Did you know that the English department offers a course that gets you a job as a writing tutor? . . . It’s called ENG 222: Writing and Education!

ENG 222: Writing and Education is a course taught by Dr. Anissa Sorokin. Before joining Stevenson’s English faculty, Dr. Sorokin directed the Writing Center at UMBC where she trained writing tutors for three years. So, when she came to Stevenson, she was happy to see that this course was offered. It’s Dr. Sorokin’s favorite class to teach because “it feels like an opportunity to reach so many people in a positive way.” She likes it when her students tell her that they better understand themselves and their relationship with writing and are now able to pass knowledge and insights to their peers.

The course objective is to “provide you with skills, theory, and information to help you effectively tutor students in their writing.” In the first half of the semester, Dr. Sorokin’s students learn about the theories of teaching writing. Around midterms, her students apply their new skills to peer tutoring and complete research projects. Students are able to choose a specific issue or population to study (i.e. writing and gender, writing and race, etc.) in order to provide resources for instructors. The final project requires students to create a tutoring philosophy focused on writing.

Hannah Bagley, sophomore English major, took this class last spring. Dr. Sorokin actually recommended that Hannah take the course after noticing the way she took notes and edited classmates’ papers in ENG 152. . . And it also fulfilled a writing intensive requirement! Hannah said that this course revealed the different ways in which she writes and her writing process, which helps her relate to other students who have similar processes, allowing her to tutor them more effectively.

In early March, Dr. Sorokin and Hannah attended The Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association Conference where they attended sessions that offer “useful ideas that tutors and writing program administrators can implement right away.” The most interesting thing Dr. Sorokin learned was not to assume that students are comfortable with technology and to be prepared to teach them tricks and tips. Hannah had a “fun and enlightening” experience at the conference as she was able to learn and network. She learned not to doubt her tutoring style as a lot of students she tutors have the same experiences as her.

Hannah takes her job seriously as she believes that “the purpose of writing tutors is to make better writers, not better assignment[s].” In the class, Hannah learned to have the student guide the sessions as much as possible. She tries to create a space where she can help students long-term by providing them with options so they can edit their own work better.