Working with Writing Assistants
What if I want to try a new way to use a WA in the course?
Feel free to consider innovative ways to use your WA. All the guidelines are subject to modification. However, we ask that you check with the director, and certainly discuss any innovations with your WA before you commit to “new ways of doing things.”
Remember: The program has coached WAs to expect some basic parameters in the program, i.e., they will receive sufficient drafts to make their assignment “worthwhile.” So if you want to try something new—anything at variance with the guidelines—please check with the director and your WA.
Do WA's address content?
Together, the professor and WA should assess the degree to which the WA should address content. Writing Assistants learn fast, and they welcome the opportunity to learn about new subjects and discourses. We encourage professors to offer the WAs any material that helps them with discourse conventions in your field. RWIT’s writing assistance service is not necessarily a useful option for some professors and in some courses. Some professors see a very clear border between form and content, and so may not be comfortable with a WA who ventures beyond form. If this caveat fits, then a WA is not a viable option.
What should I do if the WA and I encounter difficulties we cannot resolve?
If, after talking with your WA about the issue, you find that you cannot solve the problem, please consult the Director of Student Writing Support, or the Head Writing Assistant. Whether you have a pedagogical question that stumps you both, or a logistical issue that seems unsolvable, please contact either the HWA or director, or both. If the matter is sensitive, please contact Stephanie.
Throughout the term, you can expect occasional check-in emails from the head writing assistant and director. At the end of the term, the director will ask you to evaluate your WA’s performance. Your WA will ask your students to complete an anonymous online survey about her work. WAs will see the student evaluations. However, if you want your WA to see your evaluation, then you must give the director permission to share the evaluation. Alternatively, you may show the WA your evaluation, and cc the director.
Do call or email the director to discuss how a WA might best serve your course, any issues that you and your WA cannot resolve, suggestions you have for the program, and strategies you and the WA have used to good effect (even those that proved unsuccessful).
What if I am unhappy with my WA’s performance?
Your WA would appreciate it if you would talk with her—first—about whatever concerns you. If you and the WA are not able to work out your issues, then please alert the head writing assistant or director.
Please do not let any concern go unaddressed. If you are not pleased with a WA’s performance, do not wait until the end of the term to address the matter. By then it will be too late to solve the problem.