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Regarding the issue of tutors helping with interpretation of literature:
Without leading a student to any particular interpretation, a tutor can be
very helpful in showing the student strategies for reading fiction, such as
looking for metaphors, paying attention to allusions, noting significant
changes made by a protagonist, etc. Furthermore, many students, especially
freshmen, are not aware of the degree to which active reading can help them. A
tutor can show a student how to question and comment in the margins, underline
effectively, bracket confusing passages, point to specific lines that support
a possible interpretation, reflect in a reading journal, etc., and can impress
upon her/him the power of second and subsequent readings. None of these things
seem in any danger of providing an interpretation itself and can only help the
student.

Leslie Foley
Academic Assistance Coordinator
Pacific Lutheran University

Elizabeth Bergman wrote:

> I am the writing specialist, and I help students work through
> interpretations of literature. It's my favorite part of the job. I enjoy
> asking questions that lead them to an understanding of the work. From
> there, we work on building their thesis (if a paper is being assigned),
> which is crucial. I also have an ESL tutor who is often asked to help
> students understand what they read. She isn't comfortable with this. She
> helps them with the meaning of the words, but refers them to their teacher
> or to me for most questions about the author's meaning. I doubt if peer
> tutors could help other students with interpretation.