Summer Writing-Teaching Grants

Campus Writing Program Summer Writing-Teaching Grants

Application Deadline: Monday, February 26, 2024

The Campus Writing Program is soliciting applications for as many as two $1500 Summer Writing-Teaching Grants dedicated to helping faculty design undergraduate courses that use writing in innovative and fruitful ways.

Bloomington campus faculty members are eligible for the awards (tenured, tenure-track, and clinical faculty, and lecturers). Recipients should devote two weeks of full-time effort to incorporating writing into courses they teach; they may not be on appointment for any other teaching, administrative, or research duties during the grant period.

Grant recipients will meet twice with other fellows and with Writing Program consultants as necessary. A report outlining the design of the course or courses and evaluating the efficacy of that design in the classroom must be produced within a calendar year of the end of the fellowship period. Recipients may be asked to participate in a CITL sponsored event(s) in order to disseminate the results of the project to a campus-wide audience.

The Writing Program is eager to fund the efforts of faculty who wish to use writing to solve a pedagogical problem as well as to teach undergraduate students to express, to reformulate, or to apply the concepts of an academic discipline. Applications are welcome from faculty in all disciplines; particularly encouraged are proposals that:

  1. represent substantive changes from a conventional lecture-test format;
  2. promise to employ imaginative, practical, and replicable ways of using writing to teach or to evaluate;
  3. would allow students to meet departmental or school requirements.

Courses supported by CWP grants must be taught within the subsequent academic year. Applications must include a letter from the department chair or dean that endorses the project and certifies that the applicant will teach the course twice in the following three academic years.

The grant application form form and the accompanying letter of support should be submitted as one file via email to

Please direct questions about the grants and application procedures to Past winners of Writing-Teaching Grants will serve on the selection committee. Awards will be announced in April.


Past award winners:

Mahasweta Baxipatra, Department of English

Baxipatra will revise two intensive writing classes, W350 Advanced Expository Writing and L204 Introduction to Fiction, as well as L224 Introduction to Global Literature in English. Her goal is to enable students to formulate their arguments on the course topic by incorporating advanced research utilizing primary resources available through archives and repositories. In the revised project, students will learn to discover hidden repositories that are not always available online or have been left unacknowledged in databases. Irrespective of the subject, the research and the research-based writing will also help them to update their understanding of historiography.

Lindsey Mazurek, Department of Classical Studies

Mazurek will redesign her large, general education Classical Archaeology course so that students can better identify which aspects of an art object are important, how objects relate to their contexts, what functions objects play in constructing culture, and how to see change in artistic styles and forms over time. In order to strengthen these skills, she will create a series of scaffolded, low-stakes writing activities over the course of the semester. These iterative short assignments are designed to prepare students to complete one or two summative writing assessments. With these new prompts, students will have more structured and supported opportunities to develop the cognitive and critical thinking skills necessary to their success in the course and be able to apply these skills in other visual and material culture courses they may take during their time at IU.

Clark Barwick, Kelley School of Business and Hutton Honors College

Barwick will use the grant to work on two courses: HON-H238 “Race, America, and the National Basketball Association” (HON-H238) and “Black Gold: Coffee, Culture, and Global Exchange” (HON-237). For both courses, Barwick hopes to reimagine the concept of the final essay in his courses and develop new strategies for expanding the reach and potential impact of his students’ writing. More specifically, he is interested in the possibilities of writing as public engagement, and wants to collaborate with the CWP experts and other grant recipients to conceive of ways to push his students’ writing beyond the walls of his classroom and contribute to larger and ongoing societal discussions.

Eric Sader, Department of Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business

Sader will use the grant to revise the final exam and weekly writing assignments in “Ethics & Equity in Diverse Business Organizations” (BUS-L375). For the final exam, Sader plans to allow students to conduct independent research and writing in lieu of taking the more “standard” final examination in an effort to get more buy-in from students in seeing the work they put into this class as valuable. In addition, he would like to have unified weekly writing assignments that clearly connect with the course’s learning outcomes.

Tatiana Saburova, Department of History

Saburova plans to revamp her writing assignments in two courses: “Photographing History” (W300) and “Empires: Places and Peoples” (J400). For the W300 course, Saburova hopes to develop students’ skills writing about photographs from a historical perspective, shifting focus from descriptive writing to analytical and contextual ones. Her goal for the J400 course is to help students deploy theoretical concepts and approaches in their research, so she is planning to design a writing assignment based on the analysis of one of the course concepts that students link with their specific topics, demonstrating their understanding of the concept and how it is instrumental in their research project. She is also planning to use Story Maps as a digital component of students’ final projects, so they will learn how to write about spatial history, how to use maps as primary sources, and how to make their research available for a lay audience.

