– For Teachers

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers many types of services and support to instructors through its core programs and affiliations, and our mission is to connect you with all the various programmatic resources and professional development available here at the university and abroad – whether you’re a writing instructor of some type or you’re faculty incorporating a writing component into your course, a new teaching assistant or seasoned professional, K-12 or college/university level. Below is a guide to some of the services offered by our core CTRW programs and our affiliate programs. 

English 100 (Comm-A), English 201 (Comm-B), ESL Program, Writing Across the Curriculum Program, Writing Center, and our affiliate programs are in an ongoing process of hiring for the fall, spring, and summer terms, and we’re always looking for candidates to fill teaching positions as well as additional administrative positions for the English Department and the College of Letters and Science. Administrative support for the Greater Madison Writing Project (GMWP), as well as its conference services and the administration of its non-credit offerings and workshops, is provided by PLACE (School of Education) and Conference Services in the Division of Continuing Studies. Consider also our affiliate programs. If you’re interested, email us at ctrw@english.wisc.edu

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Teachers across the curriculum

Instructors who are incorporating writing into their curriculum have the full support of the university, and the university offers a variety of support, depending on your needs:

Writing Across the Curriculum Program

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program is eager to help you think about effective and creative ways to incorporate writing and speaking assignments into your courses at all levels and in all disciplines. We offer one-on-one consultations, multiple WAC workshops, and instructional resources with plenty of advice and examples of successful writing and speaking assignments drawn from courses across UW-Madison. As your course unfolds, you may face challenges and want advice beyond what’s available online. We can help! Our staff would be happy to meet with you to discuss pedagogical strategies for teaching with writing and to share additional material. At the WAC website, you can:

Writing Center

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center is here to help faculty. Our instructors aim to teach students in all disciplines (except for Comm-A courses) and at all levels to become more effective writers. We’re happy to visit your class to make a brief presentation about our services. Or we can work with you to tailor some writing instruction for your class. Additionally, we offer free workshops for professional students, instructors, faculty, and academic staff. We’re also always on the lookout for Writing Fellows candidates: highly talented, carefully selected, and extensively trained undergraduates who partner with faculty and serve as peer writing tutors in courses all across the College of Letters & Science.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

If you have international students, the ESL Program also has information on writing resources and support.

E100 instructors

The English 100 Program (E100) offers students an introduction to college composition that helps them prepare for the demands of writing at UW-Madison and also helps them think about writing beyond the classroom. The course satisfies the Communication-A general education requirement for undergraduates.

E100 is designed to build rhetorical awareness in both written and oral communication. Assignments engage questions of audience, purpose, genre, discourse conventions, and research methods. Students use narrative strategies to explore abstract concepts; summarize and synthesize information; engage in conversations with the ideas of others; and construct arguments through original research. The course views writing as an act of inquiry, a means of communication, and a process. With this in mind, instructors emphasize drafting, revising, and editing as critical practices.

E100 Instructors are mostly graduate student Teaching Assistants, mainly from the English department. They include MFA students in creative writing; doctoral students in literary studies, composition and rhetoric, and English Language and Linguistics; and often other doctoral students from the School of Education or elsewhere. Academic staff instructors also teach English 100.

English 100 instructors are responsible to the English 100 Program as a member of the teaching staff and to their students as the instructor of the course. The work of instructors is shaped by the university (general education Comm-A requirements, academic policies, and the large, varied culture of writing on campus); the English department with its wide-ranging disciplinary commitments to language, writing, literature, and rhetoric; and the more specific program policies, responsibilities, and curricular requirements explained in our annually published Instructors’ Guide. These have been shaped by scholarship in composition and rhetoric (writing studies) as well as by the experiences of teachers and students here at the UW.

  • E100 instructors can also apply to the E100 Tutorial Program to be an E100 Tutor.
  • There are occasional opportunities to publish writing on the E100 CompPost Blog.
  • See also the open-access E100 Course Readings, which include not only a comprehensive description of E100, but also provide examples of award-winning writing from professionals and students alike.
  • Contact the E100 Program for details on other resources, such as the Canvas syllabus website, as well as your interest in becoming an E100 instructor.

E201 instructors

The English 201 Program (E201) is a an intermediate-level writing course that satisfies the university’s Communication-B requirement for enhancing students’ literacy skills. Enrollment in E201 assumes that a student has successfully completed or been exempted from the Communication-A requirement.

