Faculty Resources

Writing Fellows Guidelines

How to have a writing advisor visit your classroom

The Effective Writing Center (EWC) provides online writing advisors for scheduled one-week visits to online classes and online portions of face-to-face classes to UMUC faculty in all disciplines. We also try to accommodate requests for on-site visits. The EWC advisor can work with students on a particular writing issue and/or on a particular assignment. Please read the information below to help plan the class visit.


Questions for the Faculty Member

  • Will participation in the EWC discussion/classroom visit be required or optional?
  • Will the EWC discussion be the only discussion for that week, or will it be supplemental to other instruction?
  • What are the writing needs of your students?
  • Will your students be working on a particular writing assignment? If so, please provide the assignment and note whether your students will be at the pre-writing, drafting or revision stage.

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Content for Writing Fellows Visit

For all writing advisor visits, we will post an introductory topic with general information about the EWC. Within this introductory information is a request that students do not e-mail the EWC advisor directly and that they do not submit an entire essay for review in the discussion area; rather, students are encouraged to submit drafts or portions of drafts to the EWC. We ask that the faculty member reiterate these points in either the class announcement for the EWC visit or the discussion announcement.

The following is a list of possible writing topics, which we will tailor to your class. You are not required to choose one whole grouping of topics but instead can mix and match the subtopics, or you can request the writing fellow cover topics that are not on the list below. The EWC writing fellows coordinator can work with you to see which topic(s) will best fit your students' needs.

  • If your students will be working on an essay but have not yet chosen a topic, we suggest the following:
    • Pre-writing and Brainstorming Techniques
    • General Information About Essay Structure
  • If your students have chosen a topic and are in the beginning phases of writing and/or researching, we suggest the following:
    • Outlining
    • Audience Analysis
    • General Information About Essay Structure
    • Specific information on any of these writing techniques: Introductions, conclusions, thesis statements, paragraph structure, transitions, grammar overview.
  • If your students will be writing a research essay, we suggest the following:
    • Plagiarism Tutorial
    • MLA, APA, or other Citation Style
    • Quotation Integration
    • Analyzing What You Read

In planning your writing fellows visit, please keep in mind that questions on how to research an essay might be better directed towards a guest lecture from the library. In addition, we refer all questions about specific assignments to the instructor. Entire paper drafts will be referred to the EWC for regular advisor feedback.

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Format for EWC Visits

There are two formats for EWC visits.

  • Workshop: If the faculty member would like a workshop-type format, we ask that only one or two writing topics be chosen. A workshop offers a more hands-on approach by the writing fellow. In this format, the students will post portions of their work for feedback. For example, if the faculty member chooses an "introduction and thesis" workshop, the advisor will post information on both introductions and thesis statements, and the students will post their introductions and thesis statements for personalized feedback. This option works best if the faculty member requires mandatory participation in the EWC writing fellow program.
  • Q&A: If the faculty member would like a Q&A format, the advisor can post up to four different writing topics. General information on each topic will be posted, and students can ask questions. In this format, because more information is given by the EWC advisor, we ask that the faculty member make it clear that students should not post portions of assignments (however, students are always welcome to submit to the EWC). The Q&A format is the better choice if the faculty member does not want to make participation in the EWC writing fellow program mandatory.

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How to Request an EWC Writing Fellow

  1. Contact the writing fellows coordinator: Please contact Writing Fellows Coordinator Michelle Bowman at michelle.bowman@umuc.edu at least two weeks prior to the anticipated date of the writing fellow. This gives the EWC enough time to determine the dates of the visit, the content of the visit and the advisor who will facilitate the EWC visit.

  2. Set up registration for your Leo classroom: As soon as the writing fellows coordinator has confirmed the dates of the visit, the faculty member should e-mail the coordinator to register the EWC advisor in her/his classroom as a TA. Registration can take 48 hours and should be requested at least one week before the first day of the classroom visit.

  3. Create discussion topic space: The faculty member should create a separate Discussion Topic for the EWC visit. We recommend that the instructor create this space on the same day that he/she requests the advisor be registered in the Leo classroom.

  4. Provide assignment guidelines/description to the writing fellow: If the EWC visit is in conjunction with a writing assignment, the faculty member should supply the writing fellow with a copy of the assignment so that the he or she can best assist the students.

  5. Post a class announcement: The faculty member posts an announcement in Leo for students, introducing the writing fellow and including expectations for the visit.

  6. Review: The writing fellow will post the lectures one week in advance of the scheduled visit for the faculty member to review. The faculty member should contact the writing fellow at least 24 hours in advance with any suggested changes.

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EWC Visit Parameters

  • EWC writing fellows are available one time per semester, per class.
  • For help with a specific assignment, please request that the EWC writing fellow visit the class two weeks before the assignment is due.
  • EWC writing fellows will not read an entire draft; they will look over thesis statements, etc. and recommend that students submit papers to EWC, when appropriate.
  • EWC writing fellows will not edit papers.
  • After the EWC visit, students should be discouraged from contacting the writing fellow directly. Instead, students should be encouraged to:

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