Hi, I am a college student and I recently just noticed my English skills are below college requirements and math as well. I was wondering is there any way I can get a tutor?


Anonymous, Helpful tutor/teacher

Definitely. In today's day and age, finding a tutor has never been easier. The first place I would look would be your university's campus. Many general classes will have tutoring services offered by the school. These tutors are students that have previously taken (and gotten good grades in) the class(es) that you need help in. Since these students took the exact class, they should be of most help and may even be able to provide with you with material from when they took the course. Another (often cheaper) option is to visit the professor or TA during their office hours. These are hours in which your professor or TA are required to tutor, so this is obviously invaluable. The downside to this is that there will usually be many students, whereas you will usually have 1-on-1 time with a tutor.

If you're looking for something outside of campus, however, there are a number of tutoring agencies that you can look to. A simple search through a search engine can find you tutors through an agency such as WyzAnt or UniversityTutor. Another viable option is using Craigslist to find a tutor, although I would be wary with choosing this option. Even if it's not a scam, a craigslist ad for a tutor may bring you someone unqualified. I would do some background checking before committing to a tutor through Craigslist.

Finally, there is also the option of online tutoring. This gives you the luxury of interacting with a tutor from your own home. Sites such as InstaEDU or even Noodle can offer you good tutoring services.

Hope this helps!

Amanda Morris, College Professor, Writer, Advisor, Writing Coach

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You've received some good advice already, but let me focus a bit on your writing. Most campuses have a university writing center that specializes in helping students with any aspect of any writing assignment for any course. Not only that, most centers train their undergraduate and graduate tutors extensively so they understand how to talk to you, work with you on a variety of writing-related tasks, and how to advise you. I strongly recommend that you seek out your university's writing center and set up an appointment with a tutor. You can discuss everything from brainstorming ideas or getting started on an assignment to polishing and editing your writing once you have a draft.

Depending on the rules of the center, you might also be able to set up a regular appointment with the same tutor, which allows you to get to know each other and gives the tutor a chance to work with you on more than one project. Trust is built and the tutor will start providing more specific advice based on patterns and repeated issues that she sees in your writing. On your side, you will get to know your tutor and learn to trust what she says, hopefully leading to necessary changes that will improve your writing skills.

I know that it can be frustrating to have to seek out additional help, but please remember that these campus resources are there for only one purpose - to help you succeed! You did the right thing to start asking here, but now look for the university writing center on your campus to start improving your writing skills today. You can do it! :)

Lisa Hiton, Professor of English and Arts, Poet, Filmmaker, Writer

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I echo everything that has been said, especially about writing centers. Just two things to add:

  • Posting an ad yourself for a tutor can help you find someone who is right for you. Depending on the subject area, you can post an ad in a department, at the student center, in popular campus bathrooms, coffee shops, etc. If it's content area specific, department boards are a good place to start as many PhD students are looking for side-money and teaching experience.

  • Depending on the size of your university, there may be more than one writing (or any subject area) center option. At one of the universities where I teach, there is a writing center where professors give tutoring hours, a student writing center with student mentorships and tutors, and separate department tutoring centers (anthropology, mathematics, communications, English, languages, etc.). It might be worth looking into multiple options to ensure that you get paired with someone who best suites your learning needs. The advantage of campus tutoring is that the service is often provided by the university, whereas private tutoring can cost quite a bit of money.

Colleen Clemens, College Professor, Writer, Editor, Tutor & Parent

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Writing center, writing center, writing center. I never understand why my students don't spend more time at this amazing, free resource. You can work with a tutor at any stage of the writing process. Stuck on an assignment? Sit with a tutor and brainstorm ideas. Not sure how to use evidence? Sit with a tutor and get advice. Have questions about specific grammar points? Bring your questions to an expert.

Academic resource centers also have math tutors and even help with other classes. Ask a professor for a list of resources if you are unsure what your school has to offer.

Matthew Clemens, Physics and Math Teacher, Parent, and Tutor

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There are so many options for help these days. Many schools have tutoring centers and writing centers that so many students don't take advantage of. Remember that your professors should have office hours during which you can go and ask for help. Schools have math clubs and peer tutoring hours. It seems like schools bend over backwards to offer resources that so many students don't seek, so the fact that you are seeking this help is a great start. And maybe this podcast would help!

Carrie Hagen, Nonfiction Writer and Researcher, Teacher

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Honors programs often have service components for their members; you might look on the webpages for the English/ Math Honors programs and email their contact people to see about possible tutors.

Chelsea L. Dixon, M.S., M.A.T, Author. Speaker. CEO.

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Yes, you should be able to get a tutor. You can start with your college’s academic, learning or tutoring center which can usually provide you with a tutor or help you to find one.

Getting assistance from your professors may also be an option for you. However, because I don’t know how much time you have left to bring your requirements up to satisfactory level, it’s difficult to say whether they can help you at this point in time. It’s always better to talk to them sooner than later and when you first realize that you are having problems in their class. Perhaps if it is too late, a graduate assistant may be able to help you.

In addition to finding a tutor and getting help from your professors or a graduate assistant, you may also consider meeting with your academic advisor to find out other resources that may be available to you.

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