Writing is imperative for academic success, and writing expertise is often required in classes focusing on specialized knowledge in the disciplines. However, academic writing is a demanding task based on a complex process and many students are not exactly sure about the expectations of the teacher concerning the writing assignment that is to be done. A lack of practice makes the task even harder.
The integration of writing into teaching as a tool to think and learn not only enhances the students' development of the discipline's specific writing expertise but also lends a hand in the consolidation of the class' contents—and as a result leads to better papers. By creating frequent occasions to write, the opportunity to receive feedback, and short, ungraded writing assignments, students become more confident concerning their writing skills and secure about the techniques of academic thinking and writing.
The Writing Center supports teachers interested in increasingly integrating writing assignments into their class with the Writing Fellow Program. Writing Fellows are experienced and trained peer tutors from different disciplines of Faculty 13. They support teachers in the integration of writing assignments and provide feedback—in accordance with the instructor's wishes and the necessities of the students. Ideally, the Writing Fellow comes from another discipline than the class he or she visits, which requires detailed communication between the teacher and the Writing Fellow concerning the demands of the text and the writing assignments—a further benefit for the students.
- What are the Writing Fellow's tasks?
- Who are the Writing Fellows?
- How can I request a Writing Fellow?
- Improvement of the students' writing skills and, as a consequence, better papers
- Consolidation of the class contents through the integration of writing as a tool to think and learn
- Relief in the often intensive supervision of the individual students concerning their writing skills and the writing process
- Support in the preparation of writing assignments (formulate assignments, integrate approved methods, prepare smaller assignments to be written in class)
- Support with the follow-up of writing assignments during the semester: individual feedback by peer tutors and their availability for further questions
The exact design of the cooperation between the teachers, Writing Fellows, and students will be adjusted to each individual class. The Writing Fellow can execute the following tasks:
- Support with the preparation of writing assignments to be integrated into regular classes in the particular disciplines,
- Support with formulating assignments,
- Feedback on one or two writing assignments either via e-mail, in an individual or group consultation, or in class.
The texts written throughout the seminar can remain ungraded or can be counted as preparation for audit-related performance (research paper, portfolio, etc.). The expertise concerning content will lie with the instructor and the student at all times.
Our Writing Fellows are MA-students as well as doctoral candidates in linguistic and literary studies who have completed intensive training and have already been working as peer tutors for multiple semesters. The extensive training program included not only listening and reading, but also made our peer tutors experts regarding the writing process, feedback techniques, and the conducting of workshops.
Writing Fellows do not offer copy-editing services or discuss the contents of the class with the students. Feedback on assignments concerns structure, readability, argumentation, coherence, etc.—not the content's accuracy. The idea is to "help you help yourself." The responsibility and the expertise on content remains with the student.
Please see our Writing Fellows on our team-page.
All teachers of the School of Language and Literature can request a Writing Fellow. While smaller writing assignments may also be integrated into lectures, the Writing Fellow Program is rather directed towards classes that require graded and written audit-related performance (research paper, portfolio, etc.).
To participate in the Writing Fellow Program in the winter semester of 2018/19, please fill out our online form (on our German website) with the basic information of your class until July 1, 2018. We will try to provide everyone with a Writing Fellow, however, we have limited capacity at this time.
Further questions and the exact execution can be discussed in a non-committal conversation beforehand.