Foundational Writing Instruction

Novice writers may struggle with conventions of academic writing, good habits and processes for developing academic essays, and/or grammar, mechanics and syntax. Through the directed self-placement process, we offer Foundations First Seminar that focuses on writing processes for students who identify themselves as needing or wanting intensive writing instruction and individualized attention to their writing abilities.

While most first-year students honestly and accurately assess their needs as writers when arriving at college, it is difficult for them to imagine more complex academic and scholarly writing situations that arise in the latter parts of Topical First Seminars or in University Seminars. Students may have registered for a Topical First Seminar and done well with early and familiar writing assignments; at midterm, they may be having some difficulty as projects are less familiar, lengthier, and more complex. It is important that we provide them with appropriate assistance so that they can continue to succeed in your course. Our Foundational Writing Program can provide you and your students with assistance in evaluating writing development, scaffolding writing processes, and providing external support and advice beyond your classroom.

If your review of a student’s writing samples and assignments—whether early or late in the semester—suggests that they have foundational issues with writing processes, you should contact Martha Schaffer to review the student’s writing and consult with you on what teaching practices and/or support services will best suit your student’s needs.

For More Information, Please Contact:
Martha Schaffer, JD, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Composition
Campus Phone: 368-1890