Elisa Räsänen, Department of Central Eurasian Studies

Räsänen has three goals for “Hot Reads from a Cool Country: Contemporary Finnish Literature” (CEUS-R304 / CEUS-R504): 1) Redesign and "flip" the course to make room for scaffolded writing assignments targeting literary analysis 2) Create scaffolding, peer review tasks and rubrics for writing tasks 3) Redesign the course into a CASE Intensive Writing Course. She hopes that students will build their own writing (literary analysis) so that the original source text and academic readings are in an effective dialogue with one another, indicating clearly what the students' own findings are and what comes from the research literature.

Carl Weinberg, Political and Civic Engagement Program

Weinberg proposes to create a Canvas-based interactive tool—tentatively called Work in Progress (WIP)—that would enable students to identify and fix their own writing problems. He plans to showcase a model research paper that includes links to video- and text-based explanations of a raft of sentence-level and whole-paper writing issues. Weinberg plans to use this tool in a variety of his courses including “Leadership and Public Policy” (PACE 250), “Leadership, Social Movements, and Modern American Politics” (PACE C350), “The Evolution/Creation Controversy in Modern America” (History A388), “The Meat We Eat (LAMP L416), and “History of Mathematics” (MATH M380).

Janine Giordano Drake, Department of History

Drake plans to use this grant to shift her U.S. History syllabus away from a model that emphasizes her own scholarly authority as someone who can cover all of US history, and toward a course that teaches students skills in evaluating primary and secondary sources and writing papers which practice these skills. Using writing-to-learn techniques, she plans to have her students do more regular, low-stakes writing to capture their active learning.

Eric Mayer-Garcia, Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance

Mayer-Garcia plans to have weekly writing be the cornerstone of a major revision to the “History of Theatre I” (T370) course. The course has previously relied heavily on lectures and exams to guide theatre majors in gaining a solid understanding of theatre history from origins through 1700 CE. Mayer-Garcia hopes that his T370 course will give all students a chance to succeed, while developing better writing through weekly practice.

Megan Hansen Connolly, Department of Second Language Studies

Connolly intends to incorporate a significant peer review element and reflective writing assignments into “Academic Literacy Development for Multilingual Students” (SLST-T121) The goals for incorporating peer review and reflective writing into SLST-T121 are to teach multilingual students the purpose of peer review, to model how to give and receive feedback successfully, to provide more meaningful opportunities for multilingual students in engage in structured peer review with their classmates, and to have students reflect upon what they learned from participating in the peer review process.

Laura C. Brown, Department of Chemistry

Brown teaches “Honors Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1” (S343). In conjunction with this grant, Brown plans to address 1) the inconsistency in grading science writing across different sections led by Associate Instructors; 2) the lack of appropriate writing tutors; and 3) the need for a more mindful approach to science writing. In order to address these concerns, Brown plans to teach lab report writing sequentially, with an emphasis on a different section of the lab report each week for the first half of the semester. She will supplement this instruction with detailed written instructions, writing samples, and detailed grading rubrics (made available to both the students and their AIs). Brown will integrate peer review into the writing process and will require students to revise and resubmit each lab report section. The students’ first full lab report will be assigned only after they have received feedback on all of the sections individually. Brown plans to recommend her most promising students to serve as tutors for Writing Tutorial Services.

Sue Tuohy, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Tuohy plans to develop a new series of assignments for “World Musics and Cultures” (FOLK F-111). The assignments are intended to help students develop their skills in writing, research, and critical thinking while also addressing several of the department’s learning outcomes. In particular, Tuohy’s goal is to design writing assignments that will help students to: 1) engage in writing about ethnographic research; 2) write about the roles of music, musicians, musical practices, and discourse about music in social life; and 3) describe and analyze musical practices in relation to their social, historical, political, and economic contexts. In conjunction with these writing assignments, Tuohy plans to develop: 1) materials and in-class exercises to better prepare students to successfully complete the assignments; and 2) sets of grading rubrics for students as well as for the teaching team (three AIs and Tuohy) to use to provide as much uniformity as possible in their grading.  

Margaret Gray, Department of French and Italian

Gray plans to completely revise an existing course, “Creative and Critical Writing in French” (FRIT-F314). Among other readings, she plans to use a text that translates literally as “Writing Without Complexes: Surmounting Your Fear of the White Page to better Transmit Your Thought, Improve your Style and Master the Quality of your Writing.” As Gray remarks, “Such a title implies a lively and engaging approach consonant with the renewed energy I would like to bring to the course.” Gray will supplement course materials with a French “writer-in-residence” and with visits to local museums and artistic performances.

