I highly recommend working with Writing Fellows to faculty members. It creates a seriousness about papers that results in the students putting more effort into the papers, and having more pride in the final product. I also believe that working with a peer is a fantastic experience and creates a kind of maturity about the writing that I had not expected.
Information for Faculty
How the program works
Professors teaching small Writing Intensive or Comm-B classes without TAs can ask to work with Writing Fellows. Students submit drafts of their papers to Writing Fellows two weeks before the final due date. Fellows read the papers carefully and comment on them extensively, and then meet one-on-one with each writer to discuss revision options and strategies. The student revises the paper accordingly, and hands in both the final version and the earlier draft (with the Fellow's comments) to the professor on the final due date. For more information, please see our page on how the program works.
How faculty benefit
Some faculty members have informed us that working with Fellows actually saves them time during the grading process. Others maintain that while they spend the same amount of time, they can concentrate more on issues of course content because Fellows have already talked with students about matters of structure and organization. Several professors have also commented that working with Fellows led them to clarify their goals and expectations for students' written work and even to revise their own assignments.
What professors can expect from Fellows
The students who serve as Writing Fellows are skilled writers who have demonstrated an enthusiasm for thinking and learning about the writing process as well as a commitment to helping their peers. They undergo a full semester of training in a rigorous honors seminar, in which they read recent work from composition studies, practice commenting on student drafts, conduct original research on writers and writing, and reflect on their own experiences as writers and tutors. As they write marginal and end comments on student papers, Fellows bear in mind both the general principles they learn about in their training and the specific issues to which they are directed by their supervising professor. Their comments do not focus on the content of papers; rather, they accept the content with which a writer presents them and focus their comments and conferences on ways to improve the presentation of that content.