An English writing tutor typically works individually with students in order to improve writing skills outside of the classroom. Tutors provide extra help that often relates to classes that are currently being taken, allowing the student to improve without the intervention of a teacher. English writing tutors often perform duties like helping students revise work, offering organizational suggestions, and proofreading. In many cases, an English writing tutor may serve as a resource for students who are stuck on a particular assignment or paper. As with other jobs, the precise duties of an English writing tutor depend on the employer's expectations.
Most of the time, what an English writing tutor does is help students improve their writing skills, typically by providing individual feedback on writing assignments. Some tutors may provide exercises and writing assignments that are not directly related to class work, but tutors usually focus primarily on work being done in a particular class. Writing tutors have a difficult job because they must understand the expectations of teachers in particular classes, and writing can be very different in various disciplines. English writing tutors not only help students with English classes, but also in all classes where writing might be involved.
Proofreading is often an important part of an English writing tutor's job. Students often have difficulty editing their own papers, and tutors are in many cases used primarily as an editing resource. When English writing tutors serve primarily as proofreaders, they must be able to apply any relevant stylistic guidelines without much preparation. Staying up to date with style guides and course expectations may be part of a tutor's job, although many employers provide training in these areas.
In many situations, particularly involving younger students, the material taught by tutors is informed by resources provided by instructors and teachers. An English writing tutor employed by a school often has insight into a teacher's expectations outside what is known by students. This allows tutors to provide more effective assistance, but it also means that much of a tutor's job involves understanding course expectations.
Office work, filing, and other basic job duties are also part of an English writing tutor's job. Tutors may be required to keep files on students or organize student work in particular ways. Scheduling for tutors can also be left to the individual tutor's discretion, meaning organization is a major part of many tutors' jobs. Interaction with students is the focus of a tutor's job, but training, record keeping, and other duties may take up a significant amount of time.
One of the best ways to understand the ins and outs of English tutoring is to work with an experienced online English writing tutor for a few sessions.