The Writing Fellows Program was established in 1982 to help integrate the study of writing into courses throughout the university. The Program's 40 Writing Fellows currently serve approximately two dozen courses across STEM, Social Sciences, and Humanities disciplines each academic year. In a ‘fellowed’ course, students submit the first draft of each paper to their Writing Fellow one week before it is due to the professor. During the first week, the Writing Fellows comment on the drafts, responding to argumentation, analysis, organization, clarity and style and suggesting strategies for revision. When the drafts are handed back, students have an additional week to consider these suggestions, meet individually with their Fellow and revise their drafts. Professors receive both the first draft, with annotations by the Writing Fellows, and the final version, so that they may review the process of their students’ work. Students receive detailed commentary on at least two papers during the semester.
While faculty and students benefit tremendously from participation in the program, Writing Fellows themselves also gain much, including extensive editing experience, an opportunity to improve interpersonal skills, and a chance to develop as writers, speakers, and educators. The faculty and staff of the program work hard to create a warm, friendly atmosphere in which genuinely collaborative learning takes place and students respond with loyalty and hard work.
The Writing Fellows Program provides an important element of support for Brown's requirement that all its graduates achieve competence in writing. Underlying the program’s interactive, collegial approach is the conviction that writing is, ultimately, a communicative process best accomplished in active dialogue with other people.