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Writer to Writer Program

Karina Kruhl

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As a student at U.N.H. there are a plethora of programs available to aid in academic success, not all of which are run through the CLR. Writer to Writer is an additional peer-tutor program designed to help students develop their writing skills.

The student tutors at Writer to Writer meet weekly as a staff to brainstorm ideas and sharpen both their tutoring and writing skills. The program is run by Dr. Mary Isbell, Assistant Professor of English, who is dedicated to providing this service to the whole campus. It is in its second full year, having started in fall of 2015, and has become increasingly busy.

When asked about the reason for the recent success, Dr. Isbell said, “I think part of it is the peer tutoring and part of it is that you’re able to see someone sitting across from you who has had that assignment before. It helps when you feel you can learn from their strategies.” She continued explaining, “Students are more likely to feel comfortable with a peer.”

Peer-tutor Kyle Bartone agreed saying, “The peer aspect of Writer to Writer makes us a unique presence on campus because we are able to connect with students on a different and more personal level. We are students working with students.”

While it is typically the peer aspect that draws students in, it is the unique style of the meetings that keep them coming back. The student tutors meet with students at various, convenient locations around campus and work with the students to convey their own ideas in their paper. They are not an editing service.  

“We will show you how to find your own mistakes and identify why you make them to hopefully prevent them from happening in the future,” said Bartone.

Dr. Isbell had similar sentiments as she said, “We don’t ever write on a paper, that’s really important. We ask questions about why the writer made the decisions that they made.”

The program also prides itself on its work with international students, helping them to write and speak better when English is not their first language. Dr. Isbell sees this is a mechanism for “helping the culture of inclusivity on campus.”

“One of my favorite things is the fact that I get to work with international students,” said Bartone.

Just this year they have explored various workshops, catering to select groups around campus. “Workshops were helpful for more course specific work,” said tutor Katy Zicker, who ran a workshop for freshmen in the marine biology department. “Marine biology labs require different aspects than labs students might have been used to in high school, so they liked being able to ask me questions.”

Bartone sums it up best in saying, “There are many reasons for why this program is a huge help to the students, but the best way to learn these benefits is to make an appointment to see for yourself.”

Please reach out to Dr. Isbell if interested or have question regarding the workshop.

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Writer to Writer Program