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Wise Writes

Although composition offers the foundation for further development of writing skills and can serve to introduce students to college-level writing in the disciplines, studies of college writing instruction have conclusively shown that teaching effective writing must go beyond the one- or even two-semester composition course(s) generally required at the freshman level. Teaching writing must take place over the student’s entire college career (Segall and Smart 1; Linton, Madigan, and Johnson 170) and should venture across the curriculum as students learn to write in different contexts. (QEP 21).

Wise Writes is a faculty development program that works to improve writing instruction, assessment, and student writing quality, and creates a culture of writing excellence at UVA Wise. It focuses on bridging the gap between general education courses and writing in the disciplines through the development of more intensive writing instruction at the upper level.

How Can You Enhance Your Teaching with Wise Writes?

Participate in Faculty Workshops on Writing Instruction

The first Wise Writes professional development program, this year long program (4 meetings per semester) brings large groups of multidisciplinary faculty together to discuss national best practices in writing instruction. Faculty do not need any prior background or experience in teaching writing to be a part of this program

Fall 2020 workshops included topics such as: Writing Assignments That Promote Good Writing, Best Practices in the Feedback and Grading of Writing, and Peer Editing Writing Assignments. To access these workshops, visit Emily Dotson's personal Zoom room

In Spring 2021, offerings will include: 

  • Syllabus Design To Promote Good Writing
  • Grade Norming
  • Engagement and Creativity
  • Grammar

Attend Faculty Writing Retreats

Wise Writes hosts regular faculty writing retreats. Faculty are provided private writing space and a schedule for writing with group breaks to discuss writing process and progress with fellow writers.

Engage in Faculty Learning Communities Outside of Wise Writes

Faculty Learning Communities are small groups of multidisciplinary faculty who have completed the Wise Writes Faculty Writing Fellows Program and would like to meet monthly to discuss more complicated pedagogical issues in teaching including developing active learning assignments, connecting taxonomies of learning to course objectives, and using motivation theory to improve student learning.

Attend the Course Design Institute 

This two-day workshop helps faculty develop or redevelop course objectives and assignments in integrated ways that create significant learning experiences.

Explore Teaching Resources
Wise Writes offers a variety of faculty resources including online and in person faculty workshops and a variety of electronic tools including links to style guides.
Become a Wise Writes Faculty Fellow
Get an in-depth look at research on writing theory that can improve both instruction and student writing quality and, in turn, grading ease.
Attend (Or View Past) Wise Writes Events
Wise Writes is dedicated to developing a culture that celebrates good writing. As such, we're proud to sponsor free public events featuring renowned authors from a variety of genres. Events are open to students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Emily A. Dotson

Emily A.

Associate Professor of English