Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program

Graduate & Post-Graduate Positions

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Fellowship Description

The Dudley Doust Writing Associates Fellowships are awarded to outstanding writing instructors from a variety of disciplines who have taught in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program for at least four semesters. To teach as a Doust fellow, recipients must be current University of Rochester graduate students in good standing at the beginning of each semester for which the fellowship is awarded.

Dudley Doust Writing Associates teach one WRT 105 course in the fall and the same course in the spring and serve as informal mentors to less experienced instructors. Compensation for this position is $18,000 per academic year.

Instructors may apply and hold a Dudley Doust fellowship for more than one academic year. If you will be applying for a Doust Position to teach WRT 105 and would like to simultaneously apply for either WRT 105E or EAPP courses, please indicate these additional preferences in your cover letter. The review committee will consider your application with each listed possibility in mind.

WRT 105 General Course Description

WRT 105 introduces students to disciplinary writing at the college level by offering instruction in small sections that focus on the act of writing. It provides instruction and practice in clear and effective writing and in constructing cogent and compelling arguments, as students draft and revise numerous papers of different forms and lengths. These papers introduce some of the forms of writing students are expected to produce later in their college careers as well as in their public and professional lives after graduation. The subject of the course is writing, but since writing is about something, each section of WRT 105 presents various texts, mostly written, for analysis and discussion in preparation for constructing extended argumentative essays and a final research paper. Students consider the roles of audience and purpose in shaping the organization, style and argumentative strategies of their own papers, and they learn to become critical readers of their writing through peer critiques and revision and editing workshops.

Link to Online Application


Letters of Recommendation may be submitted via email to: wsap@ur.rochester.edu.

Application Review Process

The application review committee for all teaching positions is made up of a subset of the College’s interdisciplinary writing committee. Standing members of the selection committee include the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program Director and the Instructor Training Coordinator.

Each committee member independently ranks each application on a 1-5 scale, with five being the best, based on the applicant’s statement of teaching philosophy, writing sample, teaching evaluations, letter of recommendation and any other supporting material the applicant chooses to submit.

Committee members assign a single ranking that accounts for the extent to which each candidate seems likely to:

  • use writing to explore and express ideas and balances process and product,
  • teach argument as a means to analyze, formulate, and test ideas,
  • teach invention, revision, and editing (understand the difference),
  • seriously consider whether students learn principles of academic writing, and how to make choices as a professional writer,
  • use a student-centered approach and allow students to fully investigate student ideas,
  • communicate a love of language, writing, and teaching,
  • create a positive learning environment for students, and
  • offer a course that many undergraduates would find interesting.

Committee members then discuss their rankings and collectively determine who will be offered a teaching position, who will be waitlisted, and who will not be offered a position.

Guidelines for Writing a WRT 105 Description

Teaching WRT 105 is a unique experience because it allows you to pick a topic/theme/issue of your choice and use it to teach writing. However you must, make sure that your course description clearly communicates that writing is the primary focus. Before you begin writing your description, we highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the general description of WRT 105 at: http://writing.rochester.edu/courses/WRT105.html.

As the general description might suggest, one of the goals of your course description should be to show your audience how writing will be used to explore your topic. Some of the pitfalls in choosing your topic are limiting it to your own research interests, using language that is highly technical to describe it, and making it seem as if your course has two topics, writing and your theme.

One way to approach the course description, and your course in general, is to come up with a few guiding questions that outline the broad focus of your class. You also want to give prospective students a sense of course texts. Please note that you do not have to list all texts at this point. You can just identify genres (e.g., films, fiction, or philosophical tracts) and mention a few specific works and authors' names.

Before you begin writing your course description, take a look at a variety of current course descriptions. Take note of what is similar across disciplines, find one that you like, and decide what it is you like about it.

In writing your course description, you should imagine undergraduates as your primary audience, and their parents, college faculty, and administrators as your secondary audiences.

For the sake of multi-section uniformity, your course description should

  • emphasize the learning objectives outlined on http://writing.rochester.edu/courses/alternativecriteria.html,
  • involve a theme that allows students to make connections across course readings and develop a basic understanding of your theme,
  • model the kind of writing you would like to receive from your students,
  • appeal to freshmen,
  • be no more than 1,024 characters including spaces, and
  • include peer feedback, self-assessment, revision, and an 8-10 page argumentative research paper.
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