The Center for Academic Success and Exploratory Majors has a system in place to support first-year students with the help of Writing Mentors. Writing Mentors are successful, faculty-nominated student writers who are trained to help new students become stronger, independent, and more confident writers. Each First-Year Experience (FYE) class has a designated Mentor to serve that specific course. They can help with any stage of the writing process, including the following:
- Understanding the essay prompt
- Brainstorming potential topics
- Creating outlines
- Expanding ideas
- Citing & citations
- Overall revision (multiple revisions = better papers = higher grades)
- Defining/refining your individual writing process
Here's how it works:
- Each FYE class will have one Writing Mentor specifically assigned to that professor and course.
- Mentors are responsible for communicating regularly with their assigned professor and class. Each mentor has the option to 1) arrange at least five hours' worth of drop-in hours leading up to each paper due date, where they will e-mail their assigned class and professor several days in advance with the drop-in hour schedule, or 2) ask students to schedule appointments with them prior to a paper due date.
- FYE students should come prepared with the paper prompt and rubric, if available, as well as any prewriting that they have completed. Appointments are not required during drop-in hours; however, students should prepare to wait a few minutes in case the Writing Mentor is finishing up a meeting with a classmate. In the case of virtual drop-in hours, this may mean the student will enter the "Waiting Room" and be admitted once the Writing Mentor is ready for you.
- If FYE students can't make the Writing Mentor drop-in hours, they can visit the Writing Center Desk Hours. Monday-Thursdays 7 p.m.–9 p.m. No appointment is needed.
NOTE: This should be a last resort. The Writing Mentors will be able to help FYE students the best since they will already be familiar with the professor, the course, and the assignments.