The Writing Fellows Program was established in 1982 to help integrate the study of writing into courses throughout the university. Writing Fellows are trained peer tutors who partner with faculty across disciplines to provide students with written and verbal feedback, advice, and encouragement on their writing in progress. Coming from all academic disciplines, Writing Fellows learn inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist approaches to peer tutoring. Fellows are not content experts or arbiters of “good writing,” and their purpose is not to ensure better grades on papers. Instead, Writing Fellows encourage students to see writing and learning as dynamic, collaborative processes that acknowledge writers’ diverse backgrounds, learning experiences, and writing goals.
The Program's 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 at least two assignments to their Writing Fellow before it is due to the instructor. Writing Fellows comment on students' written drafts and hold individual conferences with students, where they discuss revision strategies. Faculty who partner with the program also receive support on how to integrate draft writing into their course designs.
The Writing Fellows Program provides an important element of support for Brown's requirement that all its graduates achieve competence in writing. The program’s interactive, collegial approach reinforces the conviction that writing is a communicative process best accomplished in active dialogue with other people.