Home News Writing Center offers peer-to-peer help – The Oswegonian

Writing Center offers peer-to-peer help – The Oswegonian


As the end of the semester approaches, the Writing Center provides students with resources to tackle final papers and research projects. 

Located on the first floor of Penfield Library, the SUNY Oswego Writing Center offers students the unique opportunity to work with trained student tutors on papers and class writing assignments in a one-on-one setting. With 35 years of experience, Writing Center Director Steven Smith believes that peer tutors offer a comfortable and relatable environment for students those looking for writing help.

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“They are students just like you coming in to get help and they can readily relate to the kinds of issues and challenges and frustrations that you are facing,” Smith said. “That’s why I have always been for peer tutors, it’s because students I work with, I see a different side when they come in and work with me, they don’t have a tendency to open up to me and tell me all the issues and challenges they are facing.”

The Writing Center currently has 11 student tutors on staff, majoring in subjects from English and creative writing to computer science and zoology. Dominic Altamura, a computer science and logic minor, has been with the Writing Center for a year and a half, tutoring students who make appointments. Altamura encourages students to go to the writing center to get a more objective, specialized look at their writing.

“Everyone who is a writing tutor has pretty much excelled at writing in one course or another,” Altamura said. “It’s not just if you were to have one of your friends look at it and see it, it’s people who actually have a good idea on how to form papers, whether it be creative writing or a formal research thesis.”

Over the eight years at his position as director of the Writing Center, Smith has noticed a trend of students “panicking” when finals week begins. As SUNY Oswego’s finals week, Dec. 6 to Dec. 10, creeps closer, the Writing Center anticipates more appointments being made. Smith encourages students to get help as soon as possible.

“If [students] anticipate any kinds of problems, any kinds of challenges in their courses with writing, they should come in and seek Writing Center tutorial assistance as soon as possible,” Smith said. “You need time for writing to ‘cool off.’”

The Writing Center uses the service “TutorTrac” in order for students to book appointments with tutors and view tutor profiles. The current hours of operation run Mondays through Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Fridays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students are permitted to make up to two appointments a week, although exceptions may be granted in certain situations. Aside from the typical, one-on-one tutoring sessions, the Writing Center offers in-person drop-in tutoring sessions with tutors Allyson Voerg and Emma Yusko. The drop-in hours run Mondays 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Thursdays 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. To book an appointment or learn more information about the Writing Center resources, visit https://www.oswego.edu/ols/writing-center.

Abigail Connolly | The Oswegonian 

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