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
  • Formatting
  • Citing & citations
  • Organization
  • Overall revision (multiple revisions = better papers = higher grades)
  • Editing
  • 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 student to schedule appointments with them prior to a paper due date.
  • NOTE: In Fall 2020, all meetings between an FYE Writing Mentor and student are encouraged to take place virtually.
  • 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 in 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. In Fall 2020, these hours will take place virtually from 7-9 p.m. No appointment 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.