Sue Tuohy, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Tuohy hopes to better integrate writing into three of her courses: Music in Social Movements (FOLK F230); Music, Community, Sustainability (FOLK F253); and Cultural Diversity in China (FOLK F305). Tuohy’s goal is to help students improve their skills in writing about ethnographic and documentary films/videos. She plans to design a carefully sequenced set of activities, collaborative peer-work, and short writing assignments to help students learn about and apply concepts of representation, methods of analysis, and skills of critical thinking and writing. This set of activities and assignments will lead toward the completion of a longer paper, which will be a critical analysis of a film that considers the film as a communicative form.

Kelley Benham French and Joseph Coleman, The Media School

For their Reporting, Writing & Editing course (MSCH-C 225), French and Coleman plan to develop about a dozen in-class reporting and writing exercises as well as accompanying rubrics for use by all instructors teaching C-225. Students will practice reporting and writing in two 75-minute lab sessions each week. In those sessions, they will practice interviewing and reporting in live, press-conference style situations facilitated by an instructor working from a script. Students will also write an out-of-class story each week on deadline.

Adam Liff, Department of East Asian Language and Culture

Liff will work with one of EALC’s two IW courses, U.S.-East Asia Relations (EALC E-386). With the goal of assisting students in developing empathy with the history-makers whose decisions are examined in class, Liff has been brainstorming ways to incorporate writing activities and assignments into his courses. Ideas for writing assignments include having students write diary entries about major strategic dilemmas from the perspective of major historical figures; engage in written and oral debates; and hold foreign policy simulations. He hopes to use successful writing assignments that encourage empathy in his other classes as well.

Emily Metzgar, The Media School

Metzgar hopes to ensure that her Media as Social Institutions course (MSCH-J410) meets and exceeds COAS requirements for IW courses. Metzgar will create innovative writing assignments that help students develop their familiarity with course concepts, promote critical thinking, and aid her in evaluating whether course goals are being met. Her writing assignments will be both academically challenging and professionally relevant.

Roberta Pergher, Department of History

Pergher plans to revise two intensive writing courses: HIST-J300 European Empires: An Archive of Stories, Cartoons (HIST-J300) and La Dolce Vita: Living the Good Life in Modern Italy (Film HIST-J300). While the scholarly research paper used to be Pergher’s main focus, she will now allow students to write different types of texts, from different perspectives, and for different audiences. Some of Pergher’s ideas for different writing assignments include interpreting and juxtaposing different primary sources; writing about an event from two very different perspectives; communicating a scholarly argument to a lay audience; and writing about a contemporary political issue and identifying colonial legacies or new colonial forms in it.

Gayle Buck, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Buck is planning to incorporate writing into Introduction to Scientific Inquiry (Q200). Buck hopes that more writing in the course will help her students understand the constructivist nature of effective learning and teaching in the sciences. She will foster this understanding through three primary approaches: a dialogic approach that values a variety of student voices; writing intensive lab reports and a poster presentation; and the use of interactive communication technologies.

Gergana May, Department of Germanic Studies

May plans to incorporate writing into two courses: Topics in Scandinavian Literature (GER-E363/K507; EUR-W406/605) and Topics in Scandinavian Culture (GER-E362/K506; EUR-W406/605). While May has used writing in her previous teaching, she hopes to incorporate more creative assignments into both of these courses. In order to help students understand the differences among artistic genres, May plans to assign a review of a play, musical performance, or novel; a flyer for an upcoming artistic production; or a poster for an upcoming exhibit. She also plans to have students write a travel brochure or column on one of the Scandinavian countries.

Elizabeth Ellcessor, Department of Communication and Culture

Ellcessor will revise the course structure and written assignments for C420 Topics in Media History (U.S. Television History) in order to use students’ existing interests, knowledge, and goals to motivate deeper analysis and stronger retention of television history. She intends to move away from a central, cumulative research paper and towards the use of smaller written assignments that use authentic genres of media industry writing and will become the basis for group interactions in class. Her assignments will provide a closer connection to everyday media contexts, enabling transfer of analytic and critical thinking skills and fostering a media literacy that is important for students of media, future media professionals, and citizens in a heavily mediated society.

Brad Luen, Department of Statistics

Luen will develop writing assignments for a new course, S202 Statistics for Journalists, in which the students will report statistical analyses for general audiences in a way that will be useful in their future practice. He intends to use an approach based on reading and writing that will help students to recognize statistical errors in relevant contexts, and in which writing assignments will make students think about how to avoid mistakes in their own work and about how to write about numbers in statistically correct ways.

Scott Shackelford, Department of Business Law and Ethics

Shackelford plans to integrate writing throughout his new course, X272 Sustainability in Australia and New Zealand, which will require a good deal of country analysis and will incorporate distinct service-learning and writing requirements. Students will complete an intensive research assignment which will expose them to an issue of sustainability focused on a particular region in Australia or New Zealand.

