What Does an English Writing Tutor Do?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett
A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.
A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.

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.

A writing tutor may proofread assignments for students.
A writing tutor may proofread assignments for students.

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.

Discussion Comments


@clintflint - No offense but it sounds like your parents might have been better off putting money towards a better school rather than just hiring tutors. It annoys me that students are often forced to get help outside their schools in order to simply pass their subjects and succeed in life. That should be their right as students in the first place.

I guess it depends on the culture though. I read an article recently about how good tutors can become millionaires in Korea because they are in such demand. And I know if you are a decent tutor anywhere you can usually make fairly good money.


@KoiwiGal - It's just as important, if not more important, to make sure that you know what the parents expect as well. The parents might not care about internal marks and have all their focus on external exams, in which case you are better off concentrating on those. That will help the student with their marks in class anyway, if the teacher is worth anything.

But teachers can be horrible. I know I only had a tutor during high school if the teacher was so bad that it was obvious I wasn't going to learn anything.

My parents always told me it doesn't matter in the slightest to them what I get during the year as long as I do well in the exams that count because they weren't attached to the whim of the classroom teacher.


It's a good idea to try and figure out what the teacher wants if you are helping a student outside of school. In my experience English teachers can have very different expectations and they might not make these clear to the students in a way that they understand.

If you give them lots of help with creativity and the student gets marked down on surface features, that isn't good for anyone.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.
      By: xalanx
      A writing tutor's job requires more skills and expertise with older students.
    • A writing tutor may proofread assignments for students.
      By: Pixsooz
      A writing tutor may proofread assignments for students.