The Writing Associates Program trains peer writing tutors to assist individual professors with writing in courses. Seeking to strengthen the classroom learning community, a WA acts as a bridge between professor and students in order to enhance the learning and teaching of writing.

Read what faculty, students, and Writing Associates themselves have to say about the Writing Associates Program. 

A Writing Associate meets with a group of writers for peer review.

Who are Writing Associates?

WAs are undergraduates from a variety of disciplines who are identified by their professors as outstanding writers.  All WAs take WRPG 214: Working with Writers: Theory and Practice, and they also work as peer writing tutors in the Norman M. Eberly Writing Center.

What kinds of things can a Writing Associate do?

While a WA does not grade papers or teach, she can do a variety of things that supplement and enhance instruction:

  • facilitate peer review of papers either in class or outside of class;
  • offer in-class mini-lessons on the writing process and/or a variety of writing skills (i.e. shaping a thesis, writing conclusions, documenting sources, etc.);
  • model good discussion and learning techniques;
  • hold office hours to assist with writing and clarify the professor's expectations and feedback;
  • meet with the professor to discuss observations and insights about how the students are learning;
  • and act as a writing resource by referring students to the writing center.

    What are the ways to integrate a Writing Associate into the classroom learning community?

    Collaborate with your WA.  While the WA assists the students in the class with understanding things like writing assignments and professor feedback, ideally the WA will also collaborate with the professor, helping the professor to better understand the inner workings of students as they grapple with writing assignments, rubrics, and feedback.  As such, the WA serves as a "change agent," contributing to both faculty development and to student learning.

    Make the students accountable for the work they do with the WA.  The success of the WA depends on whether the professor communicates that the WA is central or peripheral to  the classroom learning community.  There are several ways to emphasize the importance of the WA:

    • devote a paragraph in the syllabus to describing the role of the WA and providing his contact information;
    • invite the WA to class for introductions and to share the WA's policy statement;
    • include office hour visits to the WA in the class participation grade;
    • make out-of-class peer review mandatory;
    • award points to students for attending out-of-class peer review or require students to submit a revision plan.

      How does one apply for a Writing Associate?

      1. You are eligible to work with a WA if you are scheduled to teach a First-Year Seminar course, a WR course, or a senior capstone course.
      2. All faculty who have not yet worked with a WA are asked to attend a brief orientation meeting on how to integrate a WA into your pedagogy.  Orientation meetings are TBA each semester.
      3. Click here for the application, which you should complete and email to lapen@dickinson.edu by May 2, 2014.

      For more information or for assistance filling out the application, please contact Noreen Lape, Director of the Writing Program at lapen@dickinson.edu or 245-1904.