Podis, Leonard A., and JoAnne Podis, eds. Working with Student Writers: Essays on Tutoring and Teaching. 2nd ed. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. Print.
Most of the essays in this revised collection (the first edition was released in 1999), co-edited by Ursuline’s own JoAnne Podis, are written by student writers who worked as writing tutors at Oberlin College. This aspect of the collection makes it quite unusual in Composition Studies, and provides an interesting viewpoint into how college students view writing. Though some of the essays are most useful for tutors working in a writing center, college instructors will also find the collection useful. A variety of topics are covered, including working with students who speak nonstandard varieties of English, the difficulties for students in learning how to write scientific writing, the struggles students face when trying to bridge the personal and the academic in their writing, and the challenges and opportunities posed by electronic communication. Naomi Strand’s essay is particularly interesting. In “The Comments They Made: An Exploration of Helpful and Unhelpful Commentary,” Strand explains how instructor feedback on writing can be made more useful for the student. This essay alone makes the book valuable for our purposes and many of the other essays also offer good advice for instructors wishing to help their students become better writers. The first edition is available in the Ursuline library, and soon the second edition should be (in the meantime, it is available via OhioLINK).