In a blog post, I discussed working with a multilingual client when I was a private writing tutor in New York City. During our sessions, the line between higher-order concerns (HOCs) and lower-order concerns (LOCs) - sometimes also referred to as "later-order concerns" -  became a bit blurred. My client frequently wanted me to demonstrate my knowledge of grammatical rules before he would, and I quote, “trust me” with his ideas. In other words, I had to show I knew my LOCs before we could ever shift gears to talk about global HOCs. 

In order to address such requests, I have developed what I call a mental rule-o-dex of pocket examples that demonstrate the function of tricky grammatical concepts. As a writing-center practitioner, I know that throwing the names of rules at students is not effective (R.I.P. nomenclature). Developing a set of models has allowed me to help students understand crucial concepts.

Therefore, I ask the tutors to create and update a rule-o-dex that defines concepts, in their own terms, and models how these concepts function in action. Below, you will find one of my rule-o-dex requests and some early samples from my wonderful team.


Example #1:

The tutors use any medium they so desire: MS word, MS Power Point, MS Publisher, notecards, etc. Professional Tutor Mandy opted to use MS Publisher. Many of her coworkers make appearances in her example sentences, and students appreciate Mandy’s engaging layouts and creative use of colors.

Example #2:

Professional Tutor and Media Coordinator Phillip turned to Canva design software to begin to build his rule-o-dex. He has already used his examples in sessions this semester.