Writing Matches

Writing Match Guidelines—Information for Students

In addition to working with writers during drop-in hours in the Learning Commons, Allegheny’s peer writing consultants may also work with students on a “match” basis. Matches are one-to-one, semester-long arrangements in which a consultant and student work together for one (1) hour/week based on the consultant’s individual academic strengths and the student’s individual academic needs. At times, faculty or staff members may encourage a student to seek out a match; other times, students will seek out that extra assistance of their own. Matches are often the most rewarding consultation scenarios, both for the consultant offering writing instruction and the student writer seeking to better his or her written communication skills. Students working with consultant matches have the opportunity to receive guided writing instruction from a trained and qualified peer in an individualized and intensive context for learning.

In order to create the best teaching and learning environment possible for peer consultations, please consider the following guidelines and suggestions to determine whether a matched writing consultant would be a good fit for you:

1)      Though consultants strive to cultivate a comfortable and friendly environment for all consultations, match relationships are also professional and academic in nature. You can trust that time spent in sessions with your match will be time spent improving your writing.

2)      You will be matched with a consultant by the Director of Writing based on the particular academic needs indicated on your match request form. Because matches are working relationships reserved for students whose #1 priority is improving their writing, we discourage students from self-selecting matches who may be friends or other sorts of personal acquaintances.

3)      Once you have been assigned a matched consultant, you will meet to discuss your learning goals for the coming semester and fill out a match “contract.” The contract lays out the goals and guidelines for your work together that semester. Consultants will schedule this first meeting within one week of receiving their matches.

4)      Matched consultations are designed for students who want to dedicate themselves to improving their writing over time; thus, consultations occur regularly, typically once a week for an hour at a time. If the writing instruction or assistance you require is more intermittent, drop-in appointments at the Learning Commons may be more appropriate for your needs.

5)      Peer writing consultants at Allegheny are wonderful resources for helping you to improve your writing and writing process; they will teach you strategies and skills for becoming a better writer. Under no circumstances, however, will peer writing consultants “fix” mistakes, proofread papers, or write any part of any assignment for you (see the Allegheny Honor Code).

6)      Because matches are, first and foremost, academic and professional arrangements, all match sessions should take place in public, academic spaces. The library, Learning Commons, and Campus Center are all appropriate options. Student or consultant housing and other primarily personal or social settings are not appropriate meeting places for matched consultations.

7)      Even if you are not working on a particular assignment, your matched consultant will continue to work with you to improve your writing in priority areas. Worksheets, online exercises, and previous assignments are examples of resources consultants may employ to help you practice your work as a writer.

8)      If you have questions about the matched consultation process or would like some help determining whether a matched consultation would be the best choice for you, please feel free to contact Professor Alexis Hart, Allegheny’s Director of Writing, by phone or email: 332-6296 or ahart@allegheny.edu.

Note: To be eligible for a writing match, you must first participate in two (2) drop-in consultations.

Please email Professor Alexis Hart, Director of Writing, (ahart@allegheny.edu) if you are interested in a writing match.