Writing Mentors for WRIT 099

A Writing Mentor is an undergraduate or graduate student who is "attached" to a course (or courses) in order to provide students in the course with small-group workshops and personalized consultations on writing projects for the course. Each semester, the UW-Superior Writing Center provides a Writing Mentor for each section of WRIT 099, Fundamentals of Writing.

A Writing Mentor works at the University of Wisconsin-Superior Writing Center and is supervised by the Writing Center Director. The Mentor’s key responsibility is to conduct small-group workshops with students in the section that he or she is assigned to, supporting the students in each step of the writing process. The Mentor also has regular office hours during which students from the section may visit the Mentor for individual consultations. In addition, the Mentor communicates regularly with the course instructor in order to be familiar with course goals, assignments, and procedures.

The spirit of this mentoring program is the same as that of the program that inspired it, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Writing Fellows Program. Here is how that program puts it: "Two central beliefs guide this program. The first is that all writers, no matter how accomplished, can improve their writing by sharing work in progress and making revisions based on constructive criticism; the second is that collaboration among student peers is an especially effective mode of learning."

This program has benefits to all concerned: the students who are being mentored; their instructor; and the Mentor. The students receive free support from someone who is trained to offer such help and familiar with the course, its instructor, and its goals. The instructor gains assistance with providing individualized instruction. The Mentor gains not only increased skills in performing writing consultations and workshops but also experience as a leader.