Founded in 1990 and running continuously since that time, the Campus Writing Program (CWP) provides consultation to instructors on the use of writing in classes and supports students, through Writing Tutorial Services (WTS), as they work to meet the demands of those courses. The CWP is charged with campus Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiatives, especially training instructors in the teaching of Intensive Writing (IW) courses, Writing in the Disciplines (WID), assignment design, grading best practices, and using WTS effectively to support students.
Campus Writing Program
Who are we?
- John Paul Kanwit, Campus Writing Program Director
- Mary Helen Truglia, Writing Tutorial Services Director
- Lizzie Gaugel, Writing Tutorial Services Program Coordinator
- Two Graduate Assistants, who facilitate our writing groups for graduate students
- About forty undergraduate and graduate tutors from disciplines across the IUB campus
- The Campus Writing Program Advisory Board, comprising about sixteen faculty, staff, and tutors
What do we do?
The CWP helps all IUB instructors use writing more often and more strategically in their classes through one-on-one consultations, workshops, and classroom presentations. We promote writing for learning course material, for engaging deeply with that material, and for learning how to write for specific disciplines and audiences.
The CWP is the primary office on campus charged with supporting Intensive Writing (IW), one of the eleven high-impact practices identified by the American Association of Colleges and Universities and a Shared Goal in the IUB General Education Curriculum Program. As such, we provide training to instructors teaching IW courses, forums to discuss IW across campus, and guidance for IW course proposals. Because of our expertise in designing and supporting large-scale writing and multimedia projects, we also support instructors and students with such related high-impact practices as first-year seminars, undergraduate research, and senior capstones.
What is our mission?
The Writing Program has three missions:
- To assist instructors, through consultations, workshops, faculty learning communities, and course development grants, as they work to incorporate writing into their programs
- To help students, through tutorials and writing groups, as they work to meet the demands of those programs
- To promote Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing in the Disciplines (WID) and to research the efficacy of WAC and WID claims
What is our vision?
The CWP will be nationally recognized for providing excellent resources for all students and instructors and for a commitment to cultivating a culture of written communication across the University. This culture of written communication is essential to ensuring that students learn the skills and habits of mind that are essential to college and career success.
What are our values?
The CWP views writing in its many forms and in every class at IUB as a vitally important tool for effective, equitable, and inclusive teaching. Drawing on the large body of scholarship since the Writing Across the Curriculum movement began in the 1980s, we believe that students should write in all courses, that they should have many opportunities to learn course content through low-stakes writing, and that they should practice disciplinary conventions and forms for writing.
Because writing fosters critical thinking, engagement with course material, and learning of course content, students should write often, in a variety of forms, and with opportunities to integrate the writing process, including frequent feedback from instructors and peers (Fulwiler and Young, 1982; Forsman, 1985; Bean and Melzer, 2021). So that all students have an equal chance to succeed, writing assignments should follow transparent design by specifying the task that students are to complete, the purpose of the assignment, the audience for the writing, and the criteria for success (Winkelmes, 2013). Likewise, writing assignments should engage all students by providing them with multiple ways of demonstrating what they have learned about a topic.
Acknowledging the inherently intertwined nature of writing, education, identity, and language usage, we respect students' right to their own language. We view the many forms of academic English as varieties of English, predominantly used in the university context in which we work as well as in many places of employment, both domestic and international. In collaboration with IU instructors, we aim to support the learning of academic conventions and registers with attention to critical language awareness, and to assist students in expanding their rich linguistic repertoires in meaningful ways to allow students to move with volition between discourses, using their own plurilingual resources.
In our aim to fulfill this promise for all students, we provide guidance for instructors who want to strengthen their students’ skills and fluency in academic American English, as well as respecting and valuing all varieties of English used by our diverse student population. As members of the university community, we will continue to educate ourselves, each other, and our students on ways we speak and write about issues of racism, oppression, and bias. To that end, we seek to respect the diversity of linguistic and cultural backgrounds students bring to IU, and we advocate for antiracist, bias-free, and bias-aware language practices in alignment with leading style guides.
- Craft meaningful and transparent writing assignments
- Build the writing process into courses
- Work effectively with international and multilingual writers
- Grade fairly and efficiently
- Use rubrics effectively
- Train AIs, GAs, and UTAs to grade and respond to writing
- Comment productively on student papers
- Integrate brief writing assignments into courses
- Use visual texts as writing prompts
- Integrate peer review successfully into courses
- Effectively propose and teach Intensive Writing (IW) courses
- Develop strong thesis statements
- Develop effective outlines
- Find and integrate credible sources
- Address problems with grammar
- Understand and avoid plagiarism
- Write effective answers to essay exam questions
Writing Tutorial Services
Writing Tutorial Services is located in the Learning Commons on the first floor of the Wells Library, and participates in the Academic Support Centers (ASCs) in Briscoe, Forest, and Teter Residence Halls. WTS also partners with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to offer tutoring in several of IU’s Cultural Centers. WTS employs about 40 tutors—graduate students and undergraduates—to assist IU students working on writing assignments for any of their courses. Students can schedule an appointment online for WTS’s Wells Library or Cultural Center locations (tutoring in the ASCs is on a walk-in basis). Instructors can request a class visit to introduce WTS to their students, or arrange a course-specific tutor by emailing email@example.com.
The Campus Writing Program also regularly investigates the effectiveness of the tutoring provided in Writing Tutorial Services by surveying students, interviewing faculty members whose students use WTS, and by studying in various ways the interactions between tutors and students. The results of several of these investigations have been presented at national and international conferences.