Works in Progress Program

Your Toolbox

MAX Center
Kagin Commons, First Floor
M-F. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
S-TH, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
651-696-6193 (Day & Evening)
651-696-6121 (Day)

The Works in Progress Program is a peer review process facilitated by MAX Center tutors and tailored to any class working on drafts of a writing assignment. The class is divided into small groups who will first read and then meet to discuss and constructively respond to each other’s papers in a relaxed environment. This revision process encourages new perspectives and specific insights into communication on paper.

Following is a description of the roles involved in the process:

The Faculty Member’s Role

  • Assign a due date for first drafts and a due date for final papers.
  • Contact at 651-696-6121 to schedule Works in Progress (WiP) sessions in the MAX Center outside of class time. Julie will send instructions, draft envelopes, and a sign-up sheet for the groups.
  • Divide the class into groups of 4 - 6 students, depending on class size.
  • Schedule the groups into the times Julie has offered and return the completed sign-up sheet to Julie.
  • When the students have turned in their drafts, place them in the large envelopes provided, complete the necessary information on the label, and SPO them to Julie. Tutors will need at least 3 working days to read through the drafts.
  • Hand out a Response Form to each student. They will use this sheet (one sheet for each member of their peer group) to respond to each of their papers.

The Writer’s Role

Before the Works in Progress Session:

  • Write a draft of your assignment and print on clean, double-spaced pages with your name and page number on each page and plenty of space in the margins for comments. Print a copy for your professor, one for the tutor, and one for each member of your group, which will be scheduled by your professor.
  • Hand two copies of your paper to your professor and one to each member of your group.
  • Read all of the papers in your group and fill out a Response Form for each paper before you arrive at your WiP session.

During the Works in Progress Session:

  • Come to the MAX Center at your scheduled time prepared to hear about your own paper and to offer feedback to the others in the group.
  • While your paper is being discussed, listen carefully while others comment on your paper. Don’t speak; you want your peers to respond to your writing, not to your spoken word.
  • After every reader has had a chance to respond to your paper, then ask questions about their responses, answer questions they raised, or explain what you meant in your paper. Readers may suggest ways in which to communicate your ideas more clearly.
  • Offer your feedback to the papers of each other group member, offering them the same respect and thoughtful response that they offered you.

After the Works in Progress Session:

  • Collect your own paper and Response Form from each group member.
  • If you’d like additional feedback at any point before submitting your final draft, please feel free to return to the MAX Center, individually or in your group, to meet again with a writing tutor.

The Reader’s Role

  • Collect copies of drafts from the members of you small group, read them carefully, and fill out a Peer Response Form for each member. Show your peers the courtesy of reading their drafts at least twice, and write your responses immediately so that you don’t forget any of the details.
  • Do not edit the papers. Your goal is to tell the writers what you understand about their drafts, not to “correct” them or to tell the authors what to write.
  • Come to the MAX Center at your scheduled time with your marked drafts and your completed Response Sheets, prepared to offer your feedback to your group members.
  • When it’s your turn to talk about a draft, indicate what you want to know, what you didn’t understand, where the writing was either clear or fuzzy, and which arguments were convincing.
  • Avoid personal statements, judgments about the writer, and disagreements about personal beliefs. Stick to the mutual goal of clear communication.
  • At the end of the session, return drafts and Response Forms to the authors.

The Facilitator’s Role

The Peer tutor will:

  • Read your papers before the WIP session if time allows.
  • Facilitate the WIP session by listening to group discussion and offering questions or comments as necessary. The tutor is there to keep the session on track, not to “correct” papers or give the “right” answers.
  • Ask each group participant to complete a MAX Center Contact Report form.
  • Complete a Tutor Checklist form and send it to the professor.
  • Offer you and/or your group the opportunity to return for additional help with your paper, by appointment or during our drop-in hours:

If you are interested in scheduling a Works in Progress session for your students or if you would like more information, please contact one of us:

Julie Lucking

Becky Graham

Jake Mohan

We are open Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 4:30 and Sunday - Thursday, 7 – 10.