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At the beginning of each semester, my colleagues and I at the Writing Workshop – the Knight Institute’s home for writing support and services – ask for your help in identifying students who may have difficulty meeting the expectations of your First-Year Writing Seminar.
As advised in the Indispensable Reference for Teachers of First-Year Writing Seminars, you should assign for submission during the second week of the semester an analytic or argumentative essay of at least two pages (Follow this link for Guidelines for First Assignments).
An early assignment in a FWS is useful for many reasons, not the least of which are that students have an immediate opportunity to dive into coursework, and you have an opportunity to assess what they can do as readers and writers, and to adjust, if necessary, course expectations, assignments, and lesson plans.
My colleagues and I at the Writing Workshop have a slightly different interest. Our goal is to work with FWS instructors to quickly identify those students who might need considerable individual attention and thus may be candidates for WRIT 1370/80, “Elements of Academic Writing,” our alternate route FWS.
If you read an initial FWS essay that appears significantly different than the others, and you are concerned about a student’s ability to comfortably succeed in your FWS, please complete a FWS Essay Referral Form or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit the following materials:
a copy of the student’s essay
your writing assignment
Writing Workshop staff will review student essays and meet with students. Here are several potential outcomes:
TRANSFER TO WRIT 1370/80: Students may opt to move from your FWS to WRIT 1370/80.
DELAY FWS: Students may decide to wait a semester to make the necessary commitment to improving their writing.
Please send referrals by Friday, February 2 so that we can help students make adjustments to their schedules before the Open Enrollment period ends on February 5, 2024.
I thank you in advance for your assistance, and I look forward to the opportunity to work together this semester. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your questions and ideas.