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Distance Learning

MICA'S Online Tutoring Service is available to students in the MA in Art Education and MFA in Studio Art program who live more than one hour's drive from Baltimore City.

Distance Learning Form

Download the required OWL Submission Form in Word format.

Note: If you encounter problems filling out or reading Word document linked above, you can view the form online. Please copy and paste this into an email, and then fill it out. Thanks!

After completing the form, e-mail it to writing@mica.edu.

Online Tutoring Goals

Most writers benefit in their work by having a second reader and from getting feedback to their writing. In fact, successful writers routinely get such feedback/advice as part of their writing process. Our goal in tutorials is to give you the kind of feedback that will help you develop and improve skills that you can carry with you beyond a given assignment or course. We want to teach you how to improve your own writing, not take over your paper and rewrite it. You can expect your tutor to give you clear, specific suggestions to improve your paper. You should expect to do work revising your paper based on those suggestions. Be sure to leave yourself enough time for revision.

Advantages of Online Tutoring

Online tutoring has certain advantages: It can be more convenient because consulting with a tutor isn't limited to the Writing Studio's hours and you don't have to travel to school. In addition, it provides a written record of your tutoring session, so you can refer back to it. However, because the communication happens via email, online tutoring is also slower than in-person tutoring. You will also lose the visual cue of language and the conversational flow of face-to-face session. It is especially important that you check your email frequently so that you can reply to tutor questions right away. If possible, you may also want to consider a few walk-in session if time and space allow. Your participation in this process is essential!

How It Works

As with the walk-in Writing Studio, a tutor will focus on one or two related areas of your writing. We believe that writers learn more this way. For example, your tutoring session might focus on the thesis and organization of the paper, or on a pattern of grammar or punctuation error, but not both in the same session. It is very helpful if you can alert us to areas where you may be struggling or where you feel your paper needs some attention (this can be done in the online submission form).

You can expect you paper to be better after a tutoring session, but you shouldn't expect perfection because not all aspects of the paper will be addressed. The tutor will give you as much feedback as possible in the 50 minutes allotted for each submission. You may write back to the tutor with follow-up questions but please take adequate time to digest the comments and to work on revisions before resubmitting the same paper. There is a limit of 10 pages per submission, so if your paper is longer than this, you should plan to submit your work in "chunks" so it will be easier to read and comment upon.

Please note, too, that your tutor may write back to you with additional questions, so make sure to check your email regularly.

You should receive an email confirmation of your request immediately (M-F). Tutoring response time will generally be within 36-48 hours (M-F), but at certain times of the semester, it may be longer. If we anticipate that a response will take longer than two days, we will send you an email to let you know.

OWL Submission Form Questions

You will see that the online submission form asks you several questions about your paper. These questions are designed to let us know exactly what you want to work on. Even if you don't have an immediate concern about your writing, we can still help. Before you proceed to fill out the submission form, spend a few minutes thinking about your answer to the question "What do you want the tutor to focus on today?"

Here are some areas where we can help:

  • Coming up with an interesting topic to write about
  • Devising a thesis or outline
  • Writing an introduction or conclusion
  • Drafting paragraphs and transitions
  • Revising based on your teacher's comments
  • Quoting, paraphrasing, and citing
  • Developing ideas
  • Working with grammar and punctuation
  • Looking for patterns of strength and weaknesses in your writing
  • Any other concern you might have

Our tutors will address your concerns and suggest ways to improve your paper, but they will not:

  • Write your paper for you
  • Edit your paper (correct it for you)
  • Proofread your paper (mark all errors)
  • Give your paper a grade