In this study, we quantitatively analyze the discourse of experienced writing center tutors in 10 highly satisfactory conferences. Specifically, we analyze tutors’ instruction, cognitive scaffolding, and motivational scaffolding, all tutoring strategies identified in prior research from other disciplines as educationally effective. We find that tutors used the instructional strategies of telling and suggesting, the cognitive scaffolding strategy of pumping, and the motivational scaffolding strategy of showing concern most frequently. We argue that the interdisciplinary analytical framework that we developed and describe in this article can facilitate further analysis of tutors’ talk and thus help move research beyond the local level of the individual writing center. Finally, we point to some ways that our findings can inform tutor training.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jo_mackiewicz/1/