WR 121 is the first course in the University of Oregon’s writing requirement. The course helps students build the writing, reading, and reasoning skills that will help them in future college courses and throughout their lives.
The WR 121 Tutorial is designed to help students in WR 121 whose entrance exam scores indicate that they will need additional support to succeed as writers in college. In order to receive credit for the tutorial, students must prepare for and attend seven one-hour sessions with an experienced writing tutor, and write self-assessments based on what they learn.
Tutors are English Ph.D. students trained to help students with the concepts, strategies, and skills taught in WR 121. Each term, these tutors provide more than 1000 hours of one-on-one tutoring to more than 100 WR 121 students.
Serving an Important Need
The students we tutor have the potential to be top-notch writers and communicators. The WR 121 Tutorial helps them to meet that potential:
- Over 500 students admitted to the University in 2010- 2011 had SAT verbal scores below 450. We served approximately 1/3 of those students in the tutorial.
- Many of the students served in the WR 121 Tutorial are non-native speakers of English. Our tutors are trained in strategies for helping English language learners develop their writing and communication skills.
Benefits Across the Community
- Students in the Tutorial benefit from focused one-on-one tutoring in concepts and strategies that will help make them better writers. Tutors help students at all stages of their WR 121 coursework: from brainstorming ideas for arguments, to structuring essays, to revising drafts for clarity and correctness.
- Writing 121 Tutors gain experience working with the theory and practice of the University of Oregon’s writing pedagogy. Tutors are also being trained to teach their own sections of WR 121; their training and experience as tutors helps build a strong foundation for successful teaching.
- WR 121 Instructors benefit because their at-risk students are receiving extra support that helps them produce better written work. Tutoring supplements the instruction and feedback that instructors provide in the WR 121 classroom.
How Does the Tutorial Work?
Each term, before registration begins, students are notified that they qualify for the WR 121 Tutorial. After they enroll:
- Students will log in to our fully automated, confidential, web-based scheduling system, where they can set up their tutoring appointments each week.
- Students meet with tutors in 269 PLC, which has been designed to offer a welcoming and comfortable professional learning environment.
- After each session, students receive an email assessment of the session from their tutor. That email also goes to the student’s WR 121 instructor, so that they can help track the student’s progress. Students also write a self-assessment, describing what they learned.
- Students who complete the tutorial can choose to take it a second time for credit, to help them in WR 122, College Composition II.