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ERIC Number: EJ1014422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
"I Thought I'd Put That in to Amuse You": Tutor Reports as Organizational Narrative
Malenczyk, Rita
Writing Center Journal, v33 n1 p74-95 2013
Tutor reports on writing consultations are seemingly indigenous to writing center culture, yet their audiences and functions are, to borrow a phrase from Muriel Harris, "as varied as the students who stream in and out" of the center ("Talking" 27). Conversations at conferences and on the WCenter listserv, as well as writing center scholarship, attest to this variety. In some centers, the report's function is primarily informational, and the audiences are primarily other tutors and the writing center director: reports might serve in those centers to provide other tutors with background on what a writing center client has been working on or the tenor of previous sessions (see, for example, Harris, "Managing" III.2.5; Gillespie and Lerner 44). This information might allow a tutor to be more effective with a particular client by picking up on previously expressed writing concerns before the actual start of a session. Such reports might also inform the center director what a student worked on in a session if, say, a faculty member calls the writing center to complain about the quality of help that was (or, more likely, was not) received in the center. In other centers, the functions and audiences of client reports may be somewhat more complex: while reports might serve the informational functions described above, they might also be directed at an additional audience (e.g., the student's course instructor) for yet another informational purpose (e.g., letting the instructor know that the student visited the center and/or worked on certain issues). Reports might also be used in tutor education: some centers, for instance, ask tutors to reflect on their tutoring practice with their reports as a starting point. In the latter case, the audience is--in addition to all of the above--the tutor, and the report's function is partly, if not primarily, educational, encouraging the ongoing critical reflection by tutors that has become a hallmark of good writing center practice. While all of these functions are certainly valuable from both an administrative and a teaching point of view, in this essay, Rita Malenczyk explores yet another function--what she sees as a community-building function--of the client report. (Contains 6 notes.)
Writing Center Journal. 011 Memorial Hall University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19718. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A