If you’ve been to UM-Flint’s Marian E. Wright writing center before, you might be aware that the tutor will often ask you about your day or about the assignment before we begin going over the paper. Why do we do this?
At the writing center, we call this “The First Five Minutes”. The First Five Minutes has a lot of advantages for both the tutor and writer. For the tutor, it gives them time to change gears from one session to the next. More importantly, it gives them a chance to build rapport with the writer. The writer benefits from the First Five Minutes in numerous ways. The first is that, if it is the writer’s first visit to the center, the tutor introduces the way sessions are run. The writer also benefits from rapport between tutor and writer. All tutoring sessions involve give and take. When a writer is more open and responsive in a tutoring session, it allows the tutor to dig in and ask better questions to the writer and give better feedback.
The First Five minutes sets the tone of the whole session, and can sometimes make or break an appointment! As you can see, the First Five Minutes is one of the most important parts of a tutoring session for everyone involved!