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How does someone become an undergraduate writing coach at the Writing Center?

Undergraduate coaches must successfully complete English 402 (offered each spring semester). They are then eligible to apply for one of our coaching positions. The application has both a written and an interview portion. Students who are hired receive additional training at the start of the fall semester and work 8-12 hours a week.

What is English 402 all about?

English 402 invites a small group of students (25 or fewer) to learn about writing center and composition theory, examine their own writing histories and processes, develop advanced academic writing skills, and practice skills for supporting writers as peer writing coaches.

What are the major assignments?

Major assignments include composing your personal writing history, writing a synthesis matrix on your approved semester research topic, writing a literature review that synthesizes recent scholarship on your topic, presenting your research to the class, and practicing coaching pedagogy for face-to-face and online sessions.

What will happen during class?

Classes will be a mix of discussion and activities. Activities will include things like practicing active listening skills, trying out strategies for various stages of the writing process (like brainstorming and proofreading), analyzing academic writing samples, watching videos, and visiting the library to learn advanced database search techniques for your research project.

Who might benefit from taking English 402?

English 402 will be useful for aspiring peer coaches, teachers, and writers. The one-on-one teaching skills you will learn about and practice may also be useful to students who are interested in advising, mentoring, or counseling. Note that there will be an emphasis on academic writing, though learning about the writing process will also be helpful for creative writers.

Who are the instructors?

English 402 will be taught by Dr. Gigi Taylor, a Writing Center staff member, with occasional guest speakers. The instructors have taught composition in the English department, as well as other classes.

Take an inside look at the Writing Center: Coaching at the Writing Center

It’s so exciting to see students think through their writing process and have their ideas just come out and shine.Carlie