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The Writing Lab and the Honor Code

lab loves honor code

As set out in the Writing Lab mission statement, ‘Bound by the honor code, Writing Lab tutors are participants in, not owners of, the writing process.’ Tutors do not edit students’ papers for them, but help them find and correct their own errors by discussing concerns with a given assignment or instructing them in regard to particular grammatical or organizational goals.

We begin Writing Lab sessions with “higher order concerns” – addressing issues with organization, coherence, development and support, and similar paper qualities. We do this by pointing out problem areas in the beginning of the paper or generally discussing organizational issues, suggesting possible ways to improve, and then guiding the student to find her own problems and solutions later in the paper. Once higher order concerns are resolved (or, if there are no serious problems with organization and coherence in the first place), we will begin to address “lower order concerns,” such as grammar and style. This is addressed by teaching or re-teaching the student the rules regarding the most common or serious grammatical or stylistic concerns in her paper, and then encouraging her to find and fix these issues on her own. Tutors may also help students by providing writing tips, brainstorming or reviewing proofreading techniques, and assisting with paper layout and citation information in regard to any of the styles practiced at the College (MLA, APA, Chicago, and so on).
Eric Morris-Pusey ‘15
Writing Lab Tutor Supervisor

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