Abbey Stemler, Department of Business Law and Ethics

Stemler intends to develop assignments for her courses BUS L311/LAMP L416 Law for Entrepreneurs and L100 Personal Law that will help her students use writing as both a means of working through problems and a method of effective communication. By giving students explicit strategies for writing effectively, she will try to help them develop legal astuteness, a form of critical thinking focused on the ability to effectively identify legal issues and to work collaboratively with counsel to solve complex problems. She will adapt authentic assessments developed during a recent Course Development Institute to allow for more individual writing and peer and instructor feedback.

Betty S. Dlamini, African Studies Program

Dlamini will spend a portion of the summer redesigning the assignments for her popular AFRI L100 course, Gumboot Dance: Beauty from Pain. In the past, students in this course have been assessed through short quizzes and practical dancing. To enhance a more critical understanding of the dances and their cultural context, Dlamini will design a series of four interconnected writing assignments, all of which will contribute to a final course thesis. Through these assignment revisions, Dlamini hopes that students will better retain the knowledge learned in the course.

Monika Herzig, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Herzig will be developing assignments for SPEA A405 Programming for the Performing Arts, a required course for arts management majors. This course teaches students about a wide range of arts events, while also introducing them to the factors involved in planning and initiating a successful program. Herzig would like to use writing as a core tool to help students meet these goals. She hopes to design a series of practical assignments including project proposals, event brochures, and vendor contracts. These assignments will culminate in a final portfolio for an event that will actually be implemented.

Joshua E. Perry, Kelley School of Business

Perry will be designing a new course, BUS L521 Critical Thought and Practical Wisdom. This will be a core requirement for the 3/2 Graduate Accounting Program MBA, an integrated undergraduate-graduate program. Since the goal of the course is to train students to craft well-reasoned and critical arguments, Perry wishes to incorporate several types of writing assignments, including executive memos, reflection papers, and op-eds. He expects the skills practiced in these short assignments to culminate in a substantial final written paper.

Gary A. Sailes, Department of Kinesiology

Sailes will craft new writing assignments for SPH P328 Issues in College Sports and SPH P392 Sport in American Society. Due to the increased enrollment that these popular courses have seen over the years, Sailes’ methods of information delivery and assessment have gravitated toward a lecture/discussion/exam format. He will devote time this summer to reconsidering how short writing assignments, such as reflection papers, article critiques, interviews, and “Dear Doc” letters, can contribute to his core goals of developing student awareness and critical thought about American sport culture.

Claudia Johnson, Department of Geological Sciences

Johnson will redesign the major assignments in G341 Natural History of Coral Reefs, whose enrollment includes students from a wide variety of disciplines (some of whom also take the course for Intensive Writing credit in the College). The goal of these assignments is to help students learn the principles of scientific writing, culminating with a 20-page literature-based research paper. This large paper will be restructured to treat components—especially the data, results, and interpretation sections—individually before the whole is assembled. Johnson hopes to spend two weeks over the summer scaffolding the writing assignments and establishing means of assessing students’ progressive mastery of new writing techniques.

Ben Motz, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Motz will use his grant to design a new course, C105 Prediction, Probability, and Pigskin. Although the course goal to teach students how to interpret and draw conclusions from observed data is familiar within the discipline, its setting is unique. Students will learn these skills while playing Fantasy Football throughout the semester with their classmates. Motz will use his two-week grant period to design a series of weekly blogging assignments about team management strategy, which emphasize writing for a public audience, and three analytical reports that require students to apply different analytic protocols to the data collected in the football simulation.

Dawna Schuld, History of Art Program

Schuld will use the grant period to refashion two courses: F353 Art in America 1945 to the Present and F354 Contemporary Art 1960 to the Present. The writing assignments for F353 will be dedicated to teaching students the fundamental skills of writing about non-narrative, non-linguistic objects of study focusing on description, analysis, and interpretation. Portions of the courses will be dedicated to the key concepts of art writing in addition to conducting research, developing and building an argument, and using peer review. In F354, students will focus more on understanding new media, writing about living subjects, and with primary source material. 

Ellen Wu, Department of History

Wu will be rethinking the structure of written assignments in J300 America in the 1950s, which fulfills the Intensive Writing requirement in the College. Since many of her students come to the course with little or no understanding of historiography, her hope is to minimize the number of students who struggle to understand the foundations of historical inquiry. To accomplish this goal, she will replace a traditional research paper with individual student blogs written for a general public audience and a case-study research assignment for which students will use primary sources from various IU archives (the Lilly and Kinsey Libraries, for example). These two modes of writing will be drawn together thematically throughout the course.