Each year, some 25-30 honors undergraduates tutor as Honors Writing Fellows. The Fellows assist with courses in a variety of fields, enabling faculty to emphasize writing as a way to learn. The program improves student writing and learning, while enabling faculty to accomplish more with their courses. It also benefits the Fellows themselves, who love the training, the teaching, the ways this work helps to improve their own writing and opens up professional opportunities to them.

This innovative program is a joint initiative of Honors at Iowa and the Department of Rhetoric. It has helped more than five thousand undergraduates with major writing exercises in courses in 25 departments.

"Becoming a Writing Fellow was one of the best learning experiences I have had at the University of Iowa. Before I was a Writing Fellow, when I finished writing an essay, I never knew how to revise it. But looking at other students' essays and taking the Writing Fellows course made me a better writer. The program also helped my leadership skills grow. After all, what's scarier than showing another person your writing, and then asking that person if it's good? I've learned how to give constructive criticism and notice all the wonderful moments in students' essays that rarely get praised. I've learned how to turn an intimidating experience, like a writing conference, into an enjoyable, collaborative conversation. And I've watched something as small as a knotty sentence untangle itself and something as significant as a timid writer grow into a confident one." - Laura Wang, English (Creative Writing) & Chinese, Class of 2016

How it works

To apply to be an Honors Writing Fellow, complete the Honors Writing Fellows Application.

  • Selected Fellows enroll in HONR:3220 Honors Writing Fellows: Writing Theory & Practice to learn how to be an effective peer tutor.
  • Each semester after, Honors Writing Fellows are paired with a course. Fellows serve 5-10 students in their chosen courses.
  • Fellows read an essay written by their students, write marginal comments and one-page letters of comments, and lead 30 minute individual conferences with each student. Fellows do this twice over the course of the semester.
  • First-semester Fellows receive a $700 honorarium. For all subsequent semesters Fellows receive $800 per semester.

How to earn honors credit

Fellows earn credit for University Honors as follows:

  • 3 honors coursework credits for HONR:3220 Honors Writing Fellows: Writing Theory & Practice
  • 2 experiential learning credits per semester serving as a Writing Fellow (maximum of 6)

Fellows can receive a maximum of 6 s.h. of experiential learning credit.

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