Writing Assistants

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Writing Assistants

Our writing assistants program is an initiative that fosters writing as a means of learning in undergraduate courses. Writing assistants read and respond to drafts, and they meet in person once per paper with the same 10 – 12 students who are assigned to them.

Working with a Writing Assistant exposes involved students to the benefits of seeking feedback on their drafts and of planned, timed revision. It also reinforces help-seeking behavior and underlines the value of peer-to-peer learning.

The program's success relies on the careful choice both of writing assistants and of committed faculty members.

Writing assistants are carefully screened, interviewed, and highly recommended undergraduate students. They are carefully trained during the first semester of their employment in a course that teaches them effective strategies for writing useful comments on student papers and conferring with students one-to-one. The course’s final project is a paper based on their own original research.

Writing Assistants

• Are paid $1,200 per semester

• Are drawn from all majors

• Are recruited and carefully vetted; they must be interviewed, provide a writing sample and letters of recommendation

• Are attached to one course per semester

• Work with the same ten or eleven students each semester

• Take a three-credit upper division writing course during their first semester that trains them to write effective comments on student papers and hold effective one-to-one conferences

• Are educated in the process of writing to learn, that is, using writing to foster learning in the disciplines

• Are trained to work with faculty members

• Meet with Center for Excellence in Writing directors regularly, once their course is completed and if they continue in the program.

Faculty members

• Are interviewed to assure a good fit with the program

• Will meet with program administrators to help them work effectively with writing assistants

• Will meet with program administrators to help create effective writing assignments that foster learning in the discipline


• Improves student writing

• Acquaints students with the support provided by the Center for Excellence in Writing after their course is finished

• Provides students with positive experiences of consulting others about their papers

• Enforces early deadlines to show students the advantages of working on papers in stages

• Provides faculty members with better-quality papers

• Provides writing assistants with a significant work experience that will benefit them for years beyond graduation

Program administrators:

Glenn Hutchinson, Interim Director, Center for Excellence in Writing

Charles Donate, Writing Center Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Writing

Meet the Assistants


Daniela is a senior at FIU, majoring in Environmental Engineering. Apart from being part of the Writing Assistant program, she is involved with the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) on campus. Her dream job is to work for NASA to help make space traveling a more environmentally friendly action.


Darlain is a young writer completing his Bachelor's Degree at FIU. His field of study is in Organizational Communication with a minor in Marketing. In his spare time he may be found writing and composing projects across formats and genres. Darlain believes that everyone has something to say or contribute through writing and that writing has the potential to change the world. In the future he hopes to become a published author, poet, screenwriter, and songwriter/musician


Dillon is a sophomore at FIU. With Communications as his major, Dillon is on track to graduate in Fall 2019. Dillon loves to cook and won season 2 of the cooking competition, Taste of FIU, where he had to cook with chicken liver, red curry paste, and other unexpected ingredients. Dillon plans to pursue a career in the television/entertainment industry after graduating.


Mario is an English major and part of the Film Studies and Professional and Public Writing certificate programs. He enjoys watching and discussing film and television shows with others and occasionally works on scripts for short films on his free time. He hopes to attend graduate school at FIU in the future for Creative Writing and aspires to become a teacher at the high school level. He also has majestic hair, or so he’s told.



Research on former peer tutors and writing fellows at three institutions: http://www.writing.wisc.edu/pwtarp/,Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project

FIU’s writing center and Latin@ students: CCCC http://cccc-blog.blogspot.com/2010/09/successes-and-mini-successes-of-latin.html,Conversations on Diversity: