In my own classes, I've yet to work with a writing consultant. If one had been assigned to a class during my freshman year, I probably would have assumed that the fellow would read my paper over and make all necessary corrections including punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Yet proofreading is not included in the fellows' duties. The fellow should neither write papers for students nor put ideas in their heads. The fellow should instead help writers organize and clearly state their thoughts by asking appropriate questions. The fellow does not have to have taken the subject or course for which the paper is written. Instead, the consultant must maintain the role of writer to writer, not of tutor to student.
As a consultant I have learned a lot from the people with whom I've worked, because I have considered them writers, not students or tutees. The role of the writing consultant, therefore, is one which enables writers to be confident that what they are writing is part of a process in which ideas can be shared.
- Kelly Nagle, UR writing fellow