  • This course is couched at an intermediate skill level and has more experienced students (not being open to freshmen and requiring 3 credits of introductory literature as a prerequisite) and more challenging assignments, typically involving sophisticated readings, complex writing tasks, and very high expectations for student inquiry.
  • Each section of the course treats a single issue, problem, or theme (or set of issues, problems, or themes) in depth, giving students the opportunity not just to work on general processes of reading and writing but to be initiated into the complex discursive practices of a particular literate community struggling with particular intellectual, cultural, and practical problems.
  • E201 sections will vary from teacher to teacher.

Communications-B teaching assistants

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program holds Communication-B training to help teaching assistants and faculty plan and teach Communication-B courses, the WAC program offers a sequence of three training workshops early each semester. TAs teaching a Comm-B course for the first time are required to attend, and faculty may join. This cross-curricular training is designed to complement course-specific training departments may provide for instructors.

ESL instructors

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is a vibrant, active program that provides a wide range of ESL courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Our highly talented and dedicated instructors have many years of teaching experience here and abroad, and our teaching faculty help run the many programs and courses that we offer.

TESOL Certification

We also train international teaching assistants to become more effective teachers and prospective ESL teachers who desire TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. We have developed several teacher training programs for ESL teachers in Italy, China, Korea and Turkey, and the ESL program has also collaborated with Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan and Universidad Tecnológica in Uruguay to develop a writing program for their undergraduate students. You’ll find our former students teaching English in Spain, Turkey, Tasmania, Thailand, Colombia, Ecuador, Korea, China, and many other places around the world.

International TA Training

The International Teaching Assistant Training (ITA, ESL 370) course helps non-native English speaking TAs improve their oral communication and classroom teaching skills. There are no credits or fees for this course.

Writing center consultants

The Writing Center is regularly on the lookout for new Teaching Assistants (TAs) before the upcoming academic year to become part of an active, dynamic staff at a renown institution. Writing Center TAs provide individual (one-to-one) instruction for student writers within and beyond the university across all levels, disciplines, and identities.

Undergraduate writing fellows and participating faculty

The Undergraduate Writing Fellows Program brings talented undergraduates and committed faculty together in a cooperative effort to improve student writing. The program prepares selected students from a wide range of majors to serve as peer writing tutors, called Writing Fellows. Fellows work closely with professors and students on writing in a variety of courses across the College of Letters and Science. The program enables accomplished and enthusiastic student writers to share their writing skills and intellectual curiosity with other undergraduates.

Undergraduate Writing Fellows

Do you have a passion for writing in your discipline? Are you interested in helping others with their writing? Thinking of getting into teaching and learning about pedagogy? The Writing Fellows Program might be a great fit for you. Writing Fellows represent a wide range of majors, including sociology, political science, English, philosophy, molecular biology, physics, and history, and the program is always on the lookout for fellows.

Participating Faculty

Faculty who use Writing Fellows in their courses are generally looking to receive better, more thoughtful, and more polished papers from students in their courses. The following are general criteria:

  • Faculty members typically teach either a Communication-B course, a Writing-Intensive course, or a course with at least two writing assignments, without TAs; the minimum enrollment is 15; the maximum is 40. We assign one Fellow for every 10-12 students in a course, so, for example, a course with 35 students would have three Writing Fellows.
  • The philosophy underlying the Writing Fellows Program is that writing is best taught as a process that involves revision, that well-prepared undergraduates can serve as role models for their peers and can help their peers improve their writing, and that undergraduates benefit from being placed in positions of leadership.
  • Teachers normally design two writing assignments with which the fellow will help students. With each of these assignments, a draft must be due to the writing fellow two weeks before the final due date.
  • Students in the course submit drafts to and meet with fellows periodically during the semester.
  • Fellows are not asked to grade students’ papers or teach portions of courses.
  • See our For Faculty page for more details

Local/regional K-12 instructors

The Greater Madison Writing Project (GMWP) at University of Wisconsin-Madison is an affiliate of National Writing Project (NWP) network, a nationally acclaimed professional learning community that puts educators’ knowledge, experience and voices at its center.  GMWP offers both professional development for educators as well as enrichment opportunities for children and young adult writers. Greater Madison Writing Project (GMWP), a joint effort at UW-Madison between the College of Letters & Science and the School of Education.

