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Writing Assistants Program

The Writing Assistants program promotes and supports teaching with writing at FIU. Through this initiative, Writing Assistants (WAs), advanced undergraduate students trained by the Center for Excellence in Writing, are embedded in course sections to provide feedback on student writing and to help facilitate in-class activities. The program also features support for faculty through the Writing Across the Curriculum program and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Meet our Writing Assistants and Program Administrators.

The goals of the WA program include:

  • Increase student engagement, persistence, and success in FIU courses through learner-centered teaching and peer mentoring;
  • Increase opportunities for students to improve as writers through practice and feedback;
  • Improve the quality of writing instruction through support for faculty and TAs; and
  • Recruit and prepare strong undergraduate students to work as writing mentors.
  • About Our Writing Assistants

    WAs are nominated by FIU faculty and apply to work in the program. The screening process includes review of a writing sample, letters of recommendation, and an interview. When hired, WAs take a three-credit, upper-division course that trains them to provide feedback on student writing, hold effective one-to-one writing conferences, and assist in facilitating in-class activities that involve writing and/or critical thinking. While they take the training course, they also begin to work in the undergraduate course to which they have been assigned. Each semester that a WA works in a course, they communicate weekly with the faculty member/TAs, and they meet regularly with Center for Excellence in Writing directors. For their work, they earn $1200 per semester.

    The support that Writing Assistants provide varies based on the course to which they are assigned. For example, their role may include a combination of the following:

    • Helping students understand writing assignment descriptions and rubrics
    • Meeting one-to-one with students to discuss planning, drafting, revision, and/or editing
    • Providing written feedback on drafts that students will revise
    • Helping students interpret and apply faculty/TA feedback
    • Guiding small group peer review
    • Assisting in facilitating in-class activities
    • Introducing students to writing resources
    • Mentoring struggling students
    • Communicating with faculty/TAs about students’ needs
  • Faculty Members and TAs: Partner With Writing Assistants

    Interested in working with WAs? Partnering with the program will likely mean revising the design of your course, and you will have support as you plan. Here are the steps involved:

    • Meet with program administrators to discuss working with WAs.
    • Consult with a representative of CAT on course design, incorporating active learning, and ways WAs can help facilitate in-class activities.
    • Consult with a representative of the WAC program on designing and scaffolding writing projects, developing evaluation criteria, building in writing processes, providing targeted feedback, facilitating peer review, supporting multilingual writers, providing writing resources, etc.
    • Design or revise the course to include 1) multi-draft writing projects that are aligned with the learning objectives of the course, and 2) in-class activities related to writing and/or critical thinking.
    • Implement your plans for the course with ongoing support from WAC and CAT.
    • Meet weekly with WAs to discuss their role in improving student writing and supporting student success.
    • Provide feedback and course materials for WA program assessment.

With the help of WAs, faculty can assign more writing, even in large courses; coursework can include more active learning; students can receive more feedback; and WAs can gain valuable experience as educators and mentors.

Faculty can:

  • Assign writing, even in large courses
  • Improve and scaffold writing projects
  • Consult with experts on writing instruction
  • Use active learning to increase student engagement
  • Receive support with student outreach

Students can:

  • Receive more feedback on their coursework
  • Revise their writing in response to feedback
  • Develop more effective writing processes
  • Connect with peers in class through active learning
  • See value in seeking help and resources

Writing Assistants can:

  • Gain experience working as writing mentors
  • Learn about writing research and writing instruction
  • Develop relationships with FIU faculty
  • Serve as mentors to other students
  • Earn a stipend in exchange for their work

Testimonials

Over the years, faculty have expressed their support of the Writing Assistants program:

“The [Writing Assistants] saved me some consulting time that I normally have to provide with a few of the more challenged students. The very fact that my requiring drafts within the context of the Assistants program made the assignment more significant to my students.”

“My students have found the mentoring to be useful and it's clear they wrote better papers having been engaged in the project.”

Similarly, students have shared their positive thoughts with us:

"Meeting with my [Writing Assistant] made me notice some mistakes that I would not have seen in my first draft. It helped me make writing a paper more of a process to achieve a more perfect, finished product instead of just another assignment.”

