Although check lists are convenient, they cannot do justice to the range of experiences and understandings with and about writing that people bring to a tutorial. To help you define and articulate goals on your own, consider the questions listed below. After you work with the questions, you and your tutor can work to turn them into goals statements. Work with your writing tutor to create
steps you can take to meet that goal.
When you sit down to write, what goes through your head? Make a list of feelings and thoughts that you have at the start of assignments. Is there anything on this list that you would like to change?
What is the best experience you've ever had with writing (personal as well as academic), be it writing a letter to a friend, drafting a good paper, writing a poem that you've liked, or any other writing that you've done? What made the experience good and how did it happen? What was the essential
quality--recognition, clarity of thought, acceptance of your ideas, and so on--that made the experience good? How can you recapture that quality with different writing experiences that are yet to happen?
What do you like to read? What kind of writing do you like? List the qualities of writing that you like and try to place those qualities in your own writing.
What kind of writing do you do? If you only write essays for college courses, you've limited your options. What other kinds of writing would you like to try?
What are some of the ways you use writing to help you learn and communicate? Do you:
Keep lecture notes?
Keep notes on your reading?
Keep a journal?
Let yourself brainstorm and freewrite to generate ideas?
Use writing to figure out a problem (personal or otherwise)?
Write to request a job? money from home? undying devotion to the one you love?
Make a to-do list?
Make a shopping list?
Give directions to someone (a recipe, perhaps, or the best route to your house)?
How are these types of writing both alike and different from writing an essay for a college course? Which of these do you do particularly often or well? What quality does this writing have that you can adapt to your academic writing?