Prospective Tutors

How to Become a Tutor at the Writing Center

Undergraduate Tutors

Freshmen and sophomores who are interested in becoming tutors at the Writing Center must be nominated by an instructor.* In early April, the Writing Center will ask Hopkins faculty members to nominate students they believe are promising candidates. If you would like to become a tutor in the Writing Center, you may also ask an instructor with whom you have taken a writing-intensive course to nominate you. To receive a copy of the nomination form via email, please email

The director of the Writing Center will contact nominated students sometime around the middle of May. Nominees then need to submit several documents by mid-July, including a 10-page writing sample. By mid-August, the director of the Writing Center will contact the nominees whose materials indicate that they best meet the current needs of the Writing Center and schedule an interview in early September.

Upon successful completion of the interview process, selected nominees (henceforth: prospective tutors) will be invited to enroll in a seven-week, 1-credit training course during the fall semester. The course is pass/fail and is usually held on Monday or Tuesday evenings from 5–6:50 p.m. or from 6–7:50 p.m.

Once prospective tutors have completed the course, they will be invited to observe and lead consultations at the Writing Center. During this process, undergraduate tutors will be monitored by senior members of the Writing Center staff.

Completion of the required course does not automatically guarantee a job at the Writing Center. When more people complete the course than the Writing Center can accommodate, tutoring positions are awarded to the most qualified candidates, determined by the Director of the Writing Center in consultation with staff.

*IFP professors or instructors are not eligible to nominate students for Writing Center tutorship. Because the Writing Center does not assist students with creative writing, we do not accept nominations from IFP personnel.

Graduate Tutors

At the beginning of their fifth semester, third-year graduate students in the Department of English may have the opportunity to join the Writing Center staff. Interested graduate students from other departments in their third year or beyond may also apply for these positions. Preference is given to candidates who can demonstrate their willingness to work at the Center for a number of years (at least two) and who have advanced training in the teaching of writing, especially through the Expository Writing Program. Other factors in the consideration of new graduate tutors include disciplinary coverage among the staff as a whole and special expertise in areas underrepresented by the existing staff.

Interested parties should email the Writing Center and attach a five-to-10-page writing sample. There are no requirements for this sample, but it should be a polished piece of writing. The director of the Writing Center will review it, and if your sample is found acceptable, the director will contact you and provide you access to a variety of reading and viewing materials. You will have one or two weeks to look over these materials before being asked to complete an assessment on them. This assessment has several parts and includes both multiple-choice and open-response questions. The assessment will be graded on a pass/fail basis.

If you pass the assessment, you will be invited to have a brief internship at the Writing Center. This internship consists of sitting in on one four-hour shift at the Center. During the first two hours of the shift, you will observe an experienced consultant as he or she leads two consultations. During the second two hours of the internship, you will lead two consultations while being observed by an experienced consultant.

Once you have completed the internship, the director will confer with the experienced consultant and will ascertain whether you are a good fit for the Writing Center. If you are approved, you will be eligible for a regular shift immediately. In the event that the semester is already underway and all regular shifts are filled, you will be able to take flex shifts or act as a sub for consultants who must miss a shift. You will be eligible for a regular shift the following semester.