FAQ for Faculty Teaching Writing
There are several resources for faculty teaching courses in the Writing Program, as well as those teaching a major course with a writing intensive element. See the frequently asked questions and resources below.
If you have other questions not answered here, please contact Dr. Katie Gindlesparger, Director of the Writing Program.
How can I encourage my students to meet with a writing tutor? Can someone come talk to my class about writing assistance?
There are a couple of ways to encourage students to visit a writing tutor:
- Arrange a classroom visit by contacting Sarah Marshall, Assistant Director for Writing Services in the Academic Success Center. A professional writing tutor will come to your class to explain how Writing Assistance works and what students can expect from their appointment with a writing tutor.
- Use Starfish to encourage your students to meet with a writing tutor: simply check the box next to a student’s name, select the “Referral” tab, and choose “Writing Tutoring Referral” from the drop-down menu. The student will be notified about your referral via email, and a representative from the Academic Success Center will also follow up with them directly.
Writing Assistance empowers students to succeed independently as writers. Students who meet with writing tutors over time can expect to develop complex skill sets that they can take with them throughout their academic careers and beyond.
There is a wealth of information online about the teaching of writing:
- Visit the WAC Clearinghouse website for an overview of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) practices.
- See the Council of Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition for an overview of what students are expected to learn in general education writing courses.
- See the National Council of Teachers of English position statements for best practices in writing pedagogy.
- See the Writing Guides at Colorado State for “how-to” guides on teaching writing,
Please also consider setting up an individual consultation with the Director of the Writing Program. These individual meetings can help you identify solutions for teaching writing in your courses and/or across and entire program. Together, you and the Director will review course outcomes, assignments and activities so that you receive better writing from students and so that students better understand the role of writing in the discipline.
Each program has at least one designated writing intensive course. Writing intensive courses follow five guidelines:
- Allow students to practice forms of writing typical of the field.
- Devote class time to discussing essential qualities of field-specific professional writing.
- Require students to produce multiple drafts of at least one assigned writing task, to give students the opportunity to improve their writing skills.
- Make sure students receive individual help from the writing tutors at the Academic Success Center.
- Base a significant portion of the final grade (30-40%) on students’ written work.