The Hunter College Reading/Writing Center Mission Statement
The Hunter College Reading/Writing Center provides tutorial services that help students become better academic
writers. It is the goal of tutoring to improve students' reading and writing processes, how they engage texts
and write papers, and in the effort help students actively participate in their own education and to
appreciate the educational value of all the courses offered in the college's curriculum.
The Center's mission is realized through tutorial practice based on the following principles:
A tutor at the Hunter College Reading/Writing Center should work as a PEER with student writers, focusing on
the writing PROCESS, QUESTIONING students about their writing and PRIORITIZING the most critical issue in
every session, while creating a NON-JUDGMENTAL learning environment.
The Reading/Writing Center is a PEER tutoring program. Successful student writers are the experts in how to
write successful academic papers. They can explain the process and advise their peers with authority-and, in
the process, add to their own learning and improve their own writing.
The Center's tutorial services are PROCESS oriented. Tutors aid students in improving and strengthening the
academic writing process they practice, from reading (whether assigned texts or researched sources) to
thinking (e.g, thesis development) to organizing (through outlines or drafting) to writing, revising, and
proofreading. Through creating better products-richer readings, more persuasive arguments, more polished
prose-student writers will enhance their processes, and vice versa.
Tutors use the Socratic Method in their tutorial practice. QUESTIONING makes students investigate their own
thinking and more effectively understand and express their ideas. Inquiry-based tutoring technique also
assures that student writers will think, and write, for themselves, applying, adapting, and extending their
There are often more issues in a piece of student writing than can be addressed successfully in a single
tutorial; to try to fix or focus on every error, confusion, and faulty usage can overwhelm the student writer
and undermine learning. PRIORITIZING the most important or prevalent reading, critical thinking, or writing
issue, e.g., understanding the assignment, thesis development, or the grammar error that occurs most often or
most obscures meaning, is most likely to make the biggest difference in the piece of writing under review and
in the development of the writer.
While tutors must analyze student writing and recognize error, tutorial practice must be NON-JUDGMENTAL. Other
than to determine how best to help the student become a better critical reader and academic writer, the tutor
makes no judgments about the quality of the writing, the kinds of error, or the level of the student. Tutors
do not discuss grades; they focus only on progress.