New Instructors for Reasoning and Writing in the College, WRTG 105

New instructors will design their own version of WRTG 105: Reasoning and Writing in the College, a theme-based first-year writing course. Instructors will teach one section of WRTG 105 in the fall semester and the same course in the spring semester, and attend the program orientation at the end of August.

Teaching Context

At the University of Rochester, undergraduates must fulfill the Primary Writing Requirement (PWR), which demonstrates their proficiency as academic writers at the College level. Most students fulfill the PWR by taking WRTG 105. The subject of WRTG 105 is writing, but since writing is about something, each section of WRTG 105 focuses on a unique theme. 

Some of the best features about PWR courses are their variety of disciplines and rich diversity of topics. At the same time, there are some components required for all PWR courses. These components uphold the PWR course Learning Objectives, which describe the knowledge and skills needed for composing academic texts at the college-level.

Guided by the PWR Learning Objectives and required components for PWR courses, new instructors will design their own sections of 105 by integrating their chosen themes with explicit writing instruction. 

Successful applicants will have experience with or an interest in writing instruction and pedagogy. Accordingly, application reviewers assign a single ranking that accounts for the following criteria. 

  1. Application demonstrates candidate’s potential to teach students to
    • write to explore, develop and express ideas and also balance process and product,
    • develop arguments as a means to discover, formulate, analyze, and test ideas,
    • draft, revise, and edit (and understand the difference), and
    • develop as conscious and flexible writers.
  2. Application demonstrates candidate’s potential to
    • use a student-centered approach (which includes recognizing and supporting the unique writing process of each student),
    • encourage students to fully investigate their ideas
    • communicate a love of language, writing, and teaching, and
    • create a positive and intellectually engaging learning environment for students.

Additionally, successful applications will propose a course that many undergraduates would find interesting and accessible.

WRTG General Course Description

Each instructor’s theme-based course grows out of the general version, WRTG 105: Reasoning and Writing in the College, which was developed by a committee of College faculty from across the disciplines.

WRTG 105: Reasoning and Writing in the College (4 Credits)

WRTG 105 introduces students to academic writing at the college level and an awareness of variations across the disciplines. The course offers 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 compositions of different forms and lengths. These assignments introduce some of the genres 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 WRTG 105 focuses on a unique theme. Within this theme, students analyze, discuss, and engage with a range of texts in order to construct their own arguments and a final argumentative research paper. Students consider the roles of audience and purpose in shaping the organization, style and argumentative strategies of their papers, and they learn to become self-aware readers of their writing through reflection, peer response, revision, and editing. All sections include writing instruction, workshops, and practice in core writing principles and strategies needed to meet the course learning objectives and to become successful writers in and beyond college. For more information, refer to course learning objectives. Note: a grade of “C” or higher satisfies the Primary Writing Requirement.

For guidance on developing a proposed course description, please see Selecting Course Themes (View the January 2021 Interest Meeting and Selecting Course Themes Workshop here) and Guidelines for Writing a WRTG 105 Description.

Teaching Load is one section of WRTG 105 in fall and the same course in spring, and attend the program orientation at the end of August. 

The minimum length of appointment for this position is two years; however, successful performance is required for reappointment after the first year.

Compensation for teaching two sections per year is a graduate stipend from the graduate student’s home department/program plus an add-on stipend of $3,500 from the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program; the add-on stipend for the second year is $4,000.

Required Training 

New instructors participate in a rigorous training program, which includes a graduate seminar in writing pedagogy, WRTG 571/ENG 571, and year-long practicum, WRTG 572/ENG 572. These courses provide a strong foundation in backward design, active learning, and student-centered writing pedagogy. New instructors receive a professional development stipend of $2,000 for their participation in these courses.

  • WRTG 571/ENG 571, Writing Pedagogy, is a graduate-level seminar that involves approximately seven three-hour meetings between May 15 and June 15 (exact dates will be finalized by mid-April) and four three-hour meetings in August will begin sometime after the first week of August. This may vary based on several factors, including when the first day of fall semester starts
  • WRTG 572/ENG 572, Practicum in the Teaching of Writing, is a graduate-level practicum, which consists of monthly meetings during the fall and spring although there may be more meetings toward the beginning of the academic year and fewer toward the end.

Successful completion of WRTG 571 is required in order to teach in WSAP.  Successful completion means having earned a grade of P and having completed an approved portfolio of WRTG 105 teaching materials prior to the beginning of Fall classes.

Application Review Committee and Process

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

Each committee member independently ranks each application on a three-point scale, 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.

After reviewing materials, we may contact candidates for an interview. Committee members 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.

Application for New WRTG 105 Instructors

Applications accepted yearly. Upcoming Due Date: January 26, 2024.

Applicants can apply online through our application system. Please see the application form for a list of the required materials.

Letters of recommendation should be submitted via email to