As a tutor, I have no doubt in my mind that I will come across a paper that contradicts my personal beliefs. It is only natural to find someone in this world who doesn’t agree with me. In class, we have gone over articles that warn of being judgmental and critical to writers, and in particular, these are good reasons why most students and teachers can’t correlate on a student’s paper. In the end, the teacher grades the student, which is a passing judgment on whether or not his/her paper fulfilled the requirements of the teacher. But unlike a teacher, the job of a tutor is not to grade or judge the writer based on the content of his/her material, but rather to help the writer get his ideas across in the clearest and best form possible.
A good scenario for me would have to be either a religious, racial, or gender bias paper. For example, let’s say a writer comes in saying women should never pass the “glass ceiling” of the work place because they lack the capabilities to do so, unlike men. First, I would ask myself why this student came here in the first place. The most likely reason is that he/she feels that something is either lacking in their paper or that they are finding some trouble in expressing what they really mean. As a tutor, I need to put my personal judgments aside no matter how strongly I feel about them, and ask the necessary questions:
What is the purpose of your paper?
How do you feel you came across to the reader?
What are your resources?
Are they credible?
Do you think if you put some opposing opinions in your paper, would it strengthen your argument?
To agree or to disagree is not a question I want to answer in regards to a writer and the content of their writing. Rather it is the types of questions above that I want the writer to try to answer to me, the tutor. Hopefully, by letting him/her ponder these types of questions, it would strengthen or help them rethink a better way to cross the bridges of understanding between writer and reader.