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Getting Involved

For Faculty & Graduate Student Instructors

MWrite Seminar for Engaged Learning

The Sweetland Seminar for Engaged Learning brings together faculty and graduate student instructors (GSIs) from multiple disciplines to explore writing as a means of learning in STEM and large enrollment gateway courses. During this seminar, participants learn more about the pedagogy behind writing-to-learn assignments as well as explore ways that writing-to-learn is being used in courses at U-M and beyond. This seminar is open to any faculty member who is interested in learning more about how writing can be used to improve student learning. The seminar is supported by the College of Literature, Science & and Arts and the Sweetland Center for Writing.  

Teams of faculty and GSIs are encouraged to participate, but it is not necessary for a faculty member to be accompanied by a GSI. However, GSIs can participate only as part of a faculty team.

All seminar participants share a commitment to:

  • Fostering more engaged learning in STEM and large enrollment courses
  • Employing writing as a means of learning
  • Creating a community of practice at U-M around writing-to-learn pedagogies

Seminar participants:

  • Read and discuss articles related to writing-to-learn
  • Confer with experienced U-M faculty about writing-to-learn assignments
  • Discuss writing-to-learn pedagogies with colleagues
  • Develop prompts to be used in a possible MWrite course

After the end of the semester, faculty receive $1,000 in a research account and GSIs receive a $1,000 stipend during fall term.

After participating in the seminar, faculty can decide to apply to participate in the MWrite Program in which Sweetland will provide support in implementing writing-to-learn through the following:

  • Writing Fellow support (undergraduates who have previously excelled in the course and who are trained by Sweetland to assist with implementing writing to learn)
  • Support from MWrite staff
  • Access to the MWrite automated peer review system
  • Opportunities to confer with experienced MWrite faculty

An interest in MWrite is not required to participate in this seminar; however, faculty who wish to have the MWrite supports in their courses must have first participated in this seminar. Explore this website to learn more about the project.

Applying for the MWrite Seminar

Application materials include:

  • A letter (maximum one page) indicating your interest in using writing as a mode of learning in your course, including goals and rationale for implementing writing-to-learn pedagogies in this course, and (if applicable) an explanation of how your GSI might benefit from participating in the seminar (and GSI CV if appropriate)

We are currently not accepting applications for the MWrite Seminar.

Contact Laura Schuyler at with questions.

For Undergraduate Students

MWrite Fellows Program

Writing Fellows are students who were highly successful in the specific MWrite course the previous year (or term) and who were nominated by the faculty member who teaches the course. Those selected to be Writing Fellows are responsible for helping students understand the required prompts, peer review, and revision. They provide support with the automated peer review technology, and, in many cases, assist with research related to MWrite.

Writing Fellows provide support, both technical and human, to faculty who are implementing MWrite and to students who are being asked to respond to writing assignments (prompts), participate in peer review, and revise in response to feedback. The details of the position are determined by individual professors, but this list provides a general idea.

  • Divide class list to create groups assigned to each Writing Fellow in a given course
  • Email students assigned to you, introduce yourself and explain how you will support them
  • Write in response to prompts, participate in peer review, and revise your initial draft so you can predict where students will encounter difficulties
  • Visit class lecture or section(s) where you might be asked to do any one of these:
    • Introduction: Appear briefly to introduce the Writing Fellows program, describe roles and responsibilities, and announce office hours as well as meeting location
    • Peer Review: Discuss with the class how to engage in peer review and provide useful feedback based on a rubric as well as to demonstrate how to use the Canvas module for peer review
    • Revision: Give a presentation about what constitutes revision and go over strategies for how to make meaningful revisions
  • Hold office hours for students assigned to you, to address questions about the prompt, the rubric, the peer response technology, revision, and other issues
  • Meet with faculty /GSI on a regular basis to discuss student progress
  • create a Slack account and participate with other Writing Fellows in discussions of issues and questions raised about implementing MWrite
  • Retrieve and post prompts and rubrics on Canvas
  • Monitor student completion of draft, peer review, and revision for each assignment; in some cases, assign points for quality of each

Writing 305, the one-credit course required of all Writing Fellows, provides support for the writing dimension, and a student’s prior achievement in the given course provides the necessary disciplinary expertise.