FYI for Faculty: Writing and Speaking Consultations and Grammar Tutoring

  • Recommending that students sign up for consultations or grammar tutoring may seem like a reasonable practice to you, but to students, your recommendation may be perceived as an insult, a prejudicial requirement, or a promise of a “good” grade.   Prior to recommending that a student sign up for a consultation or tutoring session, ensure that the student understands that a consultation is neither a punishment nor a guarantee of a particular grade.
  • Familiarizing your students with the work of the consultants and grammar tutors in the Learning Commons may increase their likelihood of scheduling consultations (whether or not you recommend they do so). In a brief introductory session, Learning Commons consultants can describe the assistance they provide and answer any questions your students may have. Email the Director of Speaking (jwiebel@allegheny.edu) or Interim Director of Writing (mcrowley@allegheny.edu) to schedule an in-class visit.
  • You may want to consider including this statement on your syllabus:

Experienced peer writing and speaking consultants in the Learning Commons help writers and speakers make academically responsible choices and determine strategies for effective communication at any stage in the writing or speaking process, for assignments in any discipline, or for writing and speaking situations unrelated to coursework (e.g., personal statements, cover letters, interviews, conference presentations). Grammar tutors are also available for targeted help with sentence-level grammar and mechanics. Both appointments and drop-in sessions are available. To view the hours of operation, and to make an appointment, visit the Learning Commons website: http://sites.allegheny.edu/learningcommons/


  • After a consultation, the student and consultant complete a “post-consultation” Google form.  This form is emailed to the student. You may ask students to forward that email to you.
  • In addition to inviting the consultants to do a brief presentation in your class, you can share these guidelines with your students:
      1. Arrive on time, or — even better — a few minutes early. Because our consultants often have other appointments scheduled, being on time helps you and the person after you get the most out of your consultations.
      2. If you are seeking help with an academic assignment, bring a copy of the assignment and any notes or comments your professor has provided for you.
      3. You do not need a full draft of a speech, paper, or project in order to schedule a consultation.  Our consultants are eager to help you at any stage of an assignment—from generating ideas to organizing your thoughts and from integrating research to polishing delivery.
      4. Plan your visit well in advance of the assignment’s due date.  Students who schedule last-minute consultations typically do not have sufficient time to make substantial revisions.
  • Depending on availability, writing consultants can also visit your class to conduct in-class consultations with students. Contact the Interim Director of Writing (mcrowley@allegheny.edu) to schedule in-class consultations.