Chalmers Writing Centre

Frequently Used Expressions

Higher order concerns

As a writer/presenter you are always asked to give a short description of what you want to do during the session, so it would mostly involve some conversations between you and your tutor on your higher order concerns. Higher order concerns mostly refer to the organization or development of your text/presentation. At this stage your tutor will help you to improve the structure of your text/presentation and see if it

  1. has a logical flow
  2. has a suitable content addressing your assignment topic or the specific group of audience
  3. is organized according to a particular format or scheme
  4. offers enough supporting details and examples
  5. explains relationship between different parts and ideas and so on.

Later order concerns

After the issues regarding the organization and development of your text/presentation have been solved, you and your tutor will spend some time on later order concerns. This can involve some sentence-level revisions, strengthening and varying sentences as well as refining the style of your writing/presentation. At this stage your tutor will help you to concentrate on a small section of your writing/presentation in order to recognize and correct some common writing problems such as wordiness, inappropriate language or choppiness if any. You can then apply what you have learned to the rest of your writing/presentation after the session.


Proofreading usually means to read through your text/presentation with the aim of detecting and correcting any written “surface errors”. These errors can be regarding to spelling, punctuation, grammar and word choice. As explained before due to our mission at CWC we don’t proofread your texts/presentations but we can help you to do it yourself on a small section of your writing and then continue it on your own after the session.


Since our mission is to help you become better writers/presenters and feel more comfortable while writing/reading English texts, we try to help you to learn how to solve your writing issues on your own. So, instead of editing your text tutors will help you to proofread a part of your text and then you can continue on your own later on. You are always welcome back to bring your new questions concerning your issues on editing and proofreading.

Brain storming

Brain storming is one of the techniques that your tutor might use to help you sort and list your ideas especially while you are still at the very first stages of your writing/presenting process. At this stage the tutor will help you to find and explore a good topic. This can be done by first listening to your ideas, trying to paraphrase them into written thoughts in order to make it easier to follow and also questioning about your assignment and audience in order to see if your text/presentation adapts to your assignment requirements or different types of audience.

Free writing

Like brain storming it is another way that your tutor might think will help you to list your ideas. You can simply do that by writing down your thoughts in the form of questions, sentences, phrases or even words. Since the aim of this method is to help you just to write down whatever is in your mind about your text/presentation, you don’t have to worry about punctuation or spelling mistakes at all.


Some times the tutor you are working with might feel that it would be useful to ask you make a diagram of your thoughts. This technique will mainly help with exploring your subject and also organizing your thoughts. This is simply done by writing the central topic of your text/presentation in the middle and trying to relate it to different aspects/issues by using branches between them. You will finally end up with a diagram of all your thoughts, all possible aspects/issues and their relationships.


An Observer is usually a tutor or a trainee who wants to improve her/his tutoring knowledge or increase his/her experiment by observing other tutors’ tutoring sessions. We always ask for your permission and if you feel comfortable to be observed by some other tutors. It’s totally up to you to accept or deny this request and we are always respectful to your decisions