Tutoring technical documents in the writing center: implications for tutor training and practices
Hughes, Lori R.
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This work examines tutor training and practices for working with students who bring technical documents to the writing center. The researcher considers how the process of tutoring technical documents such as resumes, proposals, and reports influences the direction of the tutorial and offer suggestions for how administrators can prepare tutors to work with these types of documents. The researcher conducted a three-part qualitative study of formative and evaluative methods. After visiting three university writing centers of comparable size and scope and conducting interviews with the centersâ€™ administrators and tutors followed by a rhetorical analysis of the top technical communication academic program writing center Websites in the United States was conducted in order to look for trends and practices. In addition, the researcher conducted a series of three online focus groups with members of the writing center community (administrators and tutors) in order to better contextualize the best practices of tutor training methods for working with diverse populationsâ€”in particular, students who bring technical documents to the center. Information gathered from the site visits and interviews, website analysis, and online focus group discussions helped to determine the best practices for writing centers to work with students who bring technical documents to the center, and provide future directions for tutor training to better meet the needs of this population.