Online Writing Instruction
Who can use Etutor?
York students taking courses in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies can use Etutor for assignments in these courses.
What do Online Writing Instructors do?
We will comment on outlines or drafts (or partial drafts) of a paper you are working on. You can also submit more general questions related to writing or the writing process, and we will try to answer them.
We are not proofreaders or editors, and will not "correct" your work. Instead, we will normally return your work with comments on its structure, organization, argumentation, and clarity. As well, we may identify patterns and sentence-level issues, such as wordiness and repetition.
You are encouraged to submit the same assignment at different stages as you work on it (e.g., first draft, second draft, etc.). Please make revisions between drafts.
Online writing instruction is intended as a supplement to one-to-one, in-person appointments. Because it doesn't provide all the benefits of talking with an instructor in person about your writing, we urge you to enrol with the Writing Department, S311 Ross Building, in order to make an appointment and meet with one of the instructors.
How do I make most effective use of Etutor?
- Provide us with all the relevant instructions from your instructor, as she or he has written them, including the length requirements.
- In the comments section, tell us what your primary concerns are. These might include:
- Analyzing the assignment question
- Organizing and structuring paragraphs
- Developing a thesis statement
- Writing analytically rather than descriptively
- Developing effective paragraphs
- Editing your own draft
- If there is a particular section on which you want us to focus, please indicate it (e.g., "I'm concerned that my fourth paragraph veers off from my thesis" or "On my last essay, my professor told me I was too descriptive. Do you think this draft is analytical?").
- It is advisable to proofread your work carefully before you submit it to us.
- Allow yourself enough time to consider our suggestions carefully so you can make the best use of them.
How long does it take to receive feedback?
We generally get back to you within 72 hours (depending upon volume), and sometimes sooner. Please provide us with the date and time after which our feedback will no longer be relevant to you for that essay (e.g., Oct. 19, 7 pm). You will also need time to consider our suggestions carefully in order to make the best use of them.Please keep in mind that we usually read up to 1250-1500 words of your draft. If you have a long draft it is best to submit it in chunks over a period of time.
How do I submit my draft?
Submitting a draft is a simple 4-step process. Fill in the short form requesting information about yourself (full name, student number, York email address), the full name and course code of the LA&PS course you're writing the paper for, and a full description of the assignment you've received from your instructor. Then copy your draft from your word processor and paste the copy into the box provided.
Note that Etutor software does not recognize special fonts, colours, etc. Tell us the latest date/time when feedback would be helpful to you, and what your particular concerns are.
A valid York University email address is required for online writing instruction. We'll return your draft with our comments and suggestions to your York University email address. At this time, the software is not set up to return comments to other email addresses.