Each year, 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.

spring library

Applications for the Fall 2024 program are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 29. 

See here for the application form.

Honors students, find out more about the program at an information session on Friday, February 23 at 4:00 pm in 110 EPB. Program directors and current Fellows will be there to answer your questions and refreshments will also be provided!

The Honors Writing Fellows Program is a peer tutoring/writing across the curriculum initiative. Our 25-30 Writing Fellows are undergraduate students in the Honors at Iowa Program who are assigned to courses across campus every semester. They provide written feedback to students in these courses on two writing assignments during the semester, and also meet with students for individual conferences. All Writing Fellows are required to take Writing Theory and Practice (143:102), a three-semester hour course taught every fall by our program directors, Carol Severino and Megan Knight. The application process for new Fellows takes place in March each year.

How to Earn Honors Credit:

Fellows earn credit for University Honors as follows:

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

Fellows can receive a maximum of 9 s.h. of experiential learning credit, 3 hours from HONR:3220 followed by up to 6 hours from serving as a writing fellow. 

How it Works:

Each Writing Fellow works with 10-12 students who send them drafts of two writing assignments during the semster, the first around midterm and the second towards the end of the semester. The Fellow provides written comments and suggestions and then meets individually with students to discuss the comments and how best to revise the paper to make it stronger. The goal of the Honors Writing Fellows Program is to emphasize the importance of feedback and revision to the writing process, so working with a Writing Fellow is part of the assignent requirements. A course with 36 students is typically assigned 3 fellows while a course with 24 students would be assigned 2. Because of logistical and scheduling difficulties we generally do not assign Fellows to courses with more than 40 students. Due to the limited number of Fellows available, this services is not currently available to TAs.

After the commenting and conferencing cycle, the professor reads both the first drafts and the revised essays and grades the latter. Fellows do not do any grading, they comment and tutor only. For their first year, fellows receive $700 per semester, and thereafter, $800 a semester. Interested Writing Fellows can also receive additional training to become Undergraduate Tutors who are available for one-on-one appointments in the Writing Center.