Writing Fellows Priorities


Our goal is for the student’s paper to fit the assignment and that the student understands the paper’s genre, adjusts for the audience, and uses the correct format. Our priority is not just to teach them what the assignment is, but to help them understand how to make rhetorical decisions (i.e. how to make critical decisions about evidence, structure, or tone by understanding audience and purpose).

Thesis/Claim/Statement of Intent

Each paper should contain a thesis or topic statement. The scope of this paper should be the right size for the paper. Our aim is to help students reach these goals within each paper and illustrate how their ideas are significant and worth writing about. The paper should always focus on the thesis.

Supporting Evidence

As Writing Fellows, another goal is to instruct students to include sufficient evidence to support a point, given that the evidence is appropriate, accurate, and relevant for the discipline, audience, topic, and scope. Evidence includes references to primary and secondary sources, as well as original research. All supporting evidence should be properly introduced and cited with the appropriate citation style (MLA, APA, TurabianAIP, etc.). Direct quotations are always in quotes. Authors should contextualize quotes appropriately and offer comments and analysis as appropriate.

Global Organization

We desire that every student learns how to include a descriptive title, an introduction, a conclusion that is appropriate for the assignment / audience / genre, and a logical progression of ideas. Our goal is to help them connect their ideas so that they all tie back into the thesis. The conclusion should include why the paper is significant.

Paragraph Organization

Each paragraph should have one exclusive main point that follows the “old to new” principle of cohesion and coherence. That “point” may be stated in the beginning or at the end of the paragraph. Our priority is to help students achieve good local organization within each paper.

Style and Correctness

Each author should write in academic English with the appropriate level of formality. We ensure that sentences are clear, efficient, cohesive, varied, and elegant. We also make it a priority to instruct students on how best to incorporate passive or active voice as appropriate for the audience / genre / assignment. The author should use correct spelling, punctuation, mechanics, and grammar.