“[The program] has made me more aware that I should re-read my papers more often, as well as read them out-loud to make sure they sound the way I intend them to.”

Program Administrators

  • Charles Donate, Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Writing
  • Glenn Hutchinson, Director, Center for Excellence in Writing
  • Xuan Jiang, Assistant Director, Center for Excellence in Writing
  • Kimberly Harrison, Director, Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Ming Fang, Associate Director & Multilingual Writing Specialist, Writing Across the Curriculum

Meet the Assistants

Ava

Undergraduate Consultant & Writing Assistant

 

 

Grace

Undergraduate Consultant & Writing Assistant

 

 

Jordan

Undergraduate Consultant & Writing Assistant

Dual majoring in English and communications, Jordan finds time between assignments to study French and Spanish. His interest include reading novels, studying films, and cooking.

 

Mario S.

Undergraduate Consultant & Writing Assistant

 

 

Nick

Undergraduate Consultant & Writing Assistant

Nick is currently studying English, but his passions are playing chess, watching movies, reading interesting books, listening to good music that’s both old and new and uncontrollably singing to himself when he’s really concentrating on something.

 

Rachael

Undergraduate Consultant & Writing Assistant

 

 

Frisia

Writing Assistant

Frisia is a senior majoring in history with a track in education. Her plan after graduating is to attend law school. She served four years in the Army as active duty. Frisia became a writing assistant because she wanted to help students realize their potential. Often times, students become discouraged about their writing, and she wants to help them find writing strategies that work for them. She has always viewed writing as a hobby, and she wants to share that passion she has for writing with others.

 

Paul

Writing Assistant

Paul is a political science and history double major with aspirations to be an instructor at either the high school or collegiate level. He greatly enjoys writing and talking about both fiction and nonfiction work. In his free time, he likes to play Nintendo Switch games.

 

Anthony

Writing Assistant

 

 

Christopher J.

Writing Assistant

 

 

Jessica

Writing Assistant

 

 

Angie

Writing Assistant

 

 

Zunny

Writing Assistant

 

 

Ericka

Writing Assistant

 

 

Ana

Writing Assistant

Ana is a senior majoring in English Literature and minoring in Political Science at FIU. She is also pursuing a certificate in Professional and Public Writing. She is a part of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and Tau Sigma Honor Society for Transfer Students. Ana is on track to graduate in Spring 2019, aspiring to pursue a career in Law and Public Policy with the hopes of making a positive impact on the lives of underserved communities.

 

Monica

Writing Assistant

Monica is pursuing a Communications and Broadcast Media major with an International Relations Minor. She plans to go to graduate school to pursue a Sports Journalism Master's Degree to become an on-air talent in the future. In her free time, Monica follows European and South American soccer leagues closely, while she works towards creating her own Sports Blog. Her dream job is to work for FOXDeportes as an anchor or reporter.

 

Patricia

Writing Assistant

 

 

Samantha

Writing Assistant

Samantha is currently a junior and my major is Accounting. She plans to get her Master's degree in accounting and then take the CPA exam. Also, she plans to earn a certificate in pre-law and eventually go to law school.

 

Jennifer

Writing Assistant

Jennifer is a sophomore at FIU majoring in International Business. She strives to one day attend law school and become a Corporate Lawyer.

 

Geena

Writing Assistant

Geena is a junior majoring in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Marketing. She plans to go on to receive a master's degree in public relations after graduation.

 

Emanuel

Writing Assistant

 

 

Adriana

Writing Assistant

 

 

Isabella

Writing Assistant

 

 

Daniela

Writing Assistant

 

 

Dillon

Writing Assistant

 

 

Antoinette

Writing Assistant

 

 

Luisa

Writing Assistant

Luisa is a Theater major pursuing a Film studies certificate. She enjoys trying new things and is currently learning how to salsa dance, play chess, and improve her basketball skills. She also loves to laugh and thinks she's pretty funny.

 

Xena

Writing Assistant