees that you are a strong writer. Peer writing consultants often present at a regional conference and we have even presented at a national conference; this means we’ve traveled to New York City and Orlando. A former peer writing consultant told me that she got her job as a grant writer at the Boys and Girls Club because she presented at a writing center conference.