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Writing Fellows are a dedicated group of undergraduates who assist their peers with developing and improving their writing skills. Central to their mission is the belief that writing is a process. As such, Writing Fellows continually strive to learn new and creative ways of writing and tutoring, while also respecting the individual approaches students and professors employ in their own work.
The Writing Fellows believe that the peer relationship creates an opportunity for strong improvements in writing. To establish this more personalized approach to conferencing, each Writing Fellow meets with students outside of the classroom on an individual basis.
Writing Fellows use a variety of practices to help students with their writing. They help students understand the professor’s assignment and brainstorm ideas. They assist students in revising their drafts by focusing on thesis, development, organization, voice, tone, and effective use of sources. Finally, at the other end of the writing process, they provide tips on polishing nearly completed drafts by using a variety of stylistic techniques.
In short, by commenting on students papers, meeting with students individually, and being accessible during the entire creative process, Writing Fellows help to ensure that each stage of the writing process plays its full role in creating a well-written composition.
The Writing Fellows Program trains advanced undergraduates to work one-on-one with student writers in a number of different academic settings. The program rests on two assumptions: 1) Writing is an extended process that generally involves prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. 2) Instruction works best when it is individualized.
Writing Fellows are advanced undergraduates selected through a competitive process to assist faculty in writing-intensive courses, including (but not limited to) first-year interdisciplinary Honors colloquia and selected sections of Honors E110.
Writing Fellows are tutors, not teaching assistants: They are trained undergraduates who can help with generating ideas, developing a thesis, improving a paper’s organization, sharpening its focus, and the other elements of academic writing, including paragraph coherence, introductions, conclusions, transitions, citations, style, grammar, and mechanics. They do not proofread, they do not have the authority to grant extensions, and they do not assign grades.
In addition to its obvious benefit to students being tutored in writing, the Writing Fellows Program has proved to be of equal benefit to the sophomores and juniors who take a three-credit training course (ENGL 316, Peer Tutoring and Advanced Composition) the semester before they begin tutoring. Writing Fellows work closely with both the Coordinator of the Writing Fellows Program and faculty teaching the courses to which they have been assigned.
Many Writing Fellows report significant improvement in their own writing and decide to go on to write Honors theses. They have also reported that the Fellowship is a central focus of their graduate and law school interviews. Each year some Writing Fellows enter professional careers in publishing, advertising, and science and technology writing.
The Writing Fellows Program is funded by the University Honors Program. For more information, please contact Ray Peters, Coordinator of the Writing Fellows Program, at 831-8567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.