English Department

Haskell Tutorial Assistance

LOCATION AND HOURS:  The RISE tutorial center is in 144 A Ross Hall (southwest corner of the building).  It is available for students Monday through Friday, including some evenings, and some week-end hours.  Peer tutors and the Learning Specialist are available to support computer use. 

RISE GRANT:  The English department cooperates with the RISE grant to support the college’s efforts at retention.  The RISE grant provides resources for remedial-level students as part of the curriculum of Basic Composition.  RISE personnel—the learning/teaching specialist and peer tutors—also are available to supplement classroom instruction in college-level English classes. 

The grant’s goal is to increase minority student enrollment in bio-medical science areas.  To achieve this, subproject 1, “Minority Student Development,” states the major aim is to “Rapidly bring American Indian students to the level where they can compete in university-level science courses.”  Both mathematics and English tutoring are combined in the Ross Hall learning laboratory. 


The RISE grant provides twenty computers and PLATO software for accelerating student learning of basic skills in grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, mechanics, and punctuation.  Some interactive programs also review literature topics.

Basic Composition

Students enrolled in Basic Composition spend one day a week in the RISE center working with the Fastracking program of PLATO.  This program diagnoses student strengths and weaknesses through interactive testing.  The program then leads students through drills and exercises that address an individual’s specific needs.  The program measures mastery of skills and time spent on tasks.

English 101 and English 102

The RISE grant addresses needs of all composition classes:  “Some English instructors wish to augment the basic composition classes with computer-based instruction.”  PLATO programs specific to both of these classes are available for students.  Students may work with general topics or the course-specific interactive programs.  Teachers may assign individual students to the RISE laboratory for specific programs.

Among the programs available are: 

English 101:  Writing Directions, Essay Writing, Vocabulary and Reading Expository Text, Writing Reports

English 102:  A Strategy for Reading Literature, Vocabulary and Reading Literature, review of literary terms

Walk-In PLATO Tutoring

Students from any English class may use the RISE computer-assisted learning programs during available laboratory hours.  The available tutors will help advise students regarding their needs.

PAPER AND PENCIL TUTORING:  Peer tutors offer students practical advice about writing in any course—about understanding college-level writing assignments; planning papers and managing time; reorganizing and revising drafts; and documenting and editing essays, reports, and research papers. 

Tutorial sessions might focus on:

  • Focusing, clarifying, and creating a thesis statement
  • Developing an outline to support a thesis statement
  • Expanding an outline to include appropriate examples, details, statistics and quotations
  • Overcoming persistent problems in sentence structure, grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling
  • Understanding reading assignments
  • Using appropriate format for essay exams
  • Documenting research papers, for humanities and science classes

In general, tutors try to provide for students what even the most accomplished writers value: other writers who will respond to their writing seriously and thoughtfully.  Students who come to the writing center can expect to meet with a tutor with interest in the subject they are studying and in touch with the Haskell English classes.

Services Not Offered:  Although tutors advise students regarding errors on drafts of papers, they are not a proofreading service.  Students are responsible for turning in original work to their instructors, not the work of tutors.

Tutors cannot:

  • Proofread a student’s paper 
  • Provide a thesis statement for a student
  • Write parts of a student’s paper
  • Tell a student "what the instructor wants"
  • Guarantee what grade a student will get


Internet Libraries

Internet Public Library

WWW Virtual Library (maintained by The World Wide Web Consortium and CERN)

Some On-Line Writing Labs (OWLs)

Purdue University’s On-line Writing Lab, with a listing of other OWLs in the handouts section

The University of Michigan (features a link to online peer tutorials)

The University of Missouri (Columbia) Learning Center’s Writing Lab

Networked Writing Environment at the University of Florida, sponsored by IBM

Michigan Technological University’s Writing Center (links to on-line writing labs on the Web)

University of Victoria’s Hypertext Writer’s Guide, originally prepared for students at that Canadian institution: offers an introduction to the process of writing and to the study of literature broken down into many discrete sections, covering such topics as planning, organizing, and presenting essays; developing and ordering paragraphs; writing clear sentences; choosing and using words; acknowledging sources; literary and rhetorical terms by category and alphabetically; preparing summaries; presenting arguments logically; and knowing the basics of grammar

The Computer Writing and Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, with resources for instructors and students including On-line Courses and Student Work and the Electronic Journal for Computer Writing, Rhetoric and Literature

Temple University’s Writing Center includes resources for faculty as well as explanations of their policies and services.