Writing/Research Tutors

Starting Monday, March 30, Principia writing/research tutors are available to help writers online. They look forward to working with you at any point in the writing process. Principia writing/research tutors are available flexible on-call scheduling. 

What can I expect?

Two options:

  1. Quick/Drop-In (flexible scheduling; 1-hour cancellation policy*):

    You may set up a tutoring session with a writing tutor and meet in real time (synchronously) to brainstorm and look at an assignment or draft together. This may also be a good option if you just have a quick citation question or if you just need help understanding an assignment. 

      • There’s no need to submit anything in advance, but you’ll need to reach out directly to a tutor to agree on a time to connect. (If you find you need to cancel, respect your tutor’s time by reaching out to him or her to reschedule as soon as possible.*)
      • When you connect with your tutor, you will need to share your work in progress as a Google Doc. You should also email your assignment to your writing tutor. 
      • Also, be sure of the time zone your appointment takes place in.


2. Deep Dive (24-hour advance scheduling; 1-hour cancellation policy*):

If you want the tutor to take a deep dive into your paper with you–to look at things like organization and help you resolve any trouble spots with grammar and punctuation–it’s best to submit your paper in advance. 

      • Share your paper with the tutor’s principia.edu email. The tutor will download your file and make comments in the document.
      • When you meet online, the tutor will share the new document with you and you can ask questions. The tutor will not correct grammar/punctuation/spelling but will notice if there are patterns of error and talk with you about how to fix them.
      • Note that if you don’t “show up” for the scheduled time with the tutor, you will not receive any feedback. You may reschedule once if needed.* 
      • Again, be sure of the time zone your appointment takes place in.

*Writers who do not cancel or reschedule appointments one hour in advance may be denied online tutoring services in the future.

How do I connect? 

You can reach out directly to any tutor or the tutor program supervisor, Ellen Sprague. You will schedule directly with the tutor of your choice. Tutors have limited hours, so in some cases you may need to work with your second choice.

Eastern time zone

 Central time zone

Mountain time zone




What platforms do I need?

The tutors are ready to work with you in Zoom or Google Meet, but if you find that it’s best to use a cellular connection instead of WiFi, you can see if your tutor can do FaceTime instead.

Our Mission:  To teach students strategies they need in order to succeed as writers.

In Pursuit of This Mission,

  • We offer a safe, confidential environment where we work with students to improve a piece of writing before they turn it in.
  • As students ourselves, we are familiar with the challenges writers face as they work through each stage of the writing process. To this end, we strive to empower students to write with confidence.
  • Although we will not proofread papers, we are trained to
    • offer suggestions
    • explain complicated rules
    • be a sounding board for ideas
    • share strategies and tools for overcoming common obstacles in researching, writing, and editing papers.

Tutoring Session 101

Below you will find helpful writing and citation resources.


Principia College Library Citation Guide

Here are some additional links we recommend:

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center Handouts

University of Wisconsin-Madison Writer’s Handbook

Duke University Thompson Writing Program Handouts and Resources

Hunter College Reading/Writing Center

What is good writing? How do writers get better? What resources are there to help writers develop? And what about research? What are the best ways to navigate the library’s database subscriptions and conduct research at Principia? If you are interested in these questions—and their answers—keep reading!

Teaching the Writing Process (WRIT 350) is designed for students who want to become writing tutors. It focuses on writing processes, tutoring strategies, research, style, and grammar. However, while most students who take this course are interested in being Principia writing tutors, many take it with an eye toward skills that will help them in careers or graduate school.

If you are interested in being in this year’s class, please submit a sample of your academic writing—in hard copy or as an MSWord email attachment—to course instructor Ellen Sprague in the Center for Teaching and Learning. If you have questions, please contact Ellen at ext. 5145 or ellen.sprague@principia.edu.

Total # of Students Who Visited a Tutor in Fall 2019

“Excellent. Really helped me understand how to avoid run-on and punctuation mistakes.”

Anonymous student

““I can write my intro now!” 

Anonymous capstone student

“My tutor helped me to write clear transitions and to see the parts where I was writing clearly on my own.”

Anonymous student

“So grateful for the hands-on, step-by-step, and experienced guidance!”

Anonymous student

“I will become a regular at these tutoring sessions. They will be very helpful with keeping my grades up. Thanks.”

Anonymous student

“Very helpful. She was very specific with her suggestions, and these helped me figure out a better direction.”

Anonymous student

Connect with a tutor:

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