The following programs

Teacher Leadership in Writing: Yearlong Institute

The Teacher Leadership in Writing: Yearlong Institute is a community of practice to support your practice as a writer and a teacher of writing, engage with dedicated peers and current research, and to create new knowledge and new questions. This yearlong institute provides educators an opportunity to inquire into a question about their own practice and follow that question throughout a year-long action research cycle. The research and inquiry commences with a Teacher Research Forum, and in addition to research, participants have the opportunity to engage in reading, writing, and discussion within small and large groups and will be supported by a GMWP thinking partner.

Online Community Meetings

Join the Greater Madison Writing Project for our regular Online Community Meetings to gather and see old friends and new, take time for yourself to write, get and give great ideas for your classroom. Peer-to-peer learning can be an empowering and transformative process for students because it challenges traditional hierarchical models of teaching and learning. Through this process, students can improve their ability to collaborate with their peers, evaluate their own and others’ ideas, and give and receive feedback. Writing centers are one popular model and site for peer-to-peer learning in education.

What We Can Become: An Online Yearlong Institute

The Greater Madison Writing Project launched What We Can Become: An Online Yearlong Institute in the summer of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic had shut down schools and brought our education systems’ structural inequities into a new light. That difficult time was compounded by extreme political polarization ahead of the 2020 election and the murder of George Floyd and corresponding calls for racial justice. Deeply dedicated to not “returning to normal”, educators craved a space to sort through what they had learned and to plan for a better future.

Invitational Summer Institute

Educators spend four weeks immersed in reading, writing, and teacher inquiry workshops, ultimately returning to their schools as GMWP Teacher-Leaders.

College, Career, and Community Writers Program

The College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) is an intensive professional development program that provides teachers with instructional resources and formative assessment tools for the teaching of evidence-based argument writing. C3WP works by integrating curricular resources, formative assessment, professional reading, and professional conversations. Teachers in C3WP typically participate in 45 hours of professional development per year for two years, experiencing instructional materials of the highest quality, learning to analyze student work carefully to determine instructional next steps, and leading their students towards active participation in their communities through argument writing.

Visiting scholars

Below are some available resources for visiting scholars:

CTRW Fellowships

The CTRW offers CTRW Fellowships for visiting scholars.

English Classes for Visiting Scholars

Free English classes for Visiting Scholars are available from the 5th week of the semester through the 14th week of the Fall and Spring semesters. The classes are centered around helping you improve your conversational English skills and will focus mostly on speaking and listening skills. The classes will also provide you with information and insights about culture in the U.S., Wisconsin, and Madison. Classes meet on campus and are taught by supervised student teachers in the TESOL Certificate Program through the ESL Program in the UW–Madison English Department.

Engineering instructors

Instructors in the Technical Communication Program at our affiliate in the College of Engineering teach the major communication courses for undergraduate students in the College of Engineering. The Engineering Communication course (InterEGR 397) meets the University’s General Education (Comm-B) requirement and several engineering departmental requirements. A second course in Technical Presentations (EPD 275) is required by some undergraduate programs. Beyond these requirements, engineering and other undergraduate students from all disciplines may choose to earn the Technical Communication Certificate, which functions like a minor and further enhances their professional communication skills. The mission and learning objectives for the full Technical Communication program may be found here.

Business communication intructors

Our affiliate program, the Business Communication at WSB helps instructors with teaching students about the demands of workplace writing by developing their writing, listening, collaborative, and presentation skills in a close-knit group that meets frequently, makes most decisions via consensus, and shares teaching materials.

  • Communication Coaching in the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program: MBA communications coaches offer strategic support in business writing and presentations. Coaches offer informational sessions on business writing and cover letters as well as provide presentation support and targeted feedback on major team projects.
  • Consulting with Colleagues on Best Practices for Writing Instruction: Instructors assist other teaching staff members with writing-focused assignments, rubrics, and supporting materials.
  • Providing Resources on Key Business Communication Topics: Resources cover a range of subjects from effective email practices to slide design tips.

Second language acquisition (SLA) instructors

For SLA instructors, see also our affiliate program, the Language Institute for an assortment of language educator events and programming.

Prospective instructors

Contact us if you’re interested in becoming a